“Momma, who is God?”.
My daughter asked me that question last summer. I am still trying to figure out how to answer her.
I didn’t grow up going to church. I say that with no hard or jaded feelings about the fact. I feel like I heard a lot about God, having grown up in middle Georgia. However, the conversation always felt more like “someone” that other people knew. I never met him.
Like my daughter is starting to now, I saw a lot of gray matter in the way people, especially the ones that made it a point to remind you how often they went to church, presented themselves and the way they authentically were when around like minded people.
Hypocrisy was something I couldn’t name back then but I felt it every time I heard a self proclaimed Christian person use the N word. Sort of today’s version of “No I don’t think you’re going to hell because you’re gay, but I’d be devastated if I found out my son or daughter was gay.” I’ve known that kick to the gut feeling you get when you see or hear hate and ignorance collide since I was very young.
As a child, I think I had a cartoonish version of God in my head. He was someone that hung in the clouds. I knew other people believed he created all of us but I was never completely sold on that idea. I knew most people around me believed that he was a protector and that you turned to him in times of need. I was never firm in that belief either.
I knew there was something more to be said about God then what was being exposed in front of me; however, the older I got the more I pushed away from his existence at all. The little bits here and there that I learned about the bible just didn’t add up.
Anger was a major divider in me being able to ever associate anything other than frustration with God. That everything happens for a reason rhetoric just irritated me and it pushed me further away. It was impossible for me to believe there was a reason for having to endure the abuse and violation being done to me. And if there was this great creator and protector that loved us all, why did he forget about me? I think I always wanted to believe, just never could given the hand I was dealt.
I’m sometimes envious of those that have the spiritual camaraderie that comes from attending church. I’ve been lucky enough to find that elsewhere though. I just can’t bring myself to look for God, or whatever other name you have for him/her/it, in a church. Even the more “modern” churches that claim to accept everyone still, from what I’ve seen, finish off sentences with “but…” when discussing non attending people’s choices.
Forgive me if I sound crass but I don’t see finding God in a church, or anywhere rather, as an acceptable claim to being a “good” person. Understand that a man that raped me for 8 years of my life found God and he found that suitable enough to send me a birthday card and a $50 check on my 19th birthday. It said “sorry I didn’t raise you kids in the church.”
The $50 bought a bag of some high grade weed to numb myself and the card just solidified my belief that being religious, in any form, does not qualify you to claim you have a clear conscious or genuine heart. I get that this is an extreme example for my rather simple point, but in writing I always promised myself I would be honest about where my thoughts generate from.
It wasn’t until I was in my late 20’s, which coincided with becoming a mother, that I began to question my lack of faith. Years of rebuilding myself worked towards letting the anger go. I was starting to find it more difficult to fight the idea of God’s existence than acknowledge it. I knew there was something greater than myself because I could feel it. It was something that I could identify as borne out of and moving within the forces of love. I began to open myself more to the idea of spirituality. I started to see how there could possibly be a distinction between religion and spirituality.
I was becoming more and more aware of a force around me that was powerful, magical, comforting and often ironic. I started to understand and accept that I was allowed to have faith even though I wasn’t brought up in a church or attending one now. I learned that my faith is in no way connected to a book. Especially one that is often turned to for direction on every aspect of life. I try not to turn to any one thing when looking for answers or guidance. I just know I would miss something if I lived like that.
Maybe I should look at the other side of things and say maybe if I had God more present in my life as a young child, I would have felt more protected or secure or less lost. I suppose I have come to know that side after all though. I know now he was there, just in a shape or form that didn’t fit the better known version. The praying hand nic nack, a bleeding man hanging from a cross or a pregnant virgin were not things in my view growing up, but God was present without the physical signs. I know that because I survived. And in some strange way I recognize I am a stronger person because of all of the pain.
Had I not had “someone” help hold me up and carry me through all that, the end result of all the abuse would look very different on me. God helped raise me. Just not in a church or with the help of scripture.
So, I return to the question at hand. How do I give a simple answer to my daughter when I’m still not sure I have it figured out in my own head? I refer to the greater power as “God” only because I don’t know what else to call it. I say “he” because “it” doesn’t sound fitting enough, and people get too rattled when I say “she.” How does a mom that believes in both science and a greater power answer that question in way a very inquisitive four year old will be satisfied with?
For now, my daughter knows God is love. It’s the only thing about this whole topic that I can be sure of at this point. I refuse to fill her head with scripted rhetoric because it’s the easy way out. She and I are both very much students on this topic. Students that will perhaps, along the way, teach each other.
464 thoughts on “Can Someone Tell My Daughter Who God Is Please.”
He is our powerful awesome father, creater of all things and beings, lover of our life. sent his son who died for our sins making sure we have a way to heaven one day when our life here is over our souls will bem forever. accept himbelieve
Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.
Hi. Beautiful post. It shocks me though to read the comments on your post. I live in a part of the world torn apart by religious differences. The good thing about the west i guess is that you do no have this religious melange. here, if you’re muslim then you do not go to heaven (for christians of course), if you’re christian you’re a sinful human being (for muslims of course). I do not believe in God. I believe we are the outcome of an outstanding evolution that took millions of years to take shape. If god really exists then god is an evil entity that forgot about a major part of the world and is taking care of a small portion of it. Wars, famine, drought, killings in his name, child abuse, child cancer, kids mortality, (stressing on kids since they are the only innocent being to walk this earth, if i want to believe that god is judgemental) and then the powerful gets richer and more comfortable and the good hearted gets fucked. I have lost my faith a long time ago. i am a mother of two and i live in a part of this world where my kids not only ask me about god but ask me about jesus and mohamad as well. So good luck T. Dawn in answering your child properly :).
Wow. That was incredibly honest and a bit hard to hear for me. I won’t even begin to comment on the life you and your children have to navigate. I can’t understand why religion tears so many lives apart. It takes my faith far away from naming an actual “God”. At my chore, my connection is more with Mother Earth than any patriarchal “father” figure. I’ve survived 33 yrs without a father rather well …I don’t need an imaginary one to solve any issues at this point.
Thank you so much for reading my post and sharing your thoughts with me. Much love.
🙂 I really like the way you put it.
God is the greatest love imaginable, and then even greater still. God is the switch that turns off the deepest pain ever felt. God is the center of all faith when you do not know where your next meal will come from, but you have faith that it will be provided. God is the provider of things that happen in the 11th hour. God is who carries us through each ‘worst time of our lives’, and makes us that much stronger for the next ‘worse time of our life’. God is the voice in our head that says ‘everything will be alright’ if we ask “can I get through this?”. God is Faith, Love, Strength, and above all…God Is!
Beautifully said!!! Thank you.
I have two thoughts for you to ponder:
1. No one fully understands God’s miracles/ways/creations, that is where FAITH comes in.
2. Not attending church because of the hypocrite attendees is like not attending the gym because of the obese attendees (ie. everyone has weaknesses, this just illustrates that no one is perfect besides Jesus Christ himself).
