This is the essential question behind our struggles with sin.
But I'll return to that issue in just a moment.
As a father of three children, two who are old enough to be into everything, I am often giving commands. "Don't jump off that. "Don't put that in your mouth." "Read some pages in your book before playing on the iPad." "Eat more of your dinner." "Take your medicine." And the list could go on.
All of these commands have one thing at their core: I love and care for my kids.
I love my kids. And my love for them is why I give them commands. I don't want them to get injured or sick. I want them to be able to read competently, not just play video games. I want them to grow strong and be healthy. All of the commands I give them are fueled by my love and affection for them. I want the best for them.
But you have kids. And you know that while my reasoning for the commands is the love I have for them, they only see it from a perspective of rules. Their young minds only perceive daddy as a rule-giver. However, these potential perspectives from my kids doesn't stop me from giving and upholding those rules. Why? Because I love them enough not to give them over to irresponsible, destructive behaviors. I'm not going to let them jump from things that will injure them or let them only eat Hershey Kisses or neglect homework for games. This is not me being the Big Ole Meany Butt, it is demonstrating Fatherly love and care for my beloved children.
Now back to my opening statement about "Does Daddy Really Love Me?" as the essential question behind our struggles with sin.
When we ask the question, we are not speaking of earthly fathers, but our Heavenly Father. Whether it is having sex outside the confines of God's decree of a marriage covenant between a man and a woman or our unhealthy clinging to material possessions, we have commands from God that we are expected to obey. Be it stealing, lying, drunkenness, gossip, or any number of sins, we have boundaries God has given for us to live in.
However, like young children with their parents, we do not like rules. We do not always understand the wisdom of why we cannot do something. We do not always grasp the benefits we will experience if we will submit to our Father's will. I believe the question we must remind ourselves to ask, which empowers obedience is, "Does daddy really love me?"
The answer to that question is an emphatic and unquestionable: yes! He loves you more than anyone else ever has. The Bible makes clear God's love for us, namely in sending His Son to atone for our sins (Romans 5:8; John 3:16; 1 John 4:10). God has affections for you and delights in you, which is why He does not want you to engage in actions, behaviors, and attitudes that are destructive to you. He wants you to thrive and live a life of joy.
The issue is many of us reason like children and believe the Hershey Kisses for dinner (or sex outside of heterosexual marriage) or neglecting homework for video games (or clinging to material possessions) are the most desirable things, but meany-butt daddy won't let us. The list could go on, but the issue remains the same. If we trust daddy is wise, then we can submit to his ways, because we believe he has our best interest at heart, and he loves us.
Daddy does love us. Rather than rallying together the siblings to reason with ourselves about how "out-of-touch" dad is or to overthrow him so our wisdom will prevail, we should submit to the loving commands of our Father. Even when we do not understand "why" He commands what He does, perhaps our advice to our children, heard from the lips of God, would be apropos, "Because I said so, and I love you."
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