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Question

I view God in the same way I view my dad. I think God is angry at me, critical and likes to see me in pain. I don't believe God loves me, or loves anyone.

Answer

Thank you contacting us and sharing your situation and how it is impacting your relationship with God. If it is any comfort you are not the only person to go through this experience and we hope to show that actually our heavenly Father is very different in nature to the experience you have had with your father.

In Luke 15:11-32 Jesus Christ tells a story of a father who had two sons. He tells the story to communicate to us what God is like as a father. In the story the youngest son comes to ask his father for his share of the inheritance. In effect the son was saying ‘Dad, I wish you were dead’. However, we find that the father’s response is not one of anger or punishment but he generously and graciously shares his inheritance with both his sons. Soon after the youngest son gathers all he has and goes off into a far country with no evidence to suggest that he had plans to return. In effect the son was saying to his father ‘Dad, I don’t want your involvement or input into my life’. When in the far country he proceeded to wastefully spend all his inheritance. In effect he was saying to his father ‘Dad, I don’t care about all the time and effort you have put into saving this money to secure my future’. Imagine how hurt the father must have felt when his younger son treated him this way!

Then the younger son’s money came to an end and at the same time there was a famine in the country he was living in. He managed to find a job looking after pigs but there was no food. He was so hungry he was on the verge of eating the pig food and no one helped him. Whilst in this situation he came to his senses and thought that even his father’s employees would have more food than he and so he decided to return to his father, apologise for what he had done and ask just to be taken back as an employee. He couldn’t expect to come back as a son after what he had done.

As this younger son journeyed back to his father and was getting closer to home, no doubt getting more nervous and rehearsing in his head exactly what he was going to say we read that when he was still a long way off his father saw him. This was a hint that this father had been keeping a look out, longing for the return of his son in spite of how he had treated him. On seeing his son the father ran to him. In Jesus' time for a father to run in this way, hoisting his tunic around his knees, would have been an undignified thing to do, especially in the light of how the son had treated him.

Yet this father didn’t care how undignified he might have looked; he wanted to get to his son. The father’s heart was full of compassion and he embraced and kissed him. No questions about what had happened to all his hard earned inheritance money. The son tried to blurt out his apology but I don’t think the father was listening as we are told that he was too busy getting his servants to bring some new clothes and shoes for him, a ring for his hand, which was a sign that the father was not taking his son back as an employee but taking him back fully as a son. Not only that, the father also requested a party be made ready so that they could all celebrate that the son whom the father thought was dead, was alive, the son whom he thought was lost, was found.

How despicably had the son treated his loving and generous father and yet we see that when the younger son returns that the father is full of love, compassion, grace, kindness, generosity and complete forgiveness and acceptance towards his son.

Jesus Christ told this story that we might understand that this is what our heavenly Father is like. He is a compassionate, gracious, kind, loving, generous Father who delights and rejoices in those who come to Him and trust themselves to Him.

God Himself has clearly told us that He loves us. This is more than just a statement of words; it has been demonstrated in actions as well. In the Bible we read that God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). Further on in the same book we read He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32).

God’s love for us is historically measurable. He gave His beloved, only begotten Son, for us as the sacrifice at Calvary that would do all that was necessary to open the door for us to have a relationship with God as our heavenly Father. "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13). God the Father has demonstrated to you, to all, the greatest love and on this basis He is the greatest Father anyone can have.

For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
but the Lord will take me in (Psalm 27:10)

In summary, whatever our earthly family has been like, God is and will always be a God of love and compassion. The story of the prodigal son shows us what our Heavenly Father is like: full of grace and generosity toward us. We can know God personally because of the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. I encourage you to ask God for forgiveness and call out to him today.

Here are some more Bible Verses for your further consideration:

  • John 3:16
  • 1 John 4:7-12
  • Romans 5:6-11

I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video

I encourage you to attend a local Bible believing church and speak to the leader about your question. If you want to find a local church, our Church Finder may help you: Find a Church

Please feel free to submit a question to us or to read our answer database: Ask a Question

*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise

*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline


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