Thanks for reading and commenting. I will say this though, I don’t go to church because it doesn’t fit my lifestyle and I choose not to participate not because hypocrites are there. I am well aware they are everywhere.
Who is God? In my opinion (and I say this knowing fully well I’m still going to get flack for it) God is an imaginative creation of man that creates a sense of right and wrong. God is a being that is so far beyond human thought because his proven existence would leave vulnerability and possible eradication of belief. Let me pose a question to you. What is free will? The ability to choose and make choices regardless of God. However, ask any Christian. Does God have a plan for you life? Yes, he has designed you from birth to death. He knows everything that will happen. But if this is true, than God design homosexuality. He designed abortion. God designed your life and knew what would happen thus meaning he allowed all the woes of the world. And if everything was designed, than free will is a sham. If free will is a sham, then morality is based on a false truth. Coming back to your original question. Who is God? Who indeed…
No flack here. I get it. Your questions are valid ones. The whole “God has a plan for you” thing is a bit much to swallow. I’m not saying I don’t believe or that I do.
One thing that was slightly “off” for me about your comment is that you referred to God designing homosexuality and abortion as an atrocious and offensive idea. Isn’t that judging rather than trying to understand?
I am just saying that if God designed all life than homosexuality and abortion were made by and conceived by God. In no way am I judging. I was a Christian myself and proud of it at one time. If it seemed that I was making them atrocities it was not intended! I am pro choice and pro gay rights.
It’s crazy how words can get interpreted so differently isn’t it? So sorry for that. Didn’t mean to come across as rude…however I do tend to get a bit worked up about those particular topics.
As do I! As a science person that’s what you understand. Logic, reason, and proven fact. But to all humans, faith is illogical, unreasonable and unproven. So I think the most honest answer to give is…faith. Faith is a belief without logic, reason, or fact. I would disagree to say God is love based on Old Testament principles. I would say Jesus was more that title. But then again, isnt Jesus technically a Demigod? Son of God in human form?
Whoa…you lost me! lol….I’ll stick to trying to wrap my head around faith for now.
Free will is central to Christian belief. We believe that God created us with the capacity for independent thought. He created us with the capacity to choose good or evil.
In the story of Adam and Eve, God judges them because they made a bad decision. He was just and right to judge them because they had the capacity to make their own decisions. (You wouldn’t blame a sheep for being a sheep).
Yes, I believe God has a plan for my life.
No, I don’t think there is any contradiction between free will and God’s providence and sovereignty.
Let me put it like this: God has chosen to have a people who are WILLING to come to Him in repentance and faith.
If I were an atheist, I think I would have much more trouble with accepting free will. Doesn’t cause and effect negate the idea of free will? (I don’t think it does, but that is because I believe I am more than merely atoms and molecules).
Does good and evil exist? Are some actions good and some actions evil? (I certainly believe so). I would use good and evil as a pointer to God’s existence. His nature defines what good and evil are…
If you do not accept God, then there really is no such thing as good and evil. There only “is”. I think atheism leads to a moral dilemma (literally).
I disagree with your definition of faith. How can you put your faith in something if you have no idea what it is? If I put my faith in a chair (that it will support my weight), I need to understand what the chair does, and what gravity is, and make a judgement about whether I believe it can do its intended job.
If it was possible to prove that God exists (or does not exist) using reasoned argument alone, don’t you think that we would have done so by now.
Logic and reason can only prove internal validity of a thought system. (It can only show that your assumptions are valid). It cannot tell you whether your assumptions are true. Therefore, there is no logical argument for or against God.
There is ONLY faith.
(Last point: Jesus claimed that he was God. Not a demi-god. Either he was a madman, or he was telling the truth).
Allow me if you will to break down what I have read. I love your response. It was a real thinker.
-Free will is central to Christian belief. We believe that God created us with the capacity for independent thought. He created us with the capacity to choose good or evil.-
Yes because we were created in his image and likeness. Therefore, he can also choose good or evil. It is believed however that he is not a sinner because he is God. Yet the old testament shows him murdering and killing Israelites. So was God a murderer? Or because he is God he can do whatever he wants? Are you worshiping a creator or a Destroyer?
-In the story of Adam and Eve, God judges them because they made a bad decision. He was just and right to judge them because they had the capacity to make their own decisions. (You wouldn’t blame a sheep for being a sheep).-
I would blame a sheep for being a sheep becuase he is a sheep! However if I had a wolf nin sheeps clothes would you not still blame the sheep as this is what you thought you saw? Adam and Eve seem to have been given true free will. However when you claim that God knows everything and knows the end result of everything, then life has no point. Would you play the lottery if the government already knew what the outcome would be and when? If it was designed for specific people to win and others, regardless of how much they bought into it, would lose? Who created sin? The first sin is said to be Adam and Eve, but wouldnt it actually have been the deception by the Snake? The snake was created before man. It is said that Satan was cast out of heaven. Was that before man? And shouldnt the cast out be the first sin?
-Yes, I believe God has a plan for my life.-
And I assume that he does for everyone then? Therefore, those who died as sinners, what was there purpose? To be sent to hell? What is the plan for homosexuals that die? What was Gods plan for native americans who did not know Jesus before they died? They did not even have a chance. And since we see that they had God’s of their own, i can only assume that the God of the Bible did not care for them as he did others.
-No, I don’t think there is any contradiction between free will and God’s providence and sovereignty.-
But if God intervenes, it destroys free will. Some would call this a Miracle. Some call it Duress.
-God has chosen to have a people who are WILLING to come to Him in repentance and faith.-
And the others are to be condemned even though they were designed that way? If we are made in his image, does that make us like God or does that make us a flaw of his own image?
-If I were an atheist, I think I would have much more trouble with accepting free will. Doesn’t cause and effect negate the idea of free will? (I don’t think it does, but that is because I believe I am more than merely atoms and molecules).-
If I were an atheist, free will is what we live every day. I can choose whatever I do. Good and evil do not have to exist. Cause and effect are just a scientists way of explaining physical properties. Anyone can choose to cause an action. The effect will happen regardless, right? Would it be safe to say that the “effect” is God’s privdence? (I would think not)
-Does good and evil exist? Are some actions good and some actions evil? (I certainly believe so). I would use good and evil as a pointer to God’s existence. His nature defines what good and evil are…-
That would mean that evil is from God if I am reading your definition correctly. This leads me to believe we are merely a playground for God.
-If you do not accept God, then there really is no such thing as good and evil. There only “is”. I think atheism leads to a moral dilemma (literally).-
I am not an atheist. I have a STRONG faith is another religion. However, good and evil do exist based
-I disagree with your definition of faith. How can you put your faith in something if you have no idea what it is? If I put my faith in a chair (that it will support my weight), I need to understand what the chair does, and what gravity is, and make a judgement about whether I believe it can do its intended job.-
Correct, how can you! Who truly knows who or what God is? Thats why its faith. As for the chair, you have faith it will hold. So what happens when you sit down? Faith is gone because you no longer doubt the chairs intention. You have faith in God. There is no way to prove or disprove this so therefore faith is what holds your belief.
