Christian Parenting Articles    

A Glimpse into the Father's Heart

My experiences as a father to my boys have given me a glimpse into my Heavenly Father's heart ... not that my fatherhood on earth is the original and God's fatherhood is the copy but that my earthly fatherhood is a minute reflection of His heavenly fatherhood. If I love my children then God must love His children so much more. Matthew 7:11 put it in these words, "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!"

I remember the joy and excitement when my elder boy, YP was born (c.f. Gen. 1:27-28,31) ... the numerous times I went to his cot and looked at him (even though he was fast asleep) ... and said to myself, "He is my little prince." I love him.

As my two boys learn to crawl, walk and run, I kept watch over them lest they hurt themselves (c.f. Psa. 121:3-4).

This constant vigilance can be tiresome at times but no sacrifice is too great for someone you love. If called upon to make the supreme sacrifice, I believe I will do it (c.f. John 10:11-12; Rom. 5:6-8).

Then the boys began to talk. Their growing language skills make parenting more fun as communication now is two-way (c.f. Prov. 15:8). It gives me great delight to know that they desire my presence. They want to play with me and look forward to the time when I come home. The affections they display ... YP addressing me as "dae dae" and YZ kissing me each night ... are heart warming.

I watch with amazement at their growth and development ... taking pride in YP's analytical and reasoning abilities and in YZ's antics, songs, dances and his ability to spell (c.f. Psa. 16:3).

Then there is the grief ... grief at YZ's stubbornness (c.f. Psa. 78:40; Isa. 63:10).

I have the might to force him into submission but that submission would be no joy to me. What I desire is his love demonstrated in voluntary obedience (c.f. John 14:15).

It hurts me that I have to discipline him but he is my son (c.f. Heb. 12: 6-7).

I am committed to him for life. Nothing is going to change the fact that he is my son (c.f. Luke 15:15:11-32; Rom. 8:38-39). I love him.

Just before Chinese New Year (1997), I heard a loud thud followed by YZ's cry. I dashed into the bedroom and found him clutching his ears and yelling, "Painful, very painful!" Apparently the two boys were playing on my bed and YP accidentally kicked YZ in the jaw. That kick sent YZ crashing and hitting his head against the wall. I was concerned about the extent of the head injury (if any).

I had told them on numerous occasions not to kick while playing with one another. They said they are just pretending. I warned them that accidents may happen but they chose to ignore my warnings and "played with fire." I was sad that they had rejected my wisdom and got hurt.

I was furious when YP said, "He also kicked me." Instead of apologising and asking for forgiveness, he was trying to shift the blame. I said emphatically, "Do you know what you have done ... your brother could have been paralysed!"

It hurts to see one member of the family hurting another (even though, it was unintentional). I love both of them.
Parenting is as much a training of parents as it is a training of children. Being a father to my boys had given me another perspective of my God ... the joy, grief and anger He experiences as my Heavenly Father ... and how much (more) He loves me.

A Glimpse into The Father's Heart Apr 1997 Alan S.L. Wong