My mom grew up on a mid-western farm, became a nurse and joined the navy during World War II. My dad grew up in a city in California and is 8 years younger than my mom. The experiences of each of them growing up, shaped their values as adults. Mom has strong principles of right and wrong and still loves to hike and be outdoors at 78 years old. My dad loves to study history, philosophy and wildflowers and has a restless spirit.
How were your Mom and Dad different in personality, values, role, family background or culture from each other? What was their childhood like? Was it very different from yours? How did that affect the way they raised you?
Did you grow up living with your parents? If not, who raised you? Were you close to your parents, or more close to one than the other? If you had siblings, how did they relate to your parents - in the same way or differently from you? How has your relationship with your parents changed since you became an adult?
What kinds of things did you learn from your parents? Think of cultural history, family history, values, religion, role of men and women, skills of various kinds.
In your native country, what place do parents hold? Are they respected by their children? Or respected by society? How are traditional roles of moms or dads different from each other? Do you like the traditions? Why or why not?
When parents become old, where do they usually live in your native country - with one of their children, alone, in a retirement home?
Who made the major decisions in your family - Mom, Dad or both? Think about finances, major and minor purchases, discipline and children’s behavior, children’s school or activities, location of home, vacations etc.
God is called a “father” in the Bible, as in the examples below. Does this make it easy or hard to understand God, in your opinion?
“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen . . . This then is how you should pray:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven . . .” Matth. 6:6-10
“the Father Himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I come from God.” John 16:27
What is the best metaphor for God, in your opinion?