Sunday, February 6, 2011

Broken Families

Last time we learned that for all of mankind, sin meant death and separation from God. My daughter’s Bible simply puts it this way.

Sadly, he sent them out of the garden.

I’m still disappointed that this is all we tell our children. And that grownups rarely study the story in depth. Let’s look at the “big kid’s version” in your Bible again. Read Genesis 3:22-24

And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

Before we move forward and get to the best part of the story, Jesus, I want to camp on this separation from God for a bit longer. It’s important to understand what was lost as best we can in order to understand the sacrifice that was made for us, the love God has for us, and what was gained on the cross through Christ. What I really want us to understand and consider is that when Adam and Eve were separated from God, they were separated from their father. Adam doesn’t call God “Father” directly in scripture but we know that was the relationship based on the whole of scripture. In Luke’s gospel, the genealogy of Jesus ends with “…Adam, the son of God”. When Adam was separated from his father, so was all of mankind. We are sinful and therefore separated from God our Heavenly Father.

Now let’s face it…the concept of God as our father is a struggle for many. Look at your relationship with your own father. Has it confused your view of God? Let me give you a personal example. My parents divorced when I was seven years old. When I was nine, my mom remarried a wonderful man and a year later, we moved 874 miles away from my dad. My stepdad has been an incredible father to me, but the fact remained that I was separated by divorce and by distance from my natural father. I struggle to this day with confusing my relationship with my earthly father with my relationship with my Heavenly Father. To be more specific, I tend to think of God as a father who I know loves me…but from a distance. A father who I know loves me but often wonder, “Does he know what’s going on with me?” Let me give you some other examples.

Was your father hard on you growing up, always demanding perfection?

Did your father dote on you as a child, always telling you how beautiful you are?

Was he too busy with “more important” things like work to have time for you?

Did your father attend every game or performance to cheer you on?

Can you see any way in which your relationship with your earthly father affects your view of God? How?

The world is full of sorry fathers that children have been separated from with no chance of reconciliation. Can I submit to you that this was Satan’s plan from the beginning? He was separated from God the Father permanently, so he sought to separate us from our Heavenly Father as well. In turn, he continues to make it his goal to separate children from their fathers in any and every way possible. If he can destroy your relationship with your earthly father, he can affect your view of your Heavenly Father.

You may not have the perfect relationship with your earthly father and there may be no chance of reconciliation BUT…NOT SO WITH YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER! We were separated from God the Father but His desire was to restore that relationship and only He could do it…and He did! It was in His plan from the beginning. If you haven’t seen Jesus in the story yet, and I bet you have, we’ll get really clear on it next time. That will be my final post on Adam and Eve so we’ll wrap things up then.

Meanwhile, consider how your relationship with your earthly father may be affecting your relationship with your Heavenly Father.

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