Weekly Thought – August 10, 2021
Fred was the third of five sons, raised by Mathew Bunyan Smith and Amye Anderson Smith. His father was a Southern Baptist pastor while his wife provided support and encouragement for the family. His father’s example of Christian love to the impoverished during the great depression taught Fred of God’s faithfulness. His Mother taught lifelong lessons of steadfastness, faithfulness, and purpose.
The archiving of Fred’s thousands of 3×5 cards with “observations and insights” has begun. They fit nicely between the “Fred Saids” which are his one-liners, and the Weekly Thoughts which expand into several paragraphs. They will be scanned and formatted. Please pray for the project as it progresses.
The Permanent Parent
Our heavenly Father is permanent… we are bonded. At the baptism of Jesus God said, “This is my Son whom I love, with Him I am well pleased.” We have a fixed relationship with a God who loves us unconditionally. Scripture says “no one can take them out of my hand.” We don’t have to keep winning His acceptance; the relationship is based on the fact of His nature.
Many fathers simply cannot accept this perfect bonding of unconditional acceptance in their own lives and consequently cannot model this relationship for their children.
A woman told me of struggling with her father even though he was dead. She felt she could never gain his acceptance or approval. She gave me the example of coming home as a young girl with a report card filled with all A grades. Her father’s response was “Don’t they give A pluses at that school?” He may have been facetious, but the wound cut deeply and has not healed yet. She struggles to see God as a loving Father.
There is intimacy in the perfect relationship. I have found that it cannot be planned or scheduled. It cannot be a task assigned as an A priority in our Daytimer. Intimate conversation has to come about naturally. All we can do is give it the opportunity, honesty, and openness to appreciate it when it does occur. Confidence in the permanence of the relationship, whether heavenly or human, creates a platform for intimacy. When we are secure in the enduring quality of God’s love, we have the freedom to emotionally open up to others in our lives. God’s everlasting love for us teaches us to the way to establish intimacy with our own children.
To me, the perfect human relationship is based on mutual respect. I believe in becoming each other’s teacher and mentor. I now recognize that our children are able to teach me just as much as I am able to teach them – and sometimes more. This lesson of mutual mentoring is taught through shared lives, trusting experiences, and lifelong work. The children occasionally thank me for learning about parenting. “You have done a pretty good job of re-parenting, Dad.”
As God parents me and I work to understand the principles and patterns I am working to apply them to human relationships, especially with the children. God is a good teacher who models what my parenting should be – and what I want it to be.
This week think carefully about: 1) Who models parenthood for me? 2) How convinced am I of God’s love for me? 3) What lessons am I teaching my children about God’s fatherhood?
Words of Wisdom: “When we are secure in the enduring quality of God’s love, we have the freedom to emotionally open up to others in our lives.”
Wisdom from the Word: “The man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father.” (Proverbs 29:3a NET Bible)