-If it was possible to prove that God exists (or does not exist) using reasoned argument alone, don’t you think that we would havedone so by now.-
The Catholic church decided which books of the Bible should be in the Bible. Why disregard possible accounts for it? Why are so many religions the exact same with different names and authors?
-Logic and reason can only prove internal validity of a thought system. (It can only show that your assumptions are valid). It cannot tell you whether your assumptions are true. Therefore, there is no logical argument for or against God. There is ONLY faith.-
Agreed. Which brings us to her question again. Who is God? lol…what fun!
-(Last point: Jesus claimed that he was God. Not a demi-god. Either he was a madman, or he was telling the truth).-
If Jesus was God, modern Christians break a commandmant every day. Placing Jesus before “God”. Also, if he was a God besides the God of Creation, that means there are other Gods. Commandment: You shall have no other God except for me. Jesus’ claim to be a God proves the existence of other Gods. Zues was the father of Hercules. A human. That makes him a Demi-God. Jesus is the son of God. Making him a Demi-God. (If he was telling the truth)
Thanks for replying to my reply of your reply!
“It is believed however that he is not a sinner because he is God. Yet the old testament shows him murdering and killing Israelites. So was God a murderer? Or because he is God he can do whatever he wants? Are you worshiping a creator or a Destroyer?”
God is not like us. We have some of His characteristics but we are marred by a sinful nature. We are “fallen”.
In Christian theology, God is sometimes referred to as the “decretal cause of sin”. That means that God allowed us to fall. He allowed sin to happen. However, the bible also explains why: “… He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will” (Ephesians 1:4-5).
Therefore, God chose to redeem a people at great cost to Himself.
God is not a murderer. As our creator, he does have every right to deal with us as he sees fit. And he does have the right to judge us. I’m not sure which part of the Old Testament you had in mind when you suggested that God killed Israelites – perhaps you could be more explicit (thanks). All the passages I can immediately think of when God “killed” people were in response to their evil ways. He acted justly as well as sometimes to prevent further atrocities (e.g. the Egyptians crossing the Red Sea).
“However when you claim that God knows everything and knows the end result of everything, then life has no point”.
I would agree that most of what we do has no ultimate point. The bible also agrees with you there. “Meaningless, meaningless…” it says in Ecclesiastes Chapter 1. Going to work, writing on blogs, physical exercise… every activity in the final analysis is utterly meaningless. We all die. We cannot take money, or anything else for that matter, with us.
Only one thing matters. Whether our names will be written in the Lamb’s book of life… and if God had not created humanity, none of us would end-up in heaven.
“Why are so many religions the exact same with different names and authors?”
I believe Christianity is unique as a religion, and the bible is substantially different in its key messages from every other religious text that I have read.
The bible says that we are “justified by faith, through grace…”. This means that God has done all the hard work, we only need to accept the forgiveness that He offers us. His supreme act of sacrificial love sets us free. Our response, then, should be to love Him and then other people. Christianity is liberating and empowering.
Compare that to other religions, where it says what kinds of “works” you need to complete in order to justify yourself. There is mainly striving, with no guarantee that you have done enough.
“If Jesus was God, modern Christians break a commandmant every day. Placing Jesus before “God”. Also, if he was a God besides the God of Creation, that means there are other Gods. Commandment: You shall have no other God except for me. Jesus’ claim to be a God proves the existence of other Gods.”
The doctrine of the Trinity:
– God the Father = Jesus (God the Son) = the Holy Spirit.
One God (therefore we do not break the First of the 10 commandments).
The way I think of it is like this:
– God the Father is the part of God that remains in heaven
– Jesus is the part of God that enters into humanity
– the Holy Spirit is the part of God that enters into the souls of believers to help prepare us for heaven
While we are made in God’s image, we are not exactly like God. This makes it difficult for us to grasp exactly what He is like.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
I think the biggest mistake that all of us make (Christians and non-Christians) is to forget (or not appreciate) that he is God, and not as small-mined, selfish and self-involved as we are. His thoughts and ways are sooo much greater than ours!
I’m not a fan of citing this way but it works…
I understand some of these are just killings but then why are the punishments given at that time not used today? By the way, the Trinity doctrine is a pick and choose grouping of verses. Not actual statements. It clearly separates the three into different beings.
Thanks for the reference. I had a look…
It seems clear to me that not only was God justified in each of those situations, but that God them gave every opportunity to repent of their sins before he took action.
For example: the first reference is to the Flood.
“The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain…Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways”. (Gen 6:5-6, 11-12)
I think that makes it clear that God was making a judgement on humanity’s sin. He is not a blood-thirsty maniac, but a Holy God who cannot merely sweep sin under the carpet and pretend it never happened.
There is more than adequate narrative in the bible to justify the actions that God takes. What is never, ever justified, in any of those passages, is the sin of the people concerned!
Yet God gives opportunity after opportunity for man to repent and turn back to Him. Noah spent a hundred years building the Ark, and preached all that time about the coming judgement. People laughed at Him and continued in their sinful ways.
How much warning is enough for people to start taking heed? God gave them a lifetime – and nobody repented…
You also asked: “why are the punishments given at that time not used today?”.
God’s plans have been working themselves out throughout history. You could say that history is His Story.
The Old Testament, in my view, points out time and time again that we are a sinful race in desperate need of a Saviour.
We now live in the New Testament era. Jesus has died upon the cross for the sins of the world. Our standing before God has shifted. Yet, God remains sovereign over our lives.
The other point you made was about the doctrine of the Trinity… I (and other Christians) think there is more than sufficient verses in the bible to support it. Here’s just two examples:
Jesus said: “Before Abraham was, I AM”. (John 8:58)
Jesus said: “I and the Father are one”. (John 10:30).
The Jews knew what he meant. On each of those occasions they wanted to stone Him there and then for claiming to be the Jewish God.
I love C.S.Lewis’s ability to make these matters clear. Here’s a helpful extract from one of his books.
you have a coin, one side is love, but the flip side is hate . . . this is emotional love.
you have a coin, one side is love, the flip side is also love . . . this is love as a state of being.
God is not a physical/emotional entity . . . God is a state of being.
Hmmmm those are some words to ponder! Thanks for responding.
actually Dawn you probably realize by now that practically everybody you ask has a different viewpoint concerning God . . .
I told my daughter when she asked that question that God is an artist who has chosen to reveal himself only through the things that he has made . . . meaning nature. . . . then we went to the woods and I began to show her His work.
