Monday, March 06, 2006

Genesis 37:1-11; Psalm 44; 1 Corinthians 1:1-19; Mark 1:1-13

In today's Scripture reading I am reminded of a father's love. A love so great that it doesn't seek to shield his children, but rather allow them to develop. Sometimes we may feel that our Father has forgotten us, or even forsaken us, but the love is so strong that he wants us to choose and develop the correct path.

As a parent, I know there is nothing harder than allowing your children to do something on their own when you know that failure is part of the process. The instinct to protect them at all costs must give way to allowing them to make mistakes, or how else can they grow and develop?

We have become a society that sometimes over-protects our children. We question whether any child should experience failure. Schools question whether children should be graded on a scale; sports are sometimes presented as everyone wins; awards given out to every child. But without knowing failure, how can you learn to truly appreciate, and work for, success? Without failure, how can a child understand that their father’s love is not predicated on success? We must guard against becoming so cautious with our children that they are denied the necessity of learning how to handle both success and failure, or denied understanding that love transcends either experience.

In the end, the father’s love exists no matter whether the child succeeds or fails in any task. What counts is the direction that the child takes, perhaps with gentle prodding from the father, but nevertheless as the child’s own choice. The best we can do is teach, encourage, and show by example, our commitment to God, our morals, and beliefs. In the end, our children must choose the path for themselves. Likewise, Christ has showed us the path, and God the father’s love is never ending, but we must still choose and follow the path ourselves.


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