Growth in our understanding of God and our relationships with God results from our personal experiences. Therefore, to apply certain analogies to our approach to understanding our relationships with God is legitimate. How would God be able to relate to His creation if He did not have inherent relational attributes? We believe that humans were created in God’s image and likeness. This means that we bear a resemblance to God in some manner. One of those ways is through the use of analogies. According to Howard, analogies “communicate something of the richness of God’s character.”
As we continue to gain insight into the plan of God, we begin to understand our role within His plan. We understand our relationships with one another should mirror the relationship between the members of the Trinity. As we understand each member of the Trinity is wholly God, we also understand they have differing functions. Our individual differences become a factor whereby we begin to understand that our individual relationship with God is only a segue into becoming a corporate member of the interaction within the divine-human relational experience.
However, in viewing the similarities between the Trinitarian relationship and the divine-human relationship, we must be cautious to avoid unhealthy anthropomorphisms. This error becomes prevalent as we introduce our diversity into Christian spirituality. As a result of our varying cultural backgrounds, our approach to understanding God also varies. This does not negate the methods of those who differ from us. It increases our perspective regarding the immense nature of the God we once thought we knew. When we attribute gender roles and personality to God based upon our understanding of the culture around us, we place limitations on our ability to truly experience a maturing and developing perspective of Who God is.
How can we avoid this? Our understanding of the “richness of God’s character” helps us to understand divine-human relationships. As we continue to engage the process of understanding Who God is, we begin to understand that we cannot understand God apart from understanding the relationship that exists between the members of the Trinity. Our understanding of how God interacts with us individually is reflective of how each member of the Trinity initiates and responds to one another.