What would your definition of parenting include? If you’re like me, it might include joy, heartache, laughter, disappointment, amazement, emotional, fear, and the list could go on.
I once read this definition of parenting. “Raising children is like being pecked to death by a chicken.” (Anonymous) Now that is discouraging!
So what can we learn from God as a parent?
How to Love
1 John 3:1 tells us that we are called children of God and that God has lavished His love upon us. This love is abundant, generous, and extravagant.
In Ephesians 2:4-5, we see what God did for us because of His great love. “Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”
Zephaniah 3:17 is such a glorious passage. “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” God delights in you!
Knowing and believing that God loves you unconditionally is a freeing experience. Do you believe it?
How to Forgive
Read through these passages of Scripture to see how God forgive us.
Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Isaiah 43:25 “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”
Psalm 103:12 “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
Daniel 9:9 “The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him.”
Psalm 51:1 “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.”
God’s forgiveness is so amazing and at times unfathomable! But these verses show us, when we’re forgiven, it’s done. It’s forgotten.
How to Discipline
Hebrews 12:4-11 teaches us about God’s discipline. Clearly, we struggle with sin and we should not “make light of the Lord’s discipline” or “lose heart when he rebukes us.” “Because, the Lord disciplines those he loves and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”
The reason? For our good. So that we might share in His holiness and produce a harvest of righteousness and peace.
Discipline is hard to accept and dish out, but clearly God disciplines out of love so that we might be filled with His characteristics.
For further study on this topic, check out Deuteronomy 8:1-5 and 1 Corinthians 11:32.
How to Instruct
Read through these passages to see how God instructs us.
Isaiah 28:26 “His God instructs him and teaches him the right way.”
Titus 2:11-12 “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say, ‘no’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.”
Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.”
Deuteronomy 4:9 “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and their children after them.”
God’s instruction manual has answers for all of our problems. The more we read it, the more understanding we’ll have.
How to Give
Matthew 7:7-11 is a familiar passage. Jesus shows just how good the Father is at giving. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
If we read Philippians 4:9, we see that our heavenly Father is very rich! He will meet all of our needs.
According to James 1:17, God’s gifts are good and perfect.
And God loved us so much, that He gave us “His only Son.” Now that is a generous Giver.
We are lavished with gifts from our Father. Take a moment to write down some of the gifts God has given you. Thank Him for those gifts.
How to Protect
In 2 Timothy 4:17-18, Paul shares how God protected him. God stood by his side, gave him strength, delivered him, rescued him, brought him to safety, delivered him from evil attacks, and would one day bring him safely to the heavenly kingdom.
Psalm 121:3-8 assures me that God will not let my foot slip. Even when my footing is unsure. The word “watches” is mentioned five times in these few verses. God is there to protect me in ways I never even thought of. Now that’s protection!
We all need protection. Perhaps that is why super heroes are so popular. Someone who will protect us against the evils of this world. Someone who is willing to stand between you and danger. God is that someone. God’s protection is greater than any you’ve ever known.
These are just a few ideas I’ve had on God as my parent. I pray that there is something among these thoughts that will help you with your day. I thank God that He is my Father and that He is the perfect parent.
Grace and peace be yours in abundance,