Approx. reading time: 4 minutes
While we were driving the other day, my son asked me if we could watch a movie when we got home. The kids had already watched TV earlier in the day, so I wasn’t sure they should watch any more. I responded by saying, “I’m not sure right now, we’ll see about it.” He wasn’t a fan of the answer, so he proceeded to tell me, “Dad, you have until we get home to decide.” As I look back on it, I laugh. But initially I was dumbfounded. Then three thoughts hit me.
- You’ll have an answer when I’m good and ready.
- What he thinks is important isn’t the same as what I think is important for him.
- Just like my son did to me, we often we tell God what to do and when to have it done.
I love and delight in my children. I want to give them every good thing I can afford them. But sometimes that means saying no to a bad thing, so they can have something better. Watching TV isn’t inherently bad. But they get so little value from it that I would rather them play outside or appreciate what they already have.
As parents, we want something better for our children than their own immediate joy (or at least we should). We better understand the value of long-term joy versus short-term happiness. So it is with God. This is what Jesus had to say:
Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
God delights in and wants the best for you; though it may not always be what you think is the best for you. I fear too often we place our demands on him more than we ask him what he thinks is best. Why do you think that is? We must trust in and seek what God has for us, and when he says no, understand he has something more meaningful and beneficial in store for us.
This is just one of the hundreds of daily interactions I have with my kids that teach me more about God. I know I can’t be alone in this.
- What are some ways God shows himself to you through your parental interactions? If you’re not a parent, perhaps with a niece/nephew or other child you know?