She is 45 now and still sees God in all His various life forms. . . true or false it gave her a deep love for all living things . . . 🙂
That’s one of the most beautiful life lessons I’ve ever heard actually. Thank you for sharing that! I have a feeling I’ll be stealing your words of wisdom. God as an artist!!…I love that.
By all mean, tell her the truth. I can’t believe you went through that and can still tell your daughter that some mythical figure in the sky is watching over her. Santa is cute story for children, and so is Jesus. It’s nice that she gets to know that beautiful story, but make sure she knows it’s just that, a story. In time, teach her that she has to forge a life for herself. Her life and behavior don’t have to be dictated by a book assembled in 325 AD by a Roman emperor who was looking for a way to rule an empire.
Yeah I plan to tell her exactly that…no one thing will answer her question. Only she can and I can only help encourage her along the way.
Hi, here’s the thing, to your daughter, you are God. You and her Dad are equally responsible for her creation and while you didn’t create the world, you do create the world that surrounds your daughter. You are the holder of knowledge and resources and must be fair and equitable in the way you manage your household, behaviour and dreams.
I was brought up to believe in God and Jesus, but luckily my Mum was very broad minded and while my friends were turning away from God, I decided I didn’t want to deny him entirely as it might be tempting fate and the rules I had learned from the stories I had been told seemed like reasonable and fair rules to me. I allow my heart to believe as I feel it is good for my soul, but in my mind I believe God is just a concept created by parents millenia ago to be the higher power who stands behind parents ability to manage their children’s behaviour and be glad of what you have without always wanting what others have.
What is important is the way you conduct yourself and believing in a magical power source is no bad thing. Empathy is that magical power source and you can’t get it from a computer, only by interacting with other humans and making connections. I have been following that magic all my life which is why I work as a storyteller to children, it is an energy force that is within us all and feels magical when you share it. Like that song “love is something if you give it away, you end up getting more”
So, you have ultimate power in your daughter’s life and a loving God teaches you how to be a good parent by being emotionally resilient, full of empathy and understanding and ever forgiving. All humans behave badly at times and parenting with empathy is about helping your daughter to make the right choices in life without having to resort to bribery or threats. It also helps you to understand which human behaviours are to be encouraged and which should be discouraged – there is a passage about love in Corinthians often read at weddings which teaches clearly how we should be – Love is kind, love is not boastful etc
I enjoy telling my daughters not to be vain as I know the effect – it makes them believe they are beautiful, but to boast about it or think it defines them isn’t considered. We manage our children’s behaviour by getting them to WANT to do the right thing, how we do that will define the way they manage their own thoughts, feelings and behaviours for the rest of their lives – what a responsibility!!! Parenting with an unconditional love and being fair and logical by pointing out consequences of your daughters actions will help her to choose the “right path” that Jesus talks about. We are shaping our children’s minds and that is what religions try to do.
I think it is perfectly reasonable to believe in “God” if you imagine him as the empathy and love alive in the hearts and minds of all our millions of ancestors since the beginning of time, while knowing full well there isn’t a beardy man up in the sky.
Well said. Thanks for reading and commenting.
The teachings of Jesus are all good and allowing your daughter to have a relationship with a perfectly good human outside of her family who loves her unconditionally just for being herself allows her to feel strength when as a parent we are having a bad day and being a bit unreasonable or irrational. It’s hard for parents to get it right all the time, Jesus/God picks up the flack and teaches her to be herself and do what she enjoys most.
I just figured her and her brother would do dual therapy sessions to resolve that issue! Ha!…sorry. Not demeaning your comment at all. It’s a wonderful response. Thank you so much for reading.
If you want a community that helps you to understand that question from a completely logical point of view check out
Hi T. Dawn. I just came across this post and was intrigued with it and found your thoughts very well shared, in spite of how painful it probably was to put them down. Thanks for sharing so honestly. I can also see that you read all of the comments, and are personal and respond to them, so it shows you are not just blowing off steam at Christians or religion, but were seriously probing the topic and wondering about it. Obviously it doesn’t have a quick easy answer, anymore than a stranger trying to tell someone who another stranger is. What criteria do you use to tell who someone is? What aspects of their character do you point to? What actions they have performed would you tell about? How much of what you hear about them is really truly them? It is complicated to tell someone else Who God Is. But the first step is to find out about Him in his own Book, and while reading it, continually ask Him to reveal Himself to you. His character, His passions, His appearance, His presence is all revealed in that book, and it is the best way to get to know Him. People cannot reflect Him perfectly, because people are imperfect. What you see and hear of people who try to represent God to you, is through a grid of their own imperfections and will never be quite accurate. Read His words. He describes Himself there. God bless you as you search for your answer. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you so much for reading. Your shared thoughts are appreciated and resonate with me. The support all around me and daughter with this “journey” has been amazing.
I like the way you write, it’s very emotional and moving.
To answer your question: I honestly don’t know. I don’t have kids myself and I haven’t figured out the God thing yet. I tend to believe, then not believe, but when I believe it is with thoughts similar to yours. Perhaps I would say something like: “God is your friend. God is love. God is the air you breathe. God is the sun, the flowers and the trees. God is the ocean. God is in you. God is a powerful spirit which can offer us protection and faith.”
That sounds pretty preaching, perhaps, but that’s what I’d say, I guess. But then, when I have my own kids, I might not say that at all. However, I wouldn’t wanna raise them by a book or make them go to church. That I’m sure of! Churches can be very beautiful and all that, they have even made me cry because of the peace I found in them, the beautiful paintings and all the history they contain. I don’t think I have to go to a church to find God, though. And neither should my kids. If they want to, yes, but I would wanna tell them that they can find God in a lot of other things as well.
Honestly your comment didn’t sound preachy at all. It was quite lovely and honest I would say. It is a bit refreshing for me actually… It’s been a bit heavy over here lately. I relate to your definitions very much. Thanks for reading.
god is everywhere, god is in flowers, creatures, trees, means its present everywhere. its inside us all the time, each and every single breath we take just because the presence of god. truly, god is not present in churches & temples, that is our faith which allows or force us to go to church or temple where we find some piece of relaxation and increase our energy. Just imagine, just imagine that moment when we come out from church or temple, the face of every single person is so calm and every person thinking about his/her wish, but in few seconds that calmness blows away and we find ourself again in this world. so, if we are really talking about god…then we have to find it, yes, we cannot see him but can feel it by providing a piece of bread to that person who really hungry from past few days, when we do that and we get the calmness in our face, in our body, when we start realizing we did for SOMEONE.
that…that is god…
SO TELL YOUR LIL ANGLE THAT DO GOOD KARMA…BECAUSE IN GOOD KARMA GOD ALWAYS PRESENT AND WE CAN SEE HIM BY DOING IT…
I completely agree with you. I’m a strong believer in karma. Thanks for sharing your wonderful thoughts.
Maybe suggest that God is an invisible entity that one cries out to in a time of need when no one else is around to cry to. Really it’s up to her whether or not she believes in God, but maybe it will bring her comfort and a way to ease her mind.
