By Not Known
Recently I found an old video of our eldest daughter. She was a year old, sitting on her baby chair, singing “Itsy, bitsy spider climb the water spout.” Watching that clip brought a smile to my face and the realisation that I have been a parent for five years and eight months.
Parenthood has been a most rewarding yet terrifying journey, where I get to learn more about myself and who my Heavenly Father is.
My three observations are:
1. I needed to grow in my role, but my Heavenly Father knows everything about His.
I had no idea what to do as a parent. Everything about parenting, I learned “on the job.” I started by learning to change diapers, bathe and feed the girls. While these were essentials, I realized that I had to keep adapting to their growing needs. I learned to play, listen and talk with them, establish boundaries, carry out and follow through with discipline. And the girls kept growing. They started to interact with the wider world, making friends at Kindergarten and at church. Then I learned to be more intentional in imparting values and the Gospel into their lives. This is an imperfect me, learning to grow into the role of a father.
Scripture reminds us that God gives His very best to His children (Matt 7:11). He delights in us, and cares for us. He relates intimately with us, calls us by name. He nurtures and guides us. I have a perfect Heavenly Father who knows exactly what he is doing and he never fails.
2. While I love my children deeply, it cannot compare to a God who truly loves me unconditionally.
I remembered carrying my daughter for the first time, that was the moment everything changed. I had become the parent who would willingly run into a burning house to save his child. But that is where I draw the line, I would do that only for my children and not for others.
Scripture reminds us that God’s love is far greater! His love is truly unconditional. God loved us even before we knew him, and he died for us even when we hated him. In God, we find a love that knows no bounds.
3. I am not a patient man, but I have a God who is always patient with me.
’Accidents’ happen when we are rushing to leave the home, children can be disobedient at inappropriate times. Parenting can be trying and these incidents revealed that my responses to my children are sometimes rash, ungracious, and filled with anger or impatience. This hurts the family and is an on-going issue that God is working in me to change. If patience plays a big part in the relationship with my children, can you imagine the patience God needs to put up with us?
Look at the evidence in Exodus and the Epistles, our Heavenly Father is ‘compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and plentiful in mercy’ towards us. Even though we get distracted and loosen our grip on Him, God patiently and constantly corrects us in firmness and loving devotion.
If you are a believer in Christ, you are in the embrace of a father who knows what he is doing, who loves you unconditionally, and is always patient with you.
Have you told God how thankful you are to him?