11. Marshmallow God

Unloving God-Image: Marshmallow God

  • Description: Marshmallow God is nice but also very soft – like a marshmallow. He’s either weak or incompetent. He’s also quite passive. When others harm or persecute you, He doesn’t safeguard you or advocate for you or defend you but He just wants you to be nice and turn the other cheek. Marshmallow God doesn’t like conflict. He wants to be liked. He treats me like a baby. 
  • Potential Reasons for this God-Image: Your parents were very friendly, warm but not adequate to protect you. Your parents were afraid to stand up for you. Your father was weak, absent, and passive. Alternatively, this Marshmallow God can develop when your parents were overprotective and you felt weak and incapable of standing up for yourself. You felt totally dependent on your parents. And then you projected this on God. And thought you must be nice to be like God. As you grew up, God seemed passive and just lets things unfold without intervening in this world. God doesn’t punish those who go wrong. Puts no limits on abuse. You don’t think God wants you to stand up for yourself. You feel defenseless and taken advantage of. 

Unlovable Self-Image: I’m Vulnerable to Harm (“Defenseless Denise”).

  • Description: Since Marshmallow God is soft and nice, you are passive to the attacks of others. You feel helpless and avoid danger at all costs. You hide from trouble as best as you can. You sometimes want to escape to God to feel loved but He’s not strong enough to protect you. Since Marshmallow God avoids danger and conflict, you think you should do the same. I’m not worth being protected by God. I stay away from danger. 
  • Scripture Passage: “How long, O Lord? Wilt thou forget me forever? How long wilt thou hide thy face from me? How long must I bear pain in my soul, and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?” (Psalm 13:1-2). 
  • 38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; 40 and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; 41 and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. 42 Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you. Matthew 5:38-42

Loving God-Image: Protector God (“”) 

  • Description: God protects me from harm and gives me freedom and responsibility when I’m ready for it; He preserves the life He’s given me. 
  • Scripture Passage: Jesus calls Peter after his rejection (to heal wounds of shame & fear). 

Lovable Self-Image: I’m protected.

  • Description: I’m worth being protected by God; I am a responsible adult in God’s eyes; God guides and protects my life as I step out in new challenges. 
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