What shapes our view of God? Does it have more to do with your experiences of faith or perhaps your own relationship with your father? Maybe it is a mixture of both. I've never really given a lot of thought to where my view of God comes from, it has always just sort of been there, much like the clouds. I do not think a whole lot about how they are formed or what purpose they serve, but I see them and know they are there.
My view of God is constantly changing as I mature and as my relationship with God grows deeper. He is the one who provides me with what I need to live and also the one who knows best what I truly need in my life. I also have some fear of God, maybe not enough, but I have a hard time comprehending God's wrath. I know it is there and as I read through the Old Testament I am often left in amazement as I see God pour our his wrath on those who turn there backs on him.
God is often described as our Father in Heaven, which naturally gives way to attributing to God the characteristics our earthly father possesses. For some these characteristics may be distant, fear and punishment, protection, safety, love and care, and many other attributes. For me I believe that at times I had a little fear, but mostly I was blessed to receive love, care, provisions, and protection from my father. These characteristics are also a lot of the same ones I use to view God. I believe that my dad did a great job of raising me and helping me become the man I am. I do find it fascinating though how at least for me my view of my earthly father is also the basis for a lot of my views on God and his role as my Father.
I would encourage everyone to take the time to think through how they view God. Where do your views of God come from and do they adequately represent our Father in Heaven?