Most people grow up in fear of their parents. Afraid of punishment, judgment, and even just letting them down. Fear of a parent is a terrible strike in the psych of a child. I’m not meaning respect, but fear of a parent.
Most carry that fearful perception of their parents, especially their father, to God. Amazed that their Heavenly Father has a never ending love, and compassion for them that has no bounds or limits. What can separate us from the love of God? Nothing!
Matthew 7:11 says, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” It’s mind blowing to think of a Heavenly Father who desires to give good gifts to us, who are fallible, fallen creatures… even when we come into relationship with Him through Jesus.
I grew up in a culture of spiritual fear. Not at all from my parents, but the culture of the churches that I grew up in. I even remember a Southern Gospel group, probably The Traveling Mercies, singing “God is Gonna Get You for That!” Terrible theology! He came to seek and save that which is lost, not get them. Not anyone!
As a Father now, and it’s the greatest ride!, I’m often encouraged by others about how well my three children interact with each other. I’m tempted to write a post about, “Seven Signs you Suck as a Parent!”, but not sure how that will go over… Back to interaction of children…
I’ve never allowed, not in my presence and will deal with it when it becomes known to me, for my children to fight, be rude, assassinate, or be mean to each other. As a minister you qyickly learn, it is only your family who really will stand with you when all others leave, and it is only your family that will be around after the major changes in life. Graduation from school, college, job changes, life changes, etc.
It hurts to think that one of my children would do something to hurt another one of my children. To the point that as I type this, my eyes well up with tears. I love all three so intently They all three are so distinctly different, distinctly gifted, and uniquely abundant with life. I love them the same, even within the context of their differences that their siblings do not appreciate… not in spite of those differences. Its the distinct differences that create the funniest dinner meal conversations ever, and the different perspectives in life each bring to that table. I celebrate their differences, but then again I’m their Father.
Siblings tolerate the differences of their siblings so often. Putting up with each other till they are grown and can move out and away from those that are their family. Often times that is the way many families deal with each other. SADLY that is the way their parents allow them to live and relate with each other, never addressing their behavior.
The person who is different from you, your sibling, is not loved to a lesser or greater degree than you by our Heavenly Father, but the same! It hurts him when we strike out against those that persecute us, and it hurts Him for you when those people persecute you… He is after all their Father, and yours too. He requires us to love each other, not in words, but in actions.
You can’t do anything about the actions of another but you can control your actions. That’s what a Father requires of you, to do what’s right, because it’s right, and to do it right!
Take time this week to begin to look at EVERYONE you come into contact with as your sibling. Those at work, at the store, on I-285 that are driving slow! Know that your actions to them will bless or hurt your Heavenly Father, and that He in heaven is able to reward you for your goodness to your brothers and sisters…. even the ones you do not know yet.
Never forget this…
“A sibling never looks at another sibling with the same intensity of love that a loving parent does, but you can begin to look at them knowing that you are a steward of their (HIS) love to them.”