The Bible declares we are made in the image of God but doesn’t specify exactly what that means. We can speculate based on our readings of Scripture. Genesis 1:26 says “God created human beings in his own image.” The exact words in Gen 1:26 are used in Gen 5:3 when stated Adam “had a son in his own likeness, in his own image.” God surely is not the least bit offended being compared/associated with us. God took that risk by creating us in His image. Since we are made in God’s image, we can better understand God as our heavenly Parent by understanding how we are as earthly parents.
As we are made in God’s image, how might we understand God’s request to glorify Him? Is God really a glory hog or a needy God? When others wish to delight in our kids, do we try to deflect that praise off them and take it all for ourselves? Are we thinking “how dare people give my children glory and not me as the parent? Don’t we want our children to be encouraged by how they are received by others? Does God really want us to see ourselves as lowly beings and to reflect all credit back to Him or share the glory alongside Him? Maybe God asking for glory is similar to parents asking children for respect. We want what is best for them, thus if they delight in our guidance they will have fulfilling lives.
Parents don’t have children so they can grow up to worship the ground we walk on. Do we only have children for purely selfish reasons rather than so they might enjoy life? God didn’t create us just so we can worship Him. God doesn’t want us to praise Him out of obligation. God wants us to love Him because we want to not because we have to, and we will once we understand who God truly is. Kids who have great parents understand wanting to follow, not having to follow. God created us for mutual pleasure. God didn’t create us to make Himself complete but creating us somehow added to His pleasure as children do a parent’s life.
Many of us may need to unlearn the things we believe about God. Those beliefs may keep us from knowing who God truly is, thus enjoying Him and life to the fullest. What is God like? Think of what you desire for your children if you are a parent or what you desired from your parents as you look back growing up. Think of God not as a reflection of your parents but the perfection of parents you always desired or wanted to be. This is God. We are made in His image!