I am of the opinion that most of us get our first understanding of God through our relationship with our earthly father. After all, traditionally we are taught Dad is the head of the household, the protector, and the provider. If I am correct, then this relationship indeed may have both temporal and eternal significance in our lives.
Is Dad approachable? Is he kind? Does he care for me, love me, like me? Is he interested in what interests me? Am I acceptable in his sight? Does he faithfully protect and provide? Can he be trusted? Does he know me? Does he want to hear the cries of my heart as well as the joy of my laughter? Do I please him? Can I please him? Will he stay with me through all of life’s trials? Is he my friend? Does he teach me lovingly and keep me from harm? Does he demand of me or does he encourage me?
These are questions that may not be formulated consciously in the mind of a child, but they are all questions that beg to be answered to ensure the well-being of all little ones. When we are children, our worlds are seemingly determined by our parents. We have no rights, no power, no influence, and so those to whom our lives are entrusted set the parameters around our existence and fill in all that lies therein. They determine for us so much of what our days become.
Such an incredible gift it is to be Daddy to any child, such a responsibility, such an honor, such a duty! Every day is an opportunity to do good or to do harm. It is necessary for those of us who parent to be intentional about the time we’ve been given to nurture the children who depend on us. They are sensitive to our emotions, to our hearts. They intuitively know whether or not we value them and hold them dear, whether we experience them as a burden or a delight.
Most assuredly, children are a gift from the Lord, a heritage from Him, (Psalm 127) to be loved and cherished, nurtured and embraced with unfailing love. May we all rejoice over the gifts of these little ones and honor God by showing them that we indeed receive them as gifts to be treasured from His loving hands.