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#158991 - 05/29/07 10:56 PM God as a Father figure
grover Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/28/07
Posts: 50
Loc: Tennessee
I've been struggling with this a lot lately. God is supposed to be the ultimate father figure, yet all I know of a father figure is someone who was judgemental, emotionally abusive/distant, and the main reason I could not tell about the sexual abuse I was receiving at school.

How have any of you reconciled this?

_________________________
Shocking revelations, we are all deeply effected.
-the Waitresses "Wise up"

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#158995 - 05/29/07 11:14 PM Re: God as a Father figure [Re: grover]
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
Hi Grover,

I was physically and emotionally abused by my father as well as a child, and like you, I knew I could never tell him what was going on with the sexual abuse. I think the main way I reconciled myself to God was to realize that He was everything that my earthly father wasn't. Looking at Him in that manner allowed me to want to have Him for a Father in my life; the perfect Father.

_________________________
Eddie

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#158996 - 05/29/07 11:20 PM Re: God as a Father figure [Re: EGL]
FormerTexan Offline
Site Administrator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 11025
Loc: Denver, CO
To me a father is clueless, absent physically, and absent emotionally. There is no nurturing, no training in life, no real relationship to speak of. And any pursuit of that with him is a fruitless endeavor.

I imagine my dad sitting in a chair, God standing in front of me pointing at my dad, looking at me and saying "That's not me." Then God brought various people into my life, to provide that nurturing and validation that's been missing all this time.

_________________________
List of things ain't nobody got time for:

1. That


If I could meet myself as a boy...

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#158999 - 05/30/07 12:38 AM Re: God as a Father figure [Re: FormerTexan]
Halibut Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/29/06
Posts: 228
Loc: Alaska
Hi Grover,

God is beyond, is transcendant. Anything we say about God has to come from human experience, and is only an image of who God is, not the reality. God is father, mother, son, shepherd, lamb, warrior, peace-giver, Alpha,Omega, friend, savior, etc. etc. etc. Whatever image we use needs to be supplimented by other images.

What FT says above is right on---there's many images or model of God we use that God would look at and say, "That's not me".

God is always more.

Frank


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#159053 - 05/30/07 10:18 AM Re: God as a Father figure [Re: Halibut]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Grover,

A very wise friend here once put it to me that when we envisage God in terms of the defective father figures we may have in our own lives, then "our God is too small". I take that to mean that the failings of father figures or other male role models in our lives tell us nothing about the character of God. When we do that, then, as FT says, God wants us to know, "That's not me!"

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#159069 - 05/30/07 11:17 AM Re: God as a Father figure [Re: grover]
Morning Star Offline
Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1124
Loc: Home
Grover,

The problem with thinking of God as a father figure has an intrinsic problem as you very well described here.

God is actually the Source energy that creates all that is, and is all that is, does include you. So instead of humanizing God has most religions do, try to see God for what He is, the Source that's all.

Now with that knowledge, you can see yourself as a river, moving towards the Source - the Ocean, constantly.

Divine Father or Divine Mother concepts can be limiting for abuse survivors, so it makes all the more sense to expand on the definition of what we know as God.

If even then you have issues with a higher authority, simply drop that too; see God as a presence within you, as that is where the 'kingdom' truly lies...The whole idea about connecting with divinity is to connect with our own, so whatever way suits you in realizing that you are sacred, is fine.

Unless you begin to see yourself as spirit, living in a body, divinity seems but a distant dream. But drop the body and that is all there is left to you.

People spend years and years in trying to fixing their broken vase, piece by piece; little do they know that if only they could offer it all to the Creator, to remould it for them, they would be renewed all over again, in an instant.

Go within, as that is the only place you will ever find God, ever. As the ancient mystic Kabir once said, "Just as fire resides in the Flintstone; your God resides in you. Now wake up if you can..."

When I see God, as some kind of human being I can get angry or mad at Him, but when I know, I am only addressing the Source, I realize getting mad is of no use, as I am also all that is, so in the end I am only getting mad at myself. No wonder staying angry at God never works.

Morning Star

_________________________
~ It's over!...Let go of Thy Past, Remember Thy Self ~

Why Don't People Heal, by Caroline Myss; 30 days to clean up your vibrations - Abraham-Hicks

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#159087 - 05/30/07 01:50 PM Re: God as a Father figure [Re: Morning Star]
Chain Breaker Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/21/07
Posts: 376
Loc: Michigan
I think that we all see God differently, but in western and near-eastern religious tradition, we use the term Father and believe that this is what He is.

