My son Randy is growing, Growing, GROWING! Frankly, I understand the stress now of seeing your kids beginning to age and the urgency that a lot of parents must feel to try and do so much with their kids. Time is going so fast. I can only imagine when I get into the later stages in life how time really will fly by.
There’s a lot I want to do with my son while he’s growing up. There’s a lot I want to teach him about, there’s a lot of places I want to take him, and certainly there is a lot of fun things I want to let him experience too!
At this stage my son is about 3 ½ months old. I’m really enjoying this stage. He’s been smiling for a while, but now it’s getting more consistent. He’s also giggling and trust me when I say that there is no more sweeter sound than when your kid smiles and giggles.
When Randy was just a few weeks old, he loved to be held. Unfortunately now, he’s just getting a little squirmy.
I remember holding him one night in bed and telling my wife, “I just want to hold him, do stuff with him, and do a good job when he’s really young because I want him to always remember that his daddy loves him.” I want him to remember that his father
was one that would hold him when he felt bad, would feed him when he was hungry, and protect him from danger to make him feel safe.
Even more importantly, I also remember going on to think, “I want him to be used to me loving him so that he’ll return that love for his daddy.”
I understand there are going to be times where I am required to discipline my son. In those moment he might not be my biggest fan. However, I don’t want my son to be a decent person, respectful of others, and obedient to his parents just because of a fear of discipline.
I want him to have love for us and love for others and let love that be what motivates his behavior.
You know, if you study the Old Testament and you see the history of God’s people… I’m pretty confident that our Father in heaven has a similar mindset for us.
When God told Moses He was going to deliver the people from Egyptian slavery, He was demonstrating love toward them. Why? He wanted those people to be His people. He wanted them to know that He was their God.
God would do so much for them to demonstrate His love for them.
God demonstrated that He would certainly deliver on His promises and protect them.
For example, I’m almost certain that the plagues God brought down to punish Pharaoh were not just to demonstrate who God was to the Egyptians…but also to His people.
When the people left Egypt, God continued to demonstrate His love when He protected them from the Egyptians were were tracking them down. He parted the waters of the Red Sea to help them escape while also crushing the Egyptian forces.
It’s almost as if God was telling them by His actions, “This is what lengths I’m willing to go to in order to deliver on my promises to you and protect you.”
God demonstrated His willingness to provide.
Just as I should be willing and able to provide for my son’s needs, God proved His ability to do this for His children too. This was no small feat when you’re talking about a group of people with around 603k adult men along with the women and the children.
When they were thirsty and had no water, God provided it. (Exodus 15,17) When they were hungry, God provided food for them. (Exodus 16)
God had promised to provide for their needs. They just had to trust Him. Jesus has made us a similar promise in Matthew 6:25-34.
God also demonstrated His benevolent nature through His discipline.
God didn’t just let them run wild so that they would like Him. Some parents take this approach with their kids and I can only assume that these kids will not be as likely to make a positive impact on their society. There was discipline for God’s children just like there will be for Randy. However, the point was not just to bring them into submission…He was demonstrating His character to them.
When God gave the law at Mt. Sinai, the people just saw a mass of commandments. They didn’t get what God was trying to show them.
God was showing them His nature through His discipline. God is just, honest, benevolent, honorable, devoted, etc. God wanted His people to follow the law so they’d be like Him, their father. He wanted them to see His character, love Him for it, and let that motivate their actions.
God tried to show His children that because of His love for them He’d deliver them, provide for them, and discipline them to demonstrate His nature. One goal of this was for them to obey Him but that it be motivated by love for Him. Unfortunately, the children of Israel failed to love God as He so desired.
My hope and prayer is that I can be a loving father just as our Heavenly Father is to His children. That’s my responsibility and privilege. I can only hope that as Randy grows up that he will love his dad knowing that his father loves him.