How can a person truly believe God is a good, kind and loving Father when they have never experienced that in their earthly father?

I see that you have spent time in orphanages, so perhaps you might have some good insight on this question.

How can a person truly believe God is a good, kind and loving Father when they have never experienced that in their earthly father.

Some have never ever known their father at all.

What do you tell the kids at those orphanages?

Kids who have missed out on so much from not having their physical father to love them as they grow up?

How do you heal that wound?

Nessa

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Vanessa,

This is a very relevant question to 2019. As so many people over the last several generations have grown up without a father in the home, it may be hard for them to visualize what the love of a father could be, let alone that it could even be beautiful or good.

I think though, that even children who grow up without a father, still long for one. While they haven’t experienced it, they still have an idea of what that love might look like, whether it be loving acceptance, a comforting embrace or a source of safety, just to name a few. In other words, people don’t necessarily need to have experienced something to know what it might feel like or even that they want it. Similar to when a child gets adopted, they know whether or not they are being loved by good parents even though they may not have ever experienced the love of a good parent before. They just know whether or not that parent fulfills that love. Another example might be marriage. When people get married for the first time, they don’t know what marriage is like through their own previous marriage experience! So how do they know that marriage is something that they want? Maybe as a result of observing a parent in a good marriage, reading a book on marriage or by observing friends in good marriages. They might even learn through their own negative experiences with relationships! Point being, is that we learn in a variety of ways and not just because we have personally experienced the good we seek.

I kind of think the same thing applies here. People can be told about who God is and who He desires to be in their lives. Great verses such as Psalm 86:15 help us understand what is meant by God as our Father, “But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness”. No one fully experiences God from an earthly father, even a good one. No earthly father gets it right all the time or can be as abounding in love as God. But even still, I know that there are hurts that people have when the word, “Father”, is mentioned and that can’t be denied. But I always encourage people to encounter Jesus. Encounter the real human who, if true, loves you in a way no person on earth could ever love you. A being who is aware of everything you’ve gone through-- the way others have failed you and the way you have failed yourself, yet chooses to love you regardless. It is that idea that I point people to for healing. God is not just another father figure, nor is He a just a being that was involved in your making, but He is the reflection of something that is the perfect existence of love, beauty, fulfillment and goodness. Something that every human, orphan or not, wants.

I hope that helps!
Alycia

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