Even though Chan says that the relationship with his dad had an adverse affect on his relationship with God, he readily admits that things began to change when he became a father himself.
"After my oldest daughter was born, I began to see how wrong I was in my thinking about God. For the first time I got a taste of what I believe God feels toward us. I thought about my daughter often. I prayed for her while she slept at night. I showed her picture to anyone who would look. I wanted to give her the world." p.55
I understand what Chan is saying here. I've even felt the same way with my own three children. However, I never made a direct correlation between these realizations and my misconstrued perception of God. If anything, it was more about overcompensating for the mistakes my father made with me. For instance, my father was not one for saying, "I love you" and showing physical affection. I, on the other hand, tell my kids I love them at least 10 times a day and they have to tell me to stop with the hugs and kisses. So... I don't really buy it. It's just not that easy. And to take it a step farther, what does it mean for people that had lousy dads and then never had kids of their own? Or what about those people that had kids, only to realize that they didn't really want to be parents? Those people... they exist. I know people like this... and parenthood has not redeemed the misconception of God in their minds. Chan never opens that Pandora's Box. But, I will... or, at least, I can point those people where to go.
Everything goes back to Scripture. I get what Chan is saying, but the problem with his rationale is that it's really based on emotion. I get it...I do. The other night, my son was asleep in his bed and I crawled in next to him. Laying there, watching him sleep, I couldn't help but feel this overwhelming sense of adoration and love. I prayed over him. I thanked God for him. So, yes, I get it. But, that's a matter of the heart. And, for most, that might be all it takes to reconcile our conflicting thoughts. But, we live in a society of rational thinkers... okay, maybe not everyone, but you know what I mean! Issues are not resolved and decisions are not made with the heart. They're made with the head. And that's why we look to Scripture.
Two Scriptures come to mind: Colossians 3:21 and Ezekiel 18:20. I'm not going to tell you what they say. (That's your homework!) The first is a warning to parents. The latter is a reminder that parents and children are not held accountable for the sins of one another. And I'm sure there are many other Scriptures out there that speak to these relationships...and their disfunctions. But, they really don't speak about God...there are lots of other great Scriptures for that. So...if you want to use Chan's own parenting analogy as a rough guideline for understanding God's love for us, by all means go ahead. Just remember... and I'm sure most of you do... that there is no comparison!
Colossians 3:21 and Ezekiel 18:20... You know what to do.