The Father over all – over all the kingdoms of the earth – over all the palaces of heaven – conceived a vision of a man—and that man was you. He conceived a vision of a woman—and if you are female—that vision is you. But the Father had no way to birth all these children into the earth without making them Gods—for he is God immortal. How was he to deliver millions of screaming, kicking, little bundles of humanity into the planet?
He went into his workshop and began to work with clay. He fashioned a man and then he said, “I will make this man flesh and give him organs, and emotions, and a sex drive so that he will procreate. And of course, for that, I must also provide a woman of flesh.” The first man named the woman Eve, because he understood that she was created to bear children and nurture them in the lush gardens of paradise.
Before the first child was born, Adam and Eve turned away from the Father who had created them and thus the first parenting flaw is revealed, even before the first child came kicking and screaming into the world. They, like all of us, continued to propagate their flaws. They had no parenting book to guide the way. If only Norman Wright had been around to give them Hysterical Parenting or maybe Gary Smalley with his How to make children mind without losing yours. No, these first parents had only themselves –and God to depend on, but early on we find them hiding from their Father, abandoning the garden, and wandering in a thorny wilderness where they raised two sons, Cain and Able. One of them was a murderer and the other a victim of his brother’s crime. Eve bore other children and she and her husband raised them – outside of Eden. The children, of course, belonged to God, the Father of us all, and he longed to teach them how to parent his children in wisdom and in love.
We belong to God. We are all his children. But our surrogate parents have failed us – just as we fail our children. If only our children could see past our imperfections, our day to day flawed parenting, and get to know their real Father, the One who implanted the egg in their mother’s ovaries when he ‘knit her together’ in the womb. The One who placed the seed of life in their father’s body. He doesn’t look like us. He doesn’t act like us. And he certainly doesn’t love like us, for his love is unconditional and his face is furrowed by grief, not worry.
What if you could get past your view of your earthly father, and get to know your real Father, your Heavenly Father. What if you could truly believe that he, unlike your surrogate parents, is full of love for you, delighted by your personality, and engaged in making your life the best it can be, that he grieves when your own failures drag you down, that he stands beside you, unseen and often unheard, coaxing. “Get up! You can make it. I don’t even remember your past mistakes – I am looking at your future and it is great! It is wonderful! Come on! I will help you.”
Those negative words in your head—that sense of shame and embarrassment—that despair because you are not what you ‘should be’ that does not come from your real Father for he does not shame his children—ever! He believes in second chances, and third, and ten thousand....
Your parents are surrogate parents chosen by your real Father. I hope they have done a good job of modeling what your Father is like. I hope my husband and I have done so with our children—but regardless of the job our parents have done—you can ‘see’ your real father, you can get to know him, and you can be like him.
Seek Him in his Word, the Bible, and avail yourself of books written by men and women who have traveled the path of healing. If they have gone before you, they may have learned some things along the way that will encourage you in your journey. When you find the Father—the One who planned your life long before conception, you will find freedom from the ties that bind you to destructive memories and false obligations imposed by dysfunctional family patterns and unhealthy expectations. Only then will you be free to love your parents with unconditional love—a love that is based on giving rather than receiving. A love that will set you free to be the man or woman your Heavenly Father designed you to be.