It definitely will be up to her to figure it all out. Thanks for reading.
I’m sincerely flattered. Thanks so much and I’m so inspired that my own questions and thoughts have triggered others to be inspired as well.
I love your post, and have enjoyed reading the responses it has attracted too. You are right, God is Love, and that is a great place to start. Being in a ‘church community’ is important for me, as although I believe ‘Christians’ can do so much damage to the name of the church, it is also where I get my teaching and can share my life and thoughts with others. I look forward to hearing more about your journey of faith and to see where it leads. Seek His guidance
Hey thanks! I’m actually pretty excited about the journey myself. I’m quite surprised at the amount of people that have joined me. I’m a bit smitten and very inspired. Thanks for understanding the love I was trying to describe in that piece.
Hi T. Dawn, I am a fellow Georgian. I was raised in the Southern Baptist tradition but am now an Atheist. I know the negative connotation that word holds but if I may add my few cents worth into the conversation. The one mistake I made with my son was forcing my religion down his throat, forcing him to go to church and forcing him to take on my beliefs as a Christian. I removed any chance of him being able to think for himself simply because someone did the same to me and I thought it was that right thing to do at the time.
I know your daughter is young and probably doesn’t understand the differences between all the religions and different beliefs in God/Gods, but I beg you please do not force a belief on her. Allow her to grow with the ability to make her own decisions about religion and about God. Even though this may seem premature, giving her the ability to make her own decisions creates her ability to be a critical thinker and this will serve her very well in the future.
Thank you for allowing me to put in my ten cents worth and I wish you the best.
Being a critical thinker is one of the only lessons I know how to teach and give guidance to. I know a part of that comes from not being raised in a religious household. So no fears my friend, my journey is one of discovery on a spiritual level. I have no intentions in attempting to tell my daughter to think any one way. That would be a travesty in my eyes. Thanks for reading and responding.
I have an idea and I think you’ll get the answer you’ve been looking for. Why don’t you ask her who SHE thinks God is? My children have always been and still are, my best teachers.
I plan to do this in fact. I can only imagine her response! Thanks for reading.
I just found your post, and couldn’t help but skim through the comments, too. I am in awe to see how you are evolving in your journey to find/know God just in these days since publishing….your faith and understanding, while not finished, is inspiring.
I was raised in church and left it and God in my late teens. I, too, saw the Bible just as a book, and that Christians used God and satan as a copout to avoid personal responsibility.
Now I am in my 30’s and have a four year old son, and in his infancy I found my self in a similar journey…what beliefs would I instill in him? I returned to God, and instead of seeking the Bible or church, I allowed Him to reveal to me His truth, rather than believing what I was told to. It took four years of Him working on my heart to bring me back to God and Jesus Christ wholly and committed, and I am no where near the end of that journey still, but now I have a foothold. And He does speak to us in small whisperings, we need only have an attentive ear.
Keep searching with an open heart! God will reveal to you what truth He intends for you. Many blessings to you and your daughter!
Oh and “the fear of the Lord” is not to mean fright or terror, but reverent respect. I only learned this a month ago. Really wish I had known this as a child! 🙂
Thank you for telling me about your own journey. It seems we have been on parallel paths. I have grown and been lifted right up by the enormous amounts of responses and different point of views regarding my post. It’s truly a beautiful thing. I plan to keep an open and forward moving heart.
“I am who I am,” He told Moses..
I actually say that all the time. Interesting. Thanks for reading and sharing.
Great write-up, our journey with God is sometimes full of doubts and that does not mean that we know him less but as you said at the end of the day God is love and he does truly care for us. I love the honesty with which you bared your soul. That honesty is what is lacking in Christians who think they know it all and turn to judge people and drive them away from churches. It is a journey and we need to take it a step at a time
The journey of many … The responses – lessons – worthy of a book!! Thank you for a post that has touched so many of us in different ways. I loved your one response to an earlier post … “Prove it!” … To me, that is the -for want of a better word- “criteria” of knowing God – proving Him! How do you KNOW the wind is blowing? PROVE it! The trees are swaying, the chimes are clinking, the breeze is blowing your hair. How do you KNOW God? Prove Him! It is in the way He operates in your life that you’ll KNOW. And the one other poster – forgive me, this has become so long that I can’t recall the poster’s name! – LOVE is the way you PROVE GOD! That is the beginning of how He reveals Himself to us. HE will take it from there …
Lovely comment (= I seriously could not be happier with the responses I have received. Some were exactly how I pictured them to be in that it felt like I was trying to be sold some magical idea but most were heartfelt, vulnerable, educational, inspiring and so many more things to me. Thank you for reading not only the post but the discussions that followed afterwards. It’s been pretty awesome.
I agree! The responses to your very valid question are – for the most part- awesome!! I am a Christian. I believe in the Bible. But one of the most damaging things to Christianity, I believe, is to take MY life and make it the standard for everybody else.
I was raised in a predominately Catholic family. As a child I never really understood what religion was and in some ways the rituals and teachings kind of scared me. You have to admit, it all looks pretty bizarre to a child. During my teens; however, I rebelled against the idea of some power influencing my life; naturally because I was frustrated and angry about life. When I reached the age of 19 I began my journy out into the world alone. It was then that I began to experience things in every way, I was also exposed to many cultures, beliefs and ideas. It was after all of this that I began to generate my own idea of what God was as well as ideological process that helped me tie the physical and meta-physical world together. Feed your daughter small ideas about God. These ideas will eventually grow to something bigger when her mind wants to expand on it. In this way she can adapt her own interpretation of things, rather than being spoon fed information. The later seems to chase so many young ones away from the idea of there being a God, as it doesn’t allow them any freedom to creatively concieve of God in a way that they may understand better in their own way.
Your words are so raw and real. I appreciate your honesty. I was raised in a Christian home and have gone to church all my life. While I don’t in any way regret this, and am thankful for my upbringing, I struggle with the hypocrisy so often displayed in the church. Not to mention the unsatisfying “Christianese” that is tossed around all too lightly. When you have grown up so closely in that “inner circle” it is harder to recognize and break free from this, and to just follow God honestly. But if we could get over the fact that whether we call ourselves Christians or not, it doesn’t make us any better or worse. We are all completely broken and messed up, and if we recognized that and accepted it, then I don’t think the church would be as much of a turn off to us.
That was very thought provoking, thank you for sharing!
Hello, Dawn! I think You have answered Your Daughter quite Well. Love to You both.
Well thank you!
Reblogged this on bougiebrownbaabe's Blog.
I love reading the responses, and am somewhat amazed at how many seem to follow a pattern of putting man, man’s knowledge and man’s perception of God above what God has revealed and given to us as His word. But we are told “seek ye first the kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33) and that Jesus is “the away, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6). It does not matter what men (we) think God is, but rather what God has told us or revealed to us concerning Him, that He is, that he has a plan for our salvation and eternal life, and what we must do to “come unto Him.” It is not to make the Church, or the Bible, or anyone else’s beliefs to conform to ours, but rather to make our beliefs conform to His word.
