Father’s Day. When children are young, they really understand nothing more than to love their father. It comes very naturally. But along comes a time, usually in their teenage years, when dad does something upsetting or unfair. They, then have a choice. Will they love or withhold?
The words “I love you” spoken by a child having experienced disappointment through their father’s hands speaks words of true depth. She has a choice–she’s made a decision. The choice is this: my disappointment is not greater than my affection for you. When she says “I love you” through her disappointment–well that’s real love, a mature love, a pure love.
This love is extraordinarily satisfying for me, the father. I know she means it. She has considered not loving, and having weighed the option, determined that her life is more complete with the love intact.
This causes me to connect with my Heavenly Father. Sometimes He upsets me or does something that seems unfair. I have a choice. Will I love anyway, or withhold? I choose to love–and his heart bursts with excitement at my choice, as does mine with the choice of my child.
My will may come into conflict with His will, like her will sometimes conflicts with mine. But it’s the exercise of her will–the choice to love anyway–that makes that emotion so meaningful to me.
My Father has given me a will, and when I exercise it toward Him–even though I might be upset–well, that just produces a depth of relationship that is so satisfying to Him, and revolutionary to me!