I try to paint an attractive view of God because I believe in such views and most people who believe in a Creator desire to feel connected to their Creator. Understandings of God determine attitudes toward God. Parents can clamor all they want about loving us, but I feel the most connected with those I can respect and relate to. The best example we have to compare God to is the relationship with our earthly parents.
Jesus, who represented God here on earth, made statements like: “Be perfect, therefore as your heavenly Parent is perfect” (Mt. 5:48). Such statements are meaningless unless we can know what perfection is. Our desire to be loved and striving to love others suggests we know what perfect love is and that it exists. God’s love as a Parent is the love we deep down desire to show our children or experience from our parents. See if you agree that the following ways characterize perfect, desired love from a parent and a God.
The one word I think of when describing what I desperately desired the most from my parents was for their love to be uncontrolling.
Real love is not taking advantage of any authority or power one may possess. It doesn’t matter if parents know what for best for their child. Controlling love” is a contradiction in terms; besides, true love can’t be forced. Freedom is the only path to authentic relationships. Evidence that God is a God of freedom is how chaotic our world is because of decisions we make contrary to God’s wishes.
A perfect God or parent never advises only because of self-interest reasons as opposed to what is best for others.
It is wrong to ask a child to pursue a certain career opposed to their gifts. Parents must be careful that advice is never about how it makes them look or because of their own personal desires. Parents must listen respectfully and respond carefully. God may warn immoral actions have consequences, but God may not interfere with evil because God knows a superior world results because of personal moral development due to choices freely made.
A perfect God or parent is quick to forgive despite their initial warnings.
Parents’ constant or subtle disfavor because of mistakes robs us of the encouragement we need. Why then would gloomy uncertainty as to God’s favor help us to conquer battles against self-centeredness or long-standing habitual sins in our life? Parents who truly forgive avoid the temptation to remind their children of their failures, as if they need reminding. All parents know what “piling on” means. Actions have consequences but a perfect God is always willing to begin anew.
A perfect God or parent is obviously morally perfect, never hiding behind “do as I say, not as I do.”
Who doesn’t know advice is cheap unless you follow your own words. A perfect God cannot declare partiality to be a sin but show favoritism toward others. The most likely interpretation of Scriptures, when disputable, is that which portrays God as the most moral to the human mind. God cannot participant in any behaviors that are declared evil for humans.
A perfect God or parent establishes rules not to glorify their authority but because such rules are always in our best interest.
A perfect parent doesn’t utter the words “because I said so” as they can’t explain the rationale for certain actions. God is fully aware a list of does and don’t is not the pathway to a friendship. Many of the OT laws are quite confusing. Some of the laws may have been because God doesn’t interfere in our freedom to determine our own laws. God may one day be able to explain the appropriateness of certain laws because of the circumstances.
A perfect God or parent never gives gifts with hidden agendas.
God didn’t create us so they could control every decision we made. God encourages us to avoid immoral paths for our own interest but supports us in being free to make decisions based on gifts and aspirations. God’s voice and ways are always loud and clear – I love you; I forgive you; I want what you want deep down. We are free without strings attached that we often feel from parents who claim support in whatever we decide. Parents may struggle with teenagers by continuing to control when more appropriate to begin letting go for a child’s own good. I am the first to take action if my child hurts others. But, their pursuit of their interests may not be what I had in mind but I am on board.
You don’t have to check your feelings or brain at the door when with God.
God is the same as parents or friends that are fun to hang with. No pretending, total openness, and complete support. Are your views of God working for you? What views of God claimed by others are keeping you from desiring more of a connection with your Creator? The God I know always has my best interests in mind but accepts my failures so I don’t give up. Some are fortunate to have such parents or even Bosses that inspire, despite it being a job, because you know they got your back.