As to God is love (1 John 4:16), God is a spirit (John 4:24), God is the spirit of truth (1 John 4:6), we see God in nature (his creations), he is everywhere, he is in our hearts, …. Yes, but God is so much more. He is a real being, he is our Father (Heb. 12:9), He knew us before we came to live on this earth (Jeremiah 1:5), He knows us and loves us with the perfect love of a perfect parent. When you feel that love, it will be the most magnificent feeling and will help you to have the desire to seek Him and learn of Him.
How important to us is learning of God? Jesus said that our eternal life depends on us knowing God and His son, Jesus Christ (John 17:3). Sometimes it appears that there is no way to learn of God in this mortal life, but if it is that important that it means our very eternal life, and He loves us as a perfect parent, then it is only logical that He would provide a way to learn the truth about Him. I know that He has done just that.
Living where we do, our local school system has shocked us by sending our daughter home with a belief not only in God, but also in the local NFL team. My daughter is six years old.
I asked her if she could see God? Could she touch him? Could she talk to God, as in, an actual back and forth conversation like she and I were having?
I asked her why she believed in God. She said because her friends told her to do so. We talked about thinking things through for yourself, and not always taking everything you hear as truth, and doing a bit of investigation. Also, that “believing” is a form of commitment. Was she truly ready to make such a broad statement to the world about herself? We talked about other planets…and how although she couldn’t easily see them without a telescope, or touch them….that we’ve proven they are there. That the Earth revolves around the sun (something 25% of Americans recently polled failed to realize), and that at one time it was considered wrong to think that. So wrong, in fact, that it could get you in major trouble. Just for a having your own thought.
I proceeded to explain to her, that whereas I don’t believe in God, I don’t disbelieve in God either. I told her though, that as long as she has clearly thought things through, I’d never make fun of her for her beliefs, and I would support her for her beliefs. I may ask her about them. I may ask pointed questions to probe. But I will always respect her, and her beliefs.
I am a “Devout Agnostic”. I am damned sure I have no frakking clue what in the hell to believe. I also personally feel that if there is an all knowing God, he/she/it wold understand why I question, and accept me much as I accept my daughter.
This is how I was raised.
Well I rather enjoyed your response and I too still lack any frakking idea what to believe. I’m definitely more open to the unknown than I was when I was younger but remain a cautious person of faith…if that makes any sense.
I’m often left feeling completely drained by quotes of scripture and an unquestionable devotion to any thing really.
I’ve been swimming in a sea of support and strong opinions with this post. Your response was refreshing. Thank you!
Warning, sappy real life ahead!!!
You’re more than welcome 🙂
I wasn’t sure to expect when I saw the title of your post, but I was pleasantly surprised when I read it. Folks hold beliefs so fervently to their hearts…and can become downright rabid if you actually even suggest that you might DARE to have a slightly different opinion.
I was particularly heartened when I saw your statement regarding envying the community and sense of comfort that those with faith have.
My ex wife, who shall be henceforth referred to as “The Banshee”, was a Roman Catholic from England. When we were getting married, good friends of mine found out we were getting married at about the same time they were in Bombay India. Sanjay actually made the declaration that my fiance and I would be married along with him and his fiance at their families wedding! If you are at all aware with Indian tradition, this is no small thing he was offering. Weddings in India can take days. And cost quite a bit of dough. Imagine how crushed I felt both she and her parents firmly said no to the idea. Throughout our marriage, I envied “The Banshee”s faith. It seemed to be of true comfort to her. Albeit, staring at crucifixes in every room was a bit unnerving, coming from a positively non-secular household myself.
The day she called me to inform me that she and our daughter would not be returning to the US from a visit to family was a crushing blow. She informed me that she intended to file for divorce in the UK. I asked her how this was possible, given that divorce is not allowed in Roman Catholicism.
“The Banshee” replied, “well, we weren’t married in a Roman Catholic church, so the marriage didn’t matter.”
Yepp, crushed. And she felt completely justified in the way she was handling things between her and I, and our daughter, because of her religion.
I know plenty of people whom I have great respect for because of who they are. And for who they are in and around their faith. These are truly good people. I love them like family.
“The Banshee”, well, although my daughter is a sadness I get to deal with for the rest of my life, she can rot in hell if there is one.
Sorry for going sappy, but, this was my experience.
Here’s something a bit lighter than my previous response….and something germane to the topic at hand, Love….as someone you so poignantly pointed out God is…
Someone once told me that God has no grandchildren. Everyone has to find Him on their own. I think your last statement is right, you will both find Him in your own ways and share in that experience. Children love mystery even though they ask a million questions. You two will have some great adventures discovering Him in the everyday. I hope that helps.
Thanks. I think you’re definitely right about everyone finding out for themselves.
I have followed the posts made on this blog with great interest, and would like to address a couple of comments about finding God in a Church. A couple of posts have expressed an inability to find God in a Church, and so they have given up on a church. I agree that you do learn somewhat about God by looking at and appreciating His creations–this beautiful world, nature, the magnificence of the universe, and the details of the smallest microscopic particle. As wonderful and inspiring (to me, at least) as all of God’s creations are, it does not tell us everything about God or what He wants us to know.
For example, He has not revealed to me the ten commandments, yet He expects me to live by them. He gave them to His prophet, Moses, and Moses gave them to the Israelites, and from them to the rest of the world. The pattern is that God reveals commandments and doctrine (or truth) to a prophet, who then gives it to all the people. Of course, the prophet cannot personally deliver God’s message to the billion or so people who live on the earth, so he does so through an organization (church).
God does reveal to each individual in response to personal prayer that the doctrines taught are true, which Church is right for you, and what you should doing with you life. I would suggest that if you are dissatisfied with a church, or even several churches, that it is because you either (1) haven’t been going to the right church, or (2) you haven’t prayed to know which church you should be going to. When you find the right one, and are prayerful about it, it will “fit” your needs and you will know.
God does answer prayers. Don’t give up on Him. Pray to understand and pray to know–that God lives and is real, that Jesus is the Savior, to know and understand His teachings, which Church is the right Church for you, and what He wants you to do. There is no better feeling on earth than to know that you are doiing what He wants you to do.
I love learning about God and his doctrines, being in Church and “feeling” close to Him, and being in nature and seeing His creations, where I also “feel” close to Him.
Thank you for sharing your story and your questions. I’m sorry you had to endure the pain and struggles you experienced.
As a Christian who is very interested in the both science and the Bible, I have found there is no conflict between the two when both are rightly understood.
I would advise you to tell you daughter that God is the one responsible for the Big Bang that created the universe. He was responsible for establishing the low entropy condition of the early universe. And he cares about his creation. If she knows that much, she will probably find her own way.
