Today is Father's Day and it brings up tons of conflicting emotions for me. On one hand, I am married to a truly great man who is not only the better than the best husband I could have asked for, but he is also a gentle and caring father who does actually worry about whether he's doing enough. He takes one-on-one time with our kids, he teaches them, he loves them.
This leads to a bigger issue: my relationship with God, my Heavenly Father.
How can I understand, relate to, believe in, and desire a relationship with a Heavenly Father when I have no earthly model for it? I was reading a Time Out For Women blog post by Laurel C. Day where she said, "Fathers: Don’t underestimate the impact you have on your child’s life. For better or for worse, your relationship with your children sets a foundation for their concept of Heavenly Father. God trusts you to demonstrate what it means to be loved by Him. You have impact. You have eternal impact..."
Because of my lack of a relationship with my earthly dad, the relationship with my Father in Heaven is that much more complicated. I have to work extra hard to know the God loves me and cares about me. I have to work extra hard to really feel and believe it. It's something I struggle with and I'm not sure what to do about that other than keep trying, keep praying, keep striving.
I admire men who work to be great dads to their kids. I admire men who pray for their children and help cultivate a relationship conducive to eternity. As I see other people who have great relationships with their dads, I can't relate, which hurts on some levels and feels numb on others.
If you have a great dad who taught you, loved you, and did you best, I am so grateful that is the case. For others who, like me, don't feel that special connection with your father, I'm so sorry. Don't doubt that your Heavenly Father understands. He cares. He loves you. He's patiently helping you slowly through this trial. He is there, working through your prayers, your studies, your heart, reaching out for a relationship with you--one of love, admiration, protection, and understanding. Keep working for a relationship with Him. It will come.