If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! ~Matthew 7:11.
I am not a mother. I am an older sister. I have spent years volunteering off and on in children’s ministry. I adore children. I love their candor. I love their sense of adventure and creativity. No one has told them to stop dreaming yet. They are for the most part carefree, full of energy and life! In interacting with children here are some things they have taught me about our heavenly Father.
1. The Father is patient. We know from scripture that God is perfect in patience. The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love, ~Psalm 103:8. Children make messes. They are curious. They can be selfish and self-centered. When I see a child acting as child I don’t scream at them, “Get it together, you are so awful and selfish.” There’s a part of you that knows the level of understanding a child has is far different from an adult. The goal in dealing with a child is teach them. God knows what we know and what we don’t know. He knows whether we are acting out of pure rebellion or ignorance. God is patient and wants to teach us. He knows we do not understand everything. He longs to lead us to maturity. He parents out of love. The goal is to help us not hurt us.
2. The Father delights in us. I love to watch kids be who they are. If they paint, it’s fun to paint with them. If they like a movie, it’s fun to sit down and watch one with them. If they have a school event or sport, you go to cheer for them. Their interests and success brings you great joy. You are their biggest cheerleader. How can we who fail to love perfectly, expect anything less from a perfect Father? God is excited when you win that game, achieve that goal. He is cheering from the heaven’s “That’s my kid!” He delights in us.
3. The Father loves quality time. I babysit sometimes for friends and it’s such a joy to spend time with kids. God loves to spend time with us!
4. The Father forgives. Children do things that are unwise. A loving parent says, “I love you because you are mine.” When we confess our sins to God, He is faithful to forgive our sins. He does not keep bringing up our forgiven sins. He says, “It’s over, get back out there and play.” We don’t abuse His forgiving nature by continuing to do what’s wrong because of His kindness. We seek to align our lives with His will for He is perfect, holy, and just.
5. The Father hates what destroys us. Sin is not only a big deal because God is holy. Sin is a big deal because sin destroys who and what God loves. Sin destroys us, it destroys relationships, it destroys families. Sin causes sickness, death, destruction, wars, affairs, and wages war like cancer in our souls. God hates sin; sin is aimed at killing us. The wages of sin is death (eternal separation from God); but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,~Romans 6:23.
My opinion: God doesn’t want to be in heaven without you so He sent His Son to redeem you. It cost Him greatly to pay for our sins. If I saw a child eating poison, I would run and do all that I could to stop them. God isn’t trying to ruin our fun. God is trying to save us from death. He also cares when things hurt us or we are suffering from living in a sinful world. He sent His Spirit to comfort, heal, and restore. You hurt, God hurts. He collects your tears.
6. The Father disciplines His own. Children need correction and direction. We don’t abuse them, hurt them, or mistreat them. We do point them in the direction they need to go; we lead them. God knows what works for every child. His parenting is tailored for every person. He does and will correct us if we are headed in the wrong direction, this normally starts with conviction (a nudging in the spirit that something is not right). He gives us the opportunity to repent. If we don’t listen, He continues to nudge us. God is perfect in knowing what to do. If we refuse His correction, He can and does let us jump head first off the cliff. If we turn around, He receives us with open arms (ex. Prodigal Son) and seeks to restore us. He does not seek to control or manipulate us. He seeks to lead and guide us.
The Father loves you more than any parent could love a child. More than any person could or ever will love you. He wants to be with you more than you could ever want to be with Him. He cares about every single detail of your life. You were worth dying for. You are an extension of His heart. You were God’s idea. You are wanted, cherished, and cared for. I pray you bask in the Father’s love.