I write a blog about how I use science and history to share my faith in Christ. I have also written a booklet titled “Is Christianity True? Why Three Brilliant Atheists Became Christians.” It tells the conversion stories of Dr. Francis Collins, Dr. Allan Sandage and Lee Strobel. Collins is the medical geneticist who led the Human Genome Project that mapped the entire human genome. Sandage was an astronomer who made a scientific discovery that proved to him that God existed but he didn’t know which God. It took him two years to put his faith in Jesus. Strobel disliked Christians and was very upset when his wife converted. He decided the best thing for him to do was research the historical roots of Christianity and prove it was based on legend or a hoax so he could destroy her faith and get his wife back. After two years, he convinced himself Jesus really did rise from the dead and he became a Christian.
If you would like one of the booklets, let me know and I will send you one free. Just tell me where to mail it or email it.
I love your post and the idea that science and religion are complimentary and support each other–true science and true religion. Both are seeking to know or discover truth, and as more truth is discovered, science and religion will come closer together.
And yes, I would love to have one of your booklets.
I found God in the Bible, and indeed He is love 🙂 That’s what my blog is about, the love of God… no commercial here, just saying :))
But I think you also need a church to help you know God better 😀
I would say perhaps a “place” or “mind-set” and not necessarily a church is necessary. I have certain songs I can listen to that take me to a spiritual place. I also have places I can go, mostly in nature, that teach and restore my faith.
Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂
If a Church is not necessary, why did Jesus organize one? (Matt. 16:17-19). Peter, the chief apostle, was told that he had just received revelation, the rock upon which the Church was to be built, and he was given authority so that whatsoever he did on the earth would be recognized in heaven and would therefore last through the eternities.
The inspiration you find in music, and all of the arts, for that matter, and in nature are wonderful and good, and I also find very inspirational. But in addition to that, there is so much more to learn and know about God, and that’s why His Church is necessary.
I am so late to this party, but I don’t even care! You have put into type exactly how I feel about organized religion and thoughts on “god” so perfectly and eloquently I want to kiss you on the mouth. Like, for reals. Maybe even slip you some tongue. Okay, probably not, but I’d be tempted.
I fucking love you. Period. No joke.
Sharing this post everywhere even though everyone has probably already read it. MWA XOXO
You are a doll! Kiss accepted…tongue encouraged. Seriously though, thank you. I really do appreciate the comment and shares.
Reblogged this on Haven of Inspiration.
I think, if I were to tell a 4-year old what I thought God was or is my answer would be this. What do you feel that moment that you discover something new? See the stars, find a ladybug, a firefly, a new flower? What do you feel when you plat with a puppy, watch a bird, hear the wind in the trees? What do you feel when you suddenly understand something that was very hard for you to figure out and it somehow seems quite beautiful? Or, when you help someone because you could. There, that is the moment you see the face of God. – Beautiful article.
Beautiful comment. Simply beautiful. Honestly, I don’t think anything quite like this has been said in response to my article. I plan to write a follow up to this article (eventually!) to discuss the comments and my thoughts on the response. I can’t wait to share this comment with others 🙂
Thank you, Dawn. And thank you for visiting my Alcove.
I think your point about the hypocrisy would have been brought into starker contrast, earlier, and more painfully, were you part of a church-going family whilst undergoing abuse at the hands of adults.
I would call myself a Christian (if you asked) and found myself nodding to all the things you said – the points you raised and the ways in which you found the church – and christians – wanting. I struggle with all of these. I struggle hugely with faith and the seeming requirements to live a particular way or to accept the horrors which happen (not as punishments or intended paths, but purely and simply as the allowed consequences of human free will in a broken world).
But I will say this. Christians are NOT the God they believe in. He is often (mostly?) misrepresented through the views of those who wish to cherry-pick or exclude.
They (we) also make mistakes. And fuck up. Not just a bit, but bigtime, and daily – hourly – minute-by-minute, and any one of us who forgets that the whole point is grace, offered freely to those who will accept it, has lost the plot and is probably seeking their own agenda.
Anyone who forgets that the beginning, middle and end of the whole thing is love…is without hope.
And as for those who use God’s name to proliferate hatred…
I think the last answer you had there, by ReadingAlcove – that one seems to get closest.
I have no great faith, but the tiny faith I have is in a Great God.
And His grace is sufficient for me, because He promised that His strength is made perfect in weakness. And most days that’s all I have.
Wow. So much goodness to take in right there girl. I’m still amazed at how many people share my thoughts from this post. When it was FP’ed, I seriously thought I was going to be swamped with scripture comments about the bible and reasons why I should go to church; however, I was surprised by what I got. Even those (most of them anyway) that did quote out of the bible or commented from a strong religious belief did so respectfully and came with an enlightening tone. I’m so happy this post got the exposure that it did for that reason. Being FP’ed was awesome but comments like yours and so many others brought me more joy than anything else. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. The grace you spoke of is something I carry with me as well!
I’m glad it’s been a largely positive experience for you. Nothing winds me up more than when you get a load of vehement, single-minded Bible Bashers circling like coyotes around one of these posts. It can get nasty, horrid nasty, and in the end, all the love and teaching is abandoned in the fight to have the last word, and that’s something else I find very offputting.
I’m glad you have that grace. That helps. I need to remember that I have it to live up to, somehow – to stop being so damned unrepentant and realise that it’s worthwhile, yet I waver.
Trust me when I say, I got a handful of bible thumping morons. I didn’t even allow their comments on the post or respond to them. It was so obvious they missed the point. I had to bite my tongue on a few of them.
HOLD UP…do you find it the least bit ironic that a pastor from the church down the road just knocked on our door to invite us to sermon on Sunday??? wow…I lost complete track of the point I was getting at before that just happened! lol
Blech. Well that stinks. About the Bible thumping morons. Sorry you had to read their crapola before you deleted their asses.
And NO! Not even. That’s something I’ve been learned to call a ‘God-incidence’. Cheesy, I know, but sometimes these things…
Roll with it. Go along, open mind, open heart, and see what they have to say. Then maybe you decide you’ll go back, or maybe you’ll decide not to. But there’s this parable, about standing at the door and knocking, and waiting – that God does. Cos He doesn’t use pressure or bullying…but offers opportunities to get to know more about Him.
And that’s kind of part of the task that the Christians are meant to be part of – modelling what it is that makes the difference – why knowing Him matters and how it has an effect, and being open and receptive and CARING. Which is why the haters hurt the whole deal so much.
That was the most bizarre thing, that pastor showing up at my door. What’s weirder is that neither of my dogs heard him pull in the driveway. My dogs hear EVERYTHING and bark at EVERYTHING.
As a Christian, I find it sad when Christians come across (as Irconsiderer put it): “vehement, single-minded Bible Bashers”. I am sure that no Christian would want to be described in such a way! Consider this:
Christ is love.
