by: Marty Paluch
I was somewhat disturbed by a comment the other day comparing a child’s perception of mom and dad. According to the article a child has an innate sense a mother will always be there and consequently her love and acceptance are a constant. Dad’s acceptance, on the other hand, is not necessarily a given suggesting a father’s love and affection and acceptance are tied to a perception it has to be earned.
While this is a broad generalization, it doesn’t take long for us to see there might be some truth in the notion because of how fathers have been characterized over the years by both history and culture as the family enforcer with the guilt inducing glare. We may have seen dad’s corrective discipline as payment to earn forgiveness.
While God presents Himself through Scripture using masculine pronouns, His Fatherly love and affection should never be associated with our gender stereotypes. Our earthly fathers’ behaviors may shape our perception of our Heavenly Father, but let’s be cautious about letting them define Him.
God loves us freely simply because we are His. We never have to believe we need to earn His love or our salvation. The entire story of the Bible revolves around God’s desire to restore the relationship we broke by our disobedience. God literally moved Heaven and Earth to pave a path to reconciliation through Jesus, displaying a Father’s love like no other.
You may have felt that you had to earn your father’s love and respect by accomplishing great things to make him proud of you. God is not a father like that. God is a Father who chose to love you and you didn’t do a thing to earn it.
“God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8