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#410346 - 09/17/12 02:27 AM no offense intended
traveler Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3213
Loc: back in the USA
This is probably going to sound really strange – and I hope I don’t offend anyone. i don't think it needs a trigger warning, but if you are very conservative in your religious ideas, you might not want to go on.

I was thinking – AGAIN! – about why I didn’t feel like God loves me. I am not talking now about the “how can a loving God let something that bad happen to me?” argument – though I still lapse into that self-pity pit from time to time. I have accepted that God does love me, in theory and principle and by faith – not least because I know Jesus died for me –despite how I feel about it. But I still struggle with wanting to feel and experience and enjoy that sense of being loved.

So – for some reason I started comparing the relationship between God and me to the relationship between my wife and me. Before this I’d always compared it to a father-son relationship – which was pretty disastrous because my history in that area was so bad. Real father dies – is absent, distant, uninvolved and unreachable. Step-dad is cold, critical, cruel, abusive and rejecting. Dead end of that analogy. Always had a hard time praying because I didn’t feel like He wanted to hear from me. Felt judged, condemned, guilty – or just plain ignored. (the same vibes I was getting from step-dad and real father.)

Back to the wife comparison. That hasn’t been the best relationship either – but I knew why. There I knew the fault was mine. Not that there weren’t extenuating circumstances – but my manner of “relating” was staying distant, defensive, and unwilling to let my true self be known or touched or involved. In the past couple of months our T has been working with us to help us communicate better and revive a totally dead physical and sexual aspect of the marriage relationship. I have had a terribly difficult time either giving or receiving love with her. And also a problem with touching and being touched – even in a non-sexual way. Be it verbal, emotional, physical, sexual – none of it was connecting. And I know now it was because of my fears – triggered by memories of abuse that I had my defenses up so strong and high that nothing could penetrate from either side. And that is also how I was behaving toward God.

Our pastor said once – “God is a gentleman. He will not embarrass you or force you.” I just realized – to put it in really crude terms – God is not going to emotionally or spiritually molest or rape me. I have to be willing to give myself to Him without reservation – a consensual relationship. Sorry – this is getting weird – but as humans, our love affair with God is compared in the Scripture to a marriage. I’ve even read that the Song of Solomon is both a celebration of marital bliss in really graphic sensual imagery – and also an analogy of God’s love for us. I always had problems with that – go figure! Back to me and God - If I stay fully dressed and out of the bed (metaphorically) – I can never experience the consummation of His love. I am too far away and too well protected and insulated and defensive for the intimacy that I both crave and fear. I think I’ve been associating God with an abuser – bigger, stronger, more powerful, determined to have his way with me – get me to give in, submit, and let Him do whatever he wants with me. I already knew that I thought of him as a control freak and a voyeur. That is changing…

My wife and I have been given exercises to do to help us establish trust and intimacy on a physical level. It consists of touching one another’s bodies in various places in various ways and asking what is pleasant and what isn’t – trying to learn to give and receive “good touch” in the context of the marriage bed. I am finding that as I trust my wife more and am more open to her, I am also trusting God more and am more open to Him. She means me no harm and wants only my good. I am starting to believe that of God too. It’s not a full-on climax yet – but I think we are going gradually in that direction…

I hope this didn’t sound too creepy, but it has been profoundly meaningful to me – and I just had to share it. I thought maybe some of you might get it. I sure can’t share it in a Bible study at church or school!!! ROTFL!

Lee
_________________________
We are often troubled, but not crushed;
sometimes in doubt, but never in despair;
there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend;
and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed.
- Paul, II Cor 4:8-9

Top
#410352 - 09/17/12 08:52 AM Re: no offense intended [Re: traveler]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2569
Only those who have come to view sex as evil and dirty will find it creepy :-)

Those who study God's Word and begin to see sex as it was intended to be, will see as your are seeing. There are definitely parallels.

Quote:
I think I’ve been associating God with an abuser – bigger, stronger, more powerful, determined to have his way with me – get me to give in, submit, and let Him do whatever he wants with me. I already knew that I thought of him as a control freak and a voyeur. That is changing…


This may sound... abrupt, but... I can guarantee it! I don't mean that to be accusatory or condemning in any way, but just as a statement of fact. Humans are experiential. We interpret life and what we don't know through the things we do know, through experience. So in my case, my father was distant, uninvolved, so when God is described in the sense of a father figure, I struggle because all I know is distance, and the appearance of not caring.

For someone who experience abuse etc, that's how they'll default to see God for the same reasons. It's what you know. It's actually all very normal.