Christians are followers of Christ.
Therefore, Christians should be loving.
Christians should come across as loving. And, in my experience, the majority of Christians are loving, caring, sincere people.
However, the bible is God’s self-revelation. It is where we should expect to find Him. To try to find God without looking at the bible is a bit like trying to find the Eiffel Tower without looking in Paris.
And surely church is the perfect place is meet loving, joyous, peaceful, patient, kind-hearted, good, faithful, gentle, self-controlled Christians who will help you (and your daughter) on the journey to faith?
I honestly don’t think she had ill will when she said that Andy. More of an eye roll at those that push their beliefs down your throat. Those that are usually closed minded to any other way of seeing things.
I would have to disagree with you in regards to not knowing God if you don’t seek him in the bible. I have never a day in my life picked up or had the bible read to me outside of gatherings/ceremonies. How than have I always been aware of a pulling in my heart, telling me I would be safe, or come to know “God” at this particular time in my life.
I think I lack an educational stance on religion but not in my faith. Thank you for following along on these comments btw. ~Dawn
No – no ill-will intended. None. And I agree with the love stuff. Totally. (which means I need to be a bit more charitable, perhaps 😉 )
It sounds like your pastor arriving was perhaps one of those ‘Life Is On Purpose’ moments…how exciting – whichever way you go with it. A little nudge, perhaps, so God lets you know He’s listening in, giving you the nod and smile, to see if you’re ready to find out more.
I have a friend who’s reading a book called ‘The God Shaped Hole’. I’ve never read it, so I can’t recommend it, but here’s the thing – as I understand it, we’re made on purpose with the ideal outcome that we’d spend eternity in heaven, in relationship with God. Therefore we’re made with eternal souls, and a chink in them which is ‘God-shaped’ – being that it can be filled only by Him.
We get flavours of it, every now and again, and I think that was what I really liked about the person’s comment above mine – we see it in nature most readily, or in wonderous new science – those breathtaking moments where everything just shines with perfection (though the perfection of this world is, as I understand it, but a shadow of the perfection of the next, which is rather thrilling).
I’ve been following along the thread since the beginning. I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s responses.
I know that no ill will was intended 🙂 – I just wanted to present the bible in a positive light… I’ve heard many testimonies about how the bible has changed people’s lives…
Yes, God does speak to people apart from through the bible. (That is why I pray every day).
But often when I am listening to people speak from the bible I get the sense that God is speaking directly to me.
I’ve heard people say that, too, Andy. I am a very bad scholar of the Bible, but I love finding the occasional verse which resonates, or which I can send to a (Christian) friend as encouragement or support if they’re feeling down or stressed.
Some of the stories are AWESOME, too – just as a good read. They are mind-blowing.
And when you think of the ramifications of the whole thing…yeah. I should read it more, and wish I felt more psyched about it…
This was so honest. My 13 yo was adopted by us as an infant. Her formerly happy self is now replaced by one of hurt and anger. She also has turned away from God. You are such a talented writer —
Thank you so much, truly. I was quite angry at 13…just keep loving her Momma! She’ll come back around. Now remind me that I said that when my now almost 5yo daughter turns that age. I already feel like I have a teenager on my hands some days.
Sorry my comment seems so truncated. It’s just really difficult to write about such a private, pain thing.
I completely understand. No need to apologize. I didn’t mean to make light of it on the previous reply.
I found you through Katia’s post and I’m so glad! I love how you say that your faith is in no way connected to a book. I feel the same way. I consider myself to be a follower of Jesus because he tried to knock some sense into us about how to treat each other, not because I think the bible should be taken literally. I was abused too and I can look back now and see how God was there and love was there, despite the fact that I often thought I was all alone. I can’t wait to read more of your writing!
I’m so grateful to Katia for highlighting my blog. And also for the new faces and connections coming my way. I truly appreciate your comforting and honest comment. …more than I can find the words for right now.
–This really got to me: ****Understand that a man that raped me for 8 years of my life found Jesus and he found that suitable enough to send me a birthday card and a $50 check on my 19th birthday.***
In fact, it PISSED me off.
Superb, Brilliant, Relevant Post.
I LOVE your answer to your daughter about who God is–
“GOD IS LOVE”
This is absolutely true. This is beautiful. We find Him in our own way. It just may take you a little longer!
Thank you for sharing this. It’s a WOW factor. xx
Oh wow. Thank you. I second guesses myself so much before publishing this one. I’m so glad j went with my gut and shares it anyway. The feedback and support has been phenomenal. And that line you quoted…it pisses me off too. Thanks for your fury friend.
Glad You found God, Dawn! Sympathies on Your Experiences. Love to Your Daughter and to You.
Thank you, sincerely. 🙂
God is a spirit He is light beautiful holy sacred light and your Heavenly Father He cares for you and has eternal grace to give you He loves you more than you love your self and is eternal the God of eternity
A bit late to the party here…
Throughout history, god has been revered variously as a cosmic angry dad, a cosmic birth canal, a cosmic super warrior, or a cosmic best friend. Those ideas belong to ancient tribal mythologies and deserve a place in the mythology books, but not necessarily in our modern hearts and minds.
After all, we are all atheists about 99% of the gods who ever “existed”, anyway.
It surprises me that modern, educated people still cling to the concept of a primitive god that arranges your affairs, reads your innermost thoughts, suspends the laws of nature, and judges you when you die,
I think you would be just fine telling your child that god is an idea some people have about a supernatural being that is in charge of everything. Because god is supernatural, there is no way of proving his existence or non-existence, and there is also no way of proving his influence or non-influence on the world. This is why so many people get in fights about whose god is the “right” one – if there were actually a way to test for the existence and influence of a god, we’d have evidence to point to the “right” one, but since that’s impossible, the only thing people have to cling to are their opinions and the opinions of their forefathers.
You can share with her stories about some of the different gods throughout history, including the ancient Egyptian gods, the Norse gods, the currently popular middle-eastern tribal god that shows up in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and the other gods, such as the Hindu pantheon, that hold sway in India. And by all means, share whatever your ideas are about the creative, sustaining force in the universe as well. Encourage her to learn, to question, and to never be swayed by empty emotional appeals to heaven or hell.
In the end, we all have to figure it out for ourselves, anyway. Your daughter may eventually become a committed Christian, an atheist, a panentheistic humanist, or something else entirely. But speaking from experience, I can tell you that it’s a lot easier to ask and answer the hard questions without first having to shove aside years of indoctrination.
It’s never too late to join this conversation. Since I wrote this, I have done a lot of soul searching, and my daughter and I have had a few more conversations about God. I’ve told her a lot of what you said in your comment actually, in a way a 5 yr old can somewhat comprehend. I feel more at ease with the conversation now. Thanks for commenting. 😉
That’s it.. That’s all you have to tell her.. God is love.
It’s all that is really necessary for now. 🙂