Why Many Men Have a Flawed Concept of God

 “The history of a man’s relationship with God is the story of how God calls him out, takes him on a journey and gives him his true name. Most of us have thought it was the story of how God sits on His throne waiting to whack a man broadside when he steps out of line. Not so. He created Adam for adventure, battle, and beauty; He created us for a unique place in His story and He is committed to bringing us back to the original design.” 

John Eldredge

For many of us, our picture of God originates with our earthly fathers. Whatever weaknesses we saw in our own fathers, we transfer them to our heavenly One. Instead of understanding God as a loving, intimate Father, many of us have lost touch with His true character as a source of wisdom, truth, and love.

Our understanding of our heavenly Father has been tainted by our own broken or imperfect relationships, and it has impacted who we are as men and fathers.

Just as we have failed to understand God’s true character, we often fail to understand the vital role we play in our own stories. We have overlooked the truth that we are irreplaceable as fathers. In the fallout, we risk impacting our kids in lasting ways that God never intended.

We are sometimes so busy with our own lives that we miss opportunities to be part of theirs. We mistakenly believe that our identities are tied to the work we do and we lose touch with our roles as husbands and fathers. We’ve accepted the lie that this is as good as life will ever get, and we learn to simply “get by” in life. We may even scoff at the notion that God has more for us.

And whether we intend it or not, the people around us are internalizing these lessons as well, so that another generation stands poised to adopt the same broken belief system.

But today is a new day. Whatever we have believed before and whatever mistakes we have made, ours is a God of second chances.

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 

2 Peter 3:9

Whatever mistakes you have made, whatever lies you have believed, whatever choices you have made, God can redeem them. He can change the trajectory of your life by guiding you to the adventure He has called you to. Though he does not undo the consequences of our sin, He forgives our sin when we submit our lives to Him, and He leads us in wisdom and truth.

The men of Junto Tribe have recognized that we can simply look to the fruit of our own lives to understand whether we’re living according to truth or lies. We can look to our communities, our families, and ourselves to determine whether we’ve believed what God says about us, or whether we’ve accepted what the enemy says.

Let’s make today the day we return to God. Like the compassionate father who welcomes home the prodigal son, our Father will celebrate our return to Him. He has written an adventure that includes us, but He won’t force us to step into it.

This Father’s Day provides an opportunity to reset our lives and return to our Father; a chance to seek the identities He has created for us, beyond our jobs and our to-do lists. We can begin to produce different, better fruit as we walk with Him into the adventure He has written.

It won’t be easy, but nothing about this life is.

What story will we tell the next time Father’s Day comes around?       

 

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