What Children Have Taught Me About The Father

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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.

Final Notes:

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.

God will always love you!

God will always love you!

Things my father taught me about God

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In thinking about Papa (father God), I have been pondering my earthly father and what he taught me about God. My dad is one of those people who can’t go anywhere (I mean anywhere) without reaching out to love someone, offer to pray for someone, or sharing the Gospel. I watch him in awe because he is the opposite of timid. I spent most of my youth following him around. He was a Chaplin. So, when he went to the hospital to pray for the sick, I went too. Our home was always open to strangers. My parents visited and welcomed in the poor, sick, orphaned, widows, the hated, and even their enemies. Before I was born they lost their oldest son. He was murdered by his best friend. The man who killed him never served a day in jail. I saw my parents love the man who took their son away. I saw my dad offer him not just the opportunity to know God, but love.

My dad doesn’t just preach the Gospel, he tries to live it. He is not perfect, but here are some things he did and does that are exactly what God the Father has done.

Adopted into a new family. I was adopted. My dad gave me his name. I have all the same rights and privileges of the other children. He treats me no differently. He honors, respects, loves, and adores me. I am his child. God adopts us into His family.

Bragging rights. My dad embarrasses me at times with his constant bragging and campaigning for what I do. If I do something, he tells all his friends, the people at the bank, and sometimes strangers. He is my biggest cheerleader. God is our biggest cheerleader.

Merciful, forgiving, and kind. I watched my dad love the man who stole from him. I watched him extend love to people who hated him. He is merciful and kind to all people. God is merciful and kind to all people.

Faithful. My family’s motto was this, “Your word is your bond.” My dad (though not perfect) attempts to keep his word. He was faithful to my mom and family. He was faithful to his job while working. He has been a faithful pastor for over 43 years. He has been faithful through hard times, and I’ve never heard him complain. God is 100% faithful. He keeps His word.

Generous. If you were ever to visit my dad, you would leave with something. He cannot help himself. He will find something to cook for you. He will give to you even when he needs it more. When I go visit, I don’t have to beg him to do something or have something. All he has, he offers to me. And if you ask him, he will tell you, “Take what you want.” He is not just generous to those who are related to him, he’s generous to everyone. God is even more generous.

Protector and provider. This goes along with being generous, but my dad has always been a protector and provider. He cares for his own and the rights of others. God is a Protector and Provider. No good thing will He withhold from those who love Him.

Cares for the sick, widows, and orphans. I went to visit my dad last Christmas, and I was exhausted by the time I got home. He had to visit the sick, orphans, widows,etc…I am not sure how I am more tired than he is. God gives each person the grace to do what He has called them to do. God cares about the poor, sick, widows, and orphans.

Every single detail. My dad cares about every single detail of my life. He wants to talk every day if he can. I hate talking on the phone, but he is the exception. He is interested in my life. He has kept every single drawing I did in school. Every single one, all the way back to kindergarten. God is even more interested in your life. He cares about everything! God has your life recorded in His heart.

Loving sinners. My dad is an evangelist. He will share the Gospel with anyone. His motives are to love people. He loves sinners. He wants to see people reconciled to God. Our heavenly Father is the same way. He is actively pursuing the lost. He is looking for the prodigal to come home. Our Dad (Papa) loves sinners.

Loved despite behavior. I only remember one time getting in trouble with my dad. He did not stop loving me. He did not stop caring for me. His love did not change based on my behavior. God’s love for us is not based on our behavior. It’s who He is.

Prays for you. Every morning at 6 am (normally) my dad is up praying for his family. I know because when I visit I hear him get up and I can sometimes hear him talking to God. Jesus lives to intercede for us. He is praying for us all the time. We have an Advocate who does not sleep.

I spoke last time about how a lack of human examples can cause us to doubt God’s love. I am sharing one of my examples with you in hopes that you may be able to see God is better than any human being. My dad taught me so much about God, the reason being, he was in love with the One who is love. Any good I saw or see in my dad, came from Jesus. I honor my dad for his commitment to God. I thank him for living a life that glorified Jesus. He does not use computers so he will not see this post, but I do hope he knows the great impact he’s had on this life for Jesus.

God loves you friends, more than my dad loves me. He loves you more than your parents love you or anyone else. God is LOVE! You are loved…loved…loved…If you are in Christ you have been adopted and chosen. Great things are in store for you! If you are not in Christ, I invite you to join the family. It’s more than saying a prayer, it’s an invitation into a relationship. You are cordially invited into a lifelong commitment of love with Someone who loves you more than you can imagine!

For those who do not know God:

Salvation is a gift based on faith. Believing God is who He says He is. Believing that all have sinned and fallen short of His standard. We acknowledge to God that we need Him, that we have sinned, and we ask for forgiveness. We believe that Jesus is the son of God, born of a virgin, crucified for our sins, and raised from the dead. We accept that Jesus died for our sins and receive His righteousness as our own. We choose to follow Jesus. It’s more than saying a prayer to invite God into our hearts, Jesus did not lead people in prayer. He told people, “Pick up your cross and follow Me.” God invites us to join in relationship with Him….so the invitation goes out to you…will you come?