Sunday, June 24, 2012

God as parent, part 1: relationship(s) with God, exposited

Here's the second installation in the series relationship(s) with God, exposited. Because there is so much ground to cover in a parent-child relationship, I'm gonna break this into parts so it won't get too lengthy. *DISCLAIMER*  I don't have any children, but I have closely observed parents (including my own) with the expectation of someday becoming one.

God the Father--the first person of the Holy Trinity"Our Father, who art in Heaven..."; one of the first prayers committed to memory.  He is a "father to the fatherless".  God's paternity is well-established, but how does that translate to your life, today, at this very minute?  Your answer may vary, depending on the relationship you have/had with your biological father (whether or not he's alive, or if you never had a relationship with him).  But one thing is certain: God considers all of us to be His children and He treats us accordingly, whether we acknowledge that, or not.

Parents, lemme ask you a question: When did you start loving your child(ren)?  By overwhelming hear-say, females lovingly rub their ginormous bellies and gush about being in love with someone they're still waiting to meet.  Maybe it's the raging hormones, I dunno...  Can't say anything about the men; any reading, feel free to chime in!  But I'm guessing that if not before, shortly after your child is born, you [re]discover what love feels like. *cue background music*  I wanna know what love iiiiiisssss... I want you to shoooooow meeeee!  Guess what!  No, really, guess... God feels the same exact way! #truestory
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart..." -- God [Jeremiah 1:15]
Even King David of Old Testament infamy came to a similar conclusion.  In Psalm 139:13-14, he said: For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made...

So we have a father who already loves us, before we are physically born.  You still with me?  OK, good.  But we can extend this even further to spiritual birth, so it looks like this: we have a father who already loves us, before we are physically spiritually born again. God loves us whether or not we ever ask Him to be Lord of our lives.  But when we do... that just sends Him over the top!  It's like this: your child is still your child if they do bad or good; moms and dads visit their offspring in jail all the time.  But when a child does especially well for themself in life and tells you "Thanks Mom/Dad--I couldn't have done it without you!", just try and tell me you won't be cheesin' hard beam with pride and joy.

This is what I imagine every parent looks forward to, and God is no different.  But in the meantime, until we get to the point where we say "God, I can't do it without You in my life!", He's still loving away at us--whether we like it or not.  I'm reminded of one of my guy friends who has a little girl.  And he told a story about how she stood at the top of the stairs and yelled to him "Daddy, please bring some potato chips upstairs!", then ran back into her room.  His response?  Room service, at the ready.  His explanation? "She's lucky that she is my heart."  So I'm guessing that anybody else could try that, and they would be ignored without hesitation.  But that was daddy's little girl and it made him happy to make her happy.

I think it goes without saying that every parent has their child's happiness as heart. Believe it or not, God wants us to be happy, as well.  However, every good parent realizes that there are times when well-being trumps happiness, even when a child doesn't understand what Mommy/Daddy is doing.  This is the phenomenon known as discipline--the necessary evil of parenting.  I'll be back to tackle God's approach to that in part 2.

be blessed,

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