God’s Divine Parenting – Faith Perspective ~ November 8, 2017
By Rev. Nate Wollenberg
Trinity Lutheran Church Hoyleton
If you’re like me, when you think back on all the major turning points of your life, you’ve probably noticed that the further you are removed from a situation, the easier it is to see how God has weaved all of your experiences together to create the person you are today. “Hindsight is always 20/20” as they say, and I think there’s really some truth to that. Oftentimes, in the midst of the storm, it’s hard to see God’s hand working. But days, weeks, and possibly even years later, after the clouds have lifted and the sun has begun to shine again, it becomes a little bit clearer that God has never left you nor forsaken you.
I call this work of God in our lives “divine parenting.” My wife, Katie, and I have been blessed with two beautiful children, and as they grow (they are currently 3 years and 6 months old), I notice from time to time how earthly parenting is truly modeled from the ultimate Parent, our Heavenly Father. My 3-year-old, in particular, has reached a stage in her life where she really has begun to express her disagreement with mommy and daddy, even when we try to do what’s best for her. Take bedtime, for example: in our house, the rule is that bedtime happens at 8:00pm. And yet, when bedtime comes, so does the resistance. Amid all the protesting, whining, and crying, what it ultimately comes down to is that our daughter doesn’t yet understand that a good night’s sleep means a good day tomorrow, and that as parents, we’re just trying to do what’s best for her.
How often have we done that with God? How often have we been the protesting, whining, and crying “three-nager” in response to God’s divine parenting? God has given us His commands: Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind; love your neighbor as yourself. And yet so often, because of our sinful nature, we fight against that. We insist that we have a better way. We don’t always realize that sometimes in those moments when we’re frustrated with God, when it seems like He doesn’t care and isn’t answering our prayers, He’s actually doing what’s best for us as any good Father would, even though we might not be able to see it or understand it at first.
But when you step back and look at the big picture, it becomes easier to see God’s love for you and for all His children. In fact, what we see is that God showed His love ultimately by sending His Son to die for the sins of the world! Parenting involves sacrifice, and there is no better example than Jesus, who loves you with a perfect love and died the death that you deserved. And for those of us who believe His Word and His promises, even our toddler tantrums are forgiven! Thanks be to God for His parenting and His unconditional love!