If I’m honest, I didn’t always appreciate my father’s love. Sometimes I felt it was harsh or (obviously) WAY too strict. Can you relate?
I’m the baby of 3 girls and I guess when you’re young, you think love is easier, more comfortable, and gushier than my dad was. All the TV dads of that time were softer and could be manipulated by their sweet daughter just batting her eyes. My dad was firm and steady, and in my opinion, his love didn’t seem loving. It seemed filled with rules I didn’t want to obey, like bedtimes, homework deadlines, good grades, and practicing the piano. I know, pretty harsh, right? As I got older the rules were about boys and curfews and not playing the radio in the car. How did I survive?
The older I get and the older my dad gets (93 on the 28th) I understand that his love was WAY more loving than I ever gave him credit for. He wanted me to learn discipline and follow-through and study habits. That practice doesn’t always make perfect, but it definitely helps you get better. That nothing good happens after curfew and that boys can break your heart. He and my mom have been married over 73 years, so I guess he knows something about that.
So often I hear people saying they don’t want to follow God because of all the rules. It took me quite a few years to realize a father who loves you, has your best interest in mind. And those rules? They’re for my (your) good! The Bible has lots to say about how God loves you…even through His discipline and some pain. Psalm 103:13: “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.” Proverbs 22:6: “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
My dad would be the first to say he didn’t do it perfectly, but he loved me well. And I know I’m a better person because of his great love for me.