I was just saying this weekend when meeting with a few fellows that Our wives are our spouses, but God should be our lover. The intimacy between us and God should be deeper and better than with our wives, but because of culture and experience (back to that experiential interpretation again), we of course sexualize it, but in America, and probably many other places in the world, we sexualize everything!

I've hear marriage described as a triangle. With God at the top, and the husband and wife at the bottom corners. As the husband and wife get closer, it also means their closer to the top of that triangle. :-)

One last thing, I've never thought about how it makes people feel or react, but I've quite often made the statement (even in a church setting) that God is not a "Divine Rapist" who is going to force Himself on you. Maybe it does freak some people out when I say it, but it's true. :-)

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#410439 - 09/17/12 07:51 PM Re: no offense intended [Re: JustScott]
traveler Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3213
Loc: back in the USA
Originally Posted By: JustScott
Only those who have come to view sex as evil and dirty will find it creepy :-)

Those who study God's Word and begin to see sex as it was intended to be, will see as your are seeing. There are definitely parallels.


Thanks Scott -

your comments meant a lot - but - and this is a first for me - this time i wasn't waiting to see if i got it right and for someone else to validate my thoughts - as much as to share the insight - and appreciate it with me - if that makes any sense. it's a good feeling not to be quite so needy and dependent upon the opinions of others!

back to your quote - of course - that is exactly how i've always seen sex - bad, dirty, ugly, painful, evil... with my past experiences and conditioning, how could i have thought or felt anything else?

our blind spots are so obvious - once we have moved past them and identified them. but for years - i didn't see that one - that subconsciously related to God as if to an abuser. i knew i felt God was either like my inaccessible dead father - or like the tyrannical step-dad. but i never made the other connection - once i admitted that the step-dad was abusive - that i felt that way about God too. major DUH! now that i have identified and put it into words, i can consciously reject and fight that lie.

i feel different already. free-er and lighter. what i've been hoping for - some positive feelings for a change.

and i am so happy that you "get" this and don't think it's weird or that i'm some terrible heretic!
Lee


Edited by traveler (09/17/12 10:08 PM)
Edit Reason: add
_________________________
We are often troubled, but not crushed;
sometimes in doubt, but never in despair;
there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend;
and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed.
- Paul, II Cor 4:8-9

Top
#410455 - 09/17/12 10:20 PM Re: no offense intended [Re: traveler]
Country Offline


Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 642
Loc: Alabama
I won't to reply quickly and say something here. I am going to pray over this tonight bro Lee and post a reply tomorrow. I get what you are saying and you are not creepy. I was wondering if you had any children?


Edited by Country (09/17/12 10:21 PM)
_________________________
Ephesians 6:13

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

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#410459 - 09/17/12 10:43 PM Re: no offense intended [Re: traveler]
traveler Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3213
Loc: back in the USA
yes, 3 - all grown up & moved out.
and, thank God - they are all believers and seem normal and have little if any psychological problems - as far as i can tell.
_________________________
We are often troubled, but not crushed;
sometimes in doubt, but never in despair;
there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend;
and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed.
- Paul, II Cor 4:8-9

Top
#410465 - 09/17/12 11:50 PM Re: no offense intended [Re: traveler]
mike13 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/02/11
Posts: 419
Loc: California USA
Traveler I love the parallels that you draw with this. Every so often my relationship with God hits a flat spot. I too have awful relations with my dad and so I have no father son relationship to model after. My wife and I are struggling after I told her about my CSA but we will try the steps you are using. I will also use this new approach to strengthen my relationship with God. Thanks for the help Mike

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#410495 - 09/18/12 06:14 AM Re: no offense intended [Re: traveler]
Country Offline


Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 642
Loc: Alabama
Lee, the same unconditional love that you have for those kids is the same love but even greater that God has for us. When your kids were sick or hurt and crying do you recall ever thinking " I wish I could take their pain from them" ? Well our Father wants to take all of our pain from us. What a intimate relationship we have with out kids. A complete love and understanding their needs alot of times before they woven tell us. My God comforts those in need who ask for him. He is faithful and loving. He is also to be feared and not mocked for His wrath comes quickly a strongly. I never had this intimate relationship with God until I hit my knees and completely surrendered ALL. My entire life. I can relate to what you have said as I kinda felt that way before I was saved.


Edited by Country (09/18/12 10:54 AM)
_________________________
Ephesians 6:13

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

Top
#410580 - 09/19/12 12:02 AM Re: no offense intended [Re: traveler]
traveler Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3213
Loc: back in the USA
mike - glad it helped you.

Country - thanks for the reminder.

Lee
_________________________
We are often troubled, but not crushed;
sometimes in doubt, but never in despair;
there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend;
and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed.
- Paul, II Cor 4:8-9

Top


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