In my faith, we believe that in its literal sense -- i.e., the literal Father of our spirits. So when we sing "I Am A Child of God," we really mean it. I was not truly abused by my father, but I feel he did neglect us emotionally. Every time I think of a flaw in my earthly father, I tell myself that this is not a flaw in my Heavenly Father. For me, God is the definition of the perfect man. Had I been sexually abused by my father, though, I don't think I could sustain this view, as I would have believed that all men are bad. I don't think my dad is a bad person, but he was very absent from my life. I was fortunate, though, to have good men in my life -- mostly from my church, but also some school teachers -- who treated me with kindness and tried to reassure me that I was a good person.

For me, what works to help me understand God is simply to remind myself when bad things happen, that is the opposite of God, and when good things happen, that this is the character of God.

I hope this helps in some way.

Joe

_________________________
My name is Joe. I am a survivor and a good man. You can count on me.

CB

"[Insert your name here], I am [Chain Breaker]. Do you see that I am your friend? Can you see that you will always be my friend?"
--Wind In His Hair, Dances With Wolves

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#159093 - 05/30/07 03:22 PM Re: God as a Father figure [Re: Chain Breaker]
shadowkid Offline
WARNING from ModTeam, September 2013: user "Shadowkid" was exposed as a hoaxer. His entire online persona and stories of sexual abuse were fiction. We encourage you not to become emotionally concerned by anything you see in any of his posts. Thank you
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 2437
why?why is it that if its bad well it has nothing to do with god but if its good he gets all the credit? if its bad well its free will and mans fault ,if its good well then its god. all the fame and none of the blame? dont work for me

_________________________
its not hard to fall
when you float like a cannonball - damien rice

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#159099 - 05/30/07 04:37 PM Re: God as a Father figure [Re: shadowkid]
Chain Breaker Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/21/07
Posts: 376
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: shadowkid
why?why is it that if its bad well it has nothing to do with god but if its good he gets all the credit? if its bad well its free will and mans fault ,if its good well then its god. all the fame and none of the blame? dont work for me

I don't blame you for feeling that way. I also didn't say that we should give God all the credit. I just said that all the goodness is his character. I didn't mean to say, at all, that all goodness was God's work.

The way I see it, everything that people do is based on free will. I don't believe in a god who provides everything on demand or who works out all our problems. We could get into a big theological discussion, which is what I feared this thread might become, but I don't see the point. For me, God is the Father of my spirit. He sent me to earth to gain a body, to be tested as to how I use my free will, to learn to live by faith, and to serve his other children. In the end, when He judges me, it won't be purely on the basis of what I've done or accomplished; it will be on how well I've overcome my own circumstances. I believe He will take into consideration where my starting place is. So if I start in last place, it's o.k. I will be judged not on where I end up, but on how far I went. If I have had special circumstances in my life that have made it harder, I will be judged in light of those circumstances. In the end, my judgment will come down to how well I learned to live by faith, whether I served God's children, and how I use my free will.

If you can't see it the way I do, why should I hold that against you. We're all where we are, and we can only move on from where we are at the pace we're capable of going.

On the issue of who gets the credit when I do something good, the way I see it is that I get the credit for using the light within me. Yes, it was by my exercise of free will that the good thing happened. So I get the credit. God only gets the credit to the extent that I choose to pass it on to Him. If I view my decision as an extension of the light of God, then I will give Him credit for placing that light in me.

As for who gets the blame, God is known by many names -- "the Preventer" is not one of them. It is not his duty to usurp free will or magically make things not happen to us. It is his duty to console us when we turn to Him in sorrow and to give us emotional strength when we turn to Him in weakness and pain. We have our own part to do, which He expects. But we do it in partnership with Him.

That is my belief. If you don't agree with me or even if you feel you can't ever feel good about God, I still care just as much about you.

_________________________
My name is Joe. I am a survivor and a good man. You can count on me.

CB

"[Insert your name here], I am [Chain Breaker]. Do you see that I am your friend? Can you see that you will always be my friend?"
--Wind In His Hair, Dances With Wolves

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#159101 - 05/30/07 04:50 PM Re: God as a Father figure [Re: Chain Breaker]
FormerTexan Offline
Site Administrator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 11025
Loc: Denver, CO
Joe,

Many parts of what you shared make sense to me. I hear this one especially:

"It is not his duty to usurp free will or magically make things not happen to us."

I'm willing to bet that if we took a poll on how many would want God usurping their free will in a given moment, most people would say no. I can't tell you how often I believed in a mistake I was making before I saw it as a mistake. I would not have wanted my free will overridden, even if I was hell-bent on hurting myself.

_________________________
List of things ain't nobody got time for:

1. That


If I could meet myself as a boy...

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