“I Love You Daddy.”
I have the tendency to not react well to criticism. Constructive criticism I’m fine with, but criticism that comes from an indignant heart tends to stick with me. This is probably a sign of weak leadership and is certainly a sign of immaturity on my part. Nevertheless, it happened recently, and I was allowing it to stick with me.
One of the wonderful byproducts of having a son, and I’m certain I’m not the only father to experience this, is that I am often given little glimpses of God’s love for us, for me. Of course it’s just an infinitesimal amount of love compared to how Scripture describes God’s love for each of us, but it at least points me towards a window where I can begin to see how the Father/child relationship works between our Creator and us.
As I’m stewing over some unfair criticism I received recently, and thinking of several harsh and unbecoming responses I would commit only in my fantasies, my six-year-old son who is supposed to be eating breakfast and getting ready for school, brings me a crooked construction paper heart that he drew, cut out, and glued onto another piece of construction paper of the same color. It read, although a little misspelled, “I Love You Daddy.” He had got up this morning and started working on it for some reason.
The biggest smile formed on my face. My heart was generally filled with the love of a father. I hadn’t asked him for this and I certainly didn’t force it. He had expressed his love for me out of his own free will. All of the sudden the squeaky wheel that didn’t approve of me was no longer so squeaky in my head. The one who I care about most in this world loved me, looked up to me, and wanted me to know it!
I wonder if God works like that.
What if all the rejection and deliberate disobedience that this world offers up to its creator melts away at the sound of His children looking up at him and expressing their love and admiration.
I by no means believe that God is as sensitive as me when it comes to rejection. He’s a big boy and has been dealing with humanity for quite some time. In fact I think most of the time when Christians feel the need to ‘stand up for God’ and defend him, it is simply done in vain. I’d think at this point in history God has developed somewhat of a tough skin. I’m pretty certain He’s always had it.
Maybe He’s not looking for anyone to defend him. Maybe He’s got all of His emotions well under control. Maybe He cares more about the children in His family, their well-being, and their relationship with Him.
Maybe the Perfect Father’s heart is equally filled with joy when His children aren’t concerned about much more in this life than simply enjoying their relationship with their Father, and occasionally, without cause or reason, handing Him a crooked, misspelled construction paper heart that says ‘I Love You Dad.”
Maybe we should try and approach our relationship with God more like that of a loving child… Faith like a child… I’m quite certain a very wise Man talked about that once before.