The Father’s Heart

In my life’s journey, I’m continually learning and growing.  One of the areas that I’ve been developing in is gaining a better understanding of Father God’s heart for His children.  He has an enormous heart of love for all of His kids.  Through our work with ministers and exposure to various church bodies, I’ve cried tears over things I see His kids doing and know that He grieves these same things at an even deeper level.

One area of my life that has caused me to know more about God’s incredible love is being a father.  From the first time that I held my oldest to today, I’ve found there is a love inside of me that is constantly, consistently, and forever unbreakable for my kids that I cannot explain.

Parenting is hard work.  We were warned about the difficulties of preschoolers and the terrible twos (though, in our experience, it was the threes).  “Watch out for how hard it will be when they are teenagers,” they said.  But nobody, and I do mean nobody, told us how hard it would be to parent adult children.

Freedom of Choice

My children are all adults and on their own.  They are independent and self-sufficient.  They do not report to me on a regular basis.  They rarely need me, or at least rarely reach out to me.  I get glimpses here and there with a few messages, occasionally a phone call, and periodically, an in-person visit.  They have their lives, and I’m not much of a part of them.

The hardest part of parenting adult children is that they can choose to do whatever they want to do, and you have no ability to stop them from doing stupid things.  Unless they ask, you don’t even have the ability to speak into their situations.  They have free-will, just like God gave to all of us.

I’ve regularly questioned why God would do something so crazy as giving fallen men and women the freedom of choice to do whatever.  He is omniscient (all-knowing), so surely He saw in advance that we would make stupid choices.  We would charge out on our own and not seek His input.  We would generally mess up, regularly, and often.

And yet, He gave us free-will.  What do we do with it?  I’m hoping that I go to Him more and more often, seeking and listening to His guidance, before making more dumb decisions like I’ve been known to make in the past.

Love is Still There

No matter what my kids do, whether great or abysmal, I continue to love them.  I continue to desire for them to learn from their mistakes and not repeat them.  My heart is constantly yearning for them to live to the fullness of who God created them to be.  I want amazing, awesome, great things for them.  I desire a future full of hope and good.  My love for them seems to grow, even when they are messing up.

Father God is like that.  A love so complete that no matter what we do, it cannot be broken or exhausted.  He desires to give us hope and a future (see Jeremiah 29:11).  He wants us to grow and mature and develop so that we can act like the person that He has made us to be.  

His love is so great that there is absolutely nothing that can separate us from that love (see Romans 8:38-39).  I can be stupid and make a kazillion mistakes, yet He still loves me.  I can ignore Him and even be mad at Him, and yet His love is still there, unfazed.  Nothing I do can decrease, by even an iota, the amount of love that God has for me.  I’m learning this through experience, both with Him and with my kids.

Involved Not in Control

He desires to be a part of our everyday life.  Father God wants to walk with us through all of life’s journey.  The good days and the bad.  The fun times and the difficult.  Through the exciting moments and boring steps of life.  He wants to be involved in all of it.  

But He is not demanding control from us.  We have a skewed idea that if we involve the Father, He will dictate and control what we do.  Yes, He wants to give input and influence us to walk uprightly, but in no way does He want to take control from us.  Remember, He gave us free-will knowing ahead of time what we would do with it.

I don’t desire to control my adult children.  Rather, I want to be a resource for them to be able to be more than I could ever be.  To be a part of life’s journey with them is all I can ask.

Experience and Wisdom

I’ve walked this earth a couple decades longer than each of my kids.  There have been many experiences that are available to them for insight and foresight.  My mistakes are great learning opportunities if they would ask and listen (I’ve definitely made enough mistakes).  For them to launch from my shoulders, instead of having to start from where I started, would thrust them higher than I will ever go.

In no way do I believe that I have learned it all and obtained enough wisdom.  All that I know, and any wisdom that I have to share, is through the grace of my Father.  It’s a regular occurrence for me to be speaking with someone and wanting to take notes myself, because the words of wisdom are from above, not from within.  This has come from walking through life, all of it, with the Father.

We all have access to the fullness of the depths of wisdom and understanding through our relationship with the Father in Christ Jesus.  The key is that we have to be willing to humble ourselves and seek it.  We have to go to the Father and sit under His direction.  Learn from Him, and do the things He says to do.

I pray that each of us will willingly choose to walk with the Father in everything.  Then we will know and experience the depth of His love.  A love so amazing that it is indescribable.

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