Parents are in the protection business. However it may appear on the surface, parents feel an obligation to protect their children. Equally, children rely on parents for protection. Life is not too dangerous under the protective wings of the parent.
The implication for Godly living is that this is the type of relationship that God wants to have with us as His children. He is clear about His commitment to protecting His children and He wants us to shelter under His wings. (2Thes 3:3)
Parents have a sense of obligation to provide for the ones that they helped to bring into this world. No one looks favourably upon a father who is unable or unwilling to provide for his children. Children learn to rely on good parents to provide for their needs. This fundamental assurance provides a solid foundation for them to get on with their daily living. They do not have to worry about their next meal and they are able to channel their thoughts into other areas.
What about our heavenly Father? Is He a reliable provider? Can we reasonably leave Him to take care of us?
Gen 22:15 recounts Abraham’s show of faith and how has been rewarded as being the father of nations.
Responsible parents will happily lavish bountiful gifts on obedient children.
Matt 7- 11 points to how God views our requests. Only a delusional parent would give stone to a child that asks for bread. So in our Godly living, we should feel comfortable to ask, seek and knock of God. Like a responsible parent, He will respond to our needs.
Romans 8:28 puts the icing on the cake. We are assured that as long as we remain true and faithful God will be working for good things to happen to you.
An aside: Note that Abraham was willing to sacrifice Isaac in obedience to God. The love for God must transcend all other loves. Love for sons, wife, things, even self. Parents should not protect and defend their children at the risk at losing favour with God.
Children are not cattle, but sometimes they need a little prodding to get them moving and moving in the right direction.
Our heavenly Father also has that problem with us!
Read Jonah and see how serious God is about having us obey His commands.
Some parents tell their children that they do not expect to have to issue the same instructions more than once to get obedience. How much more should we be quick to obey the all powerful God, our maker?
Many of us follow the instructions of leaders and others out of fear. Some even to the point of doing things that they know to be wrong. We are reminded that we should be more respectful of God since He can not only kill the body but also to condemn your soul.
Most parents have a sense of pride about their children. They somehow feel that having been involved with the processing of the other Ps that we have dealt with, they have earned the right to feel that they are linked to the end product. The more the child fits the pattern that they consider desirable the greater the feeling of satisfaction and level of pride. This in turn sometimes motivates children to make an extra effort to achieve certain objectives. “This one is for you Mom or Dad”.
What about God? Does He take pride in His obedient children who fit the pattern that He has established? Ought we not to strive to be obedient to His will so that He too can take pride in our achievements?
We are deemed to be a “royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession” 1Peter 2: 9
Should we not live up to that high calling?
Some parents have to face the reality that their offspring have not quite made it to the lofty standards that they have set for the children. They are concerned about the pace of development and get frustrated at persistent weaknesses and failings. They may even wonder if all their efforts have been in vain.
Other parents understand that it might take time for their children to fit the pattern that they have set for them. They take this into consideration and set aside their concern and frustration. Instead they lavish love, support and encouragement. Those things are available to you not from what you do but from who you are.
Sensitive children can detect the growing concern of parents and try to adjust their behaviour to give hope to them. They try to avoid pushing their parents to frustration by re-doubling their efforts. There is renewed motivation to achieve goals.
All children get a boost to their self-worth when they are made to feel confident that father’s love and support is not dependent on what they achieve but on who they are.
What about our Eternal Father?
He is patient and understanding when we fall short of His requirements. He actually makes arrangements to deal with our failings.
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
Earthly parents punish their children in the hope that it will help them to develop along acceptable lines. Two passages give us clear insight into the philosophy of our heavenly Father.
Sometimes as parents we are reluctant to discipline our children out of some mistaken sense of love. The account of Saul and Jonathan shows the level of earnestness that one father had with respect to obedience to God, above all else!!!! 1 Samuel 14:41 – 45
What about our heavenly Father? What is His approach to punishment and discipline?
We often focus solely on God in the context of His grace and love. It is more comfortable to see God in that light. However, God is also a just God. He abhors sin and requires obedience. He promises to exact punishment on those who are consistently disobedient. We cannot escape the reality that loving parents are obliged to discipline their children.
Finally, parents seek to find a safe and secure place for their children. Parents take great comfort from the fact that offspring have safe shelter. Part of the joy that would have come to the father of the prodigal son is the fact that that night he could sleep with the assurance that his son was in a secure place and not at risk.
What about our heavenly Father? What is His take on this?
What about you?
Are you an obedient child to your heavenly Father?
Are you in residence in the secure place He has provided for you?
Are you part of His elect, His royal priesthood?
Will He be pleased to number you among His children?
If you are a part of His elect, are you frustrating Him?
Are you living to the standards that He has set for you?
Are you keen to make Him proud of you?
This is the challenge to you today. Make this day a happy day for your heavenly Father!!!!