Saturday, December 7, 2013

God The Father

This is going to be a long post but bare with me!

I originally wasn't going to include this in my post, but I feel like it flows well with what I want to say so I will.  I attend Agape Baptist and I absolutely LOVE my church.  We have gospel communities and the one I attend meets every other Friday.  

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Currently our Gospel Community group has been focusing on how God desires believers to interact with one another, love one another, and the types of relationships they should have.  Tonight we talked about how to truly disciple children.   Here are some of the highlights:

1. Lead by example.  Do not just tell your children what you expect from them, but do the things you want them to do and avoid the things you don't want them to do.

2.  Repent to your children if you wrong them and be willing to repent in front of your children if they see you sin.

3.  Train a child in the way they should go.  Raise them with the values and lessons they need for their whole lives.  Give them the tools to make the right decisions when they have to make them without you.

4. Take advantage of the moments in everyday life when you can point them to Christ and show His hands-on activity in day to day experiences.

5.  Tell your children you love them and are proud of them just because of who they are, not just when they've done something to "earn" it.  Show them unconditional love.

6.  This one was huge.  There is a difference between punishment and discipline.  If you look at the new testament, Jesus endured the PUNISHMENT we deserve.  God doesn't punish us, but He disciplines us because he loves us.

      A. Punishment: has an aspect of revenge; action=consequence
      B. Discipline: pointing a person in the right direction towards improvement;                             done in love

There was ALOT more included in the conversation, but this is my summary. 
It's funny because you often think of parents being proud of their children. However, the whole time we had this discussion, all I could think about was how proud of my parents I was!  I have the most amazing family in the world.  And my parents did things right in raising us.  I remember them doing all of these things growing up.  I remember every time we got a spanking or disciplined it started with an explanation of why it's wrong and it was followed with a hug and an I love you.  My parents truly discipled us  and raised us in a Godly and biblical way.  They loved us unconditionally.  We may not have realized it in the moments as children, but looking back it is clear they always had our best interest in mind!

Now I am going to narrow in on my Dad a little more.  I have always been a daddy's girl.  My dad and I still, to this day, go out on "dates".  We have long talks late into the night.  We laugh at things nobody else does.  He is the most amazing man I know.  I love my dad so much!  I am so thankful for him.  
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God/Jesus plays many different roles in our lives-husband, master, friend, Lord, Savior, and also Father.  I have never felt the need to see God as my heavenly father.  I have often pointed other people to that, especially people who don't have their fathers in their lives for whatever reason.  But I do have my dad-and he's the best dad ever.  So I didn't ever feel the need to look at God as a father. I say this humbly as well.  I battle with whether or not that is right or wrong.  However, I do see him that way now.  

It's always been easy for me to see Him as master and Lord.  Unfortunately it hasn't always been properly balanced, and so therefore I tried to earn His love/approval.  After having a child of my own, I understand how He loves me a little more.  There is NOT A THING Brody could do to make me stop loving him.  He could become a rapist and a murderer-and I would be completely disappointed in him, but I would still love him.  That could literally never change.  I've always "known" God loved me unconditionally, but to realize it and experience it is a completely different thing.  To know that I can approach God the way I can approach my dad is so liberating.  It helps me to trust Him more in knowing that even if He gets disappointed from time to time and has to discipline me, it will always be surrounded by love.  As I realize He sees me as His child and He adores me, I don't have to worry.  I don't have to struggle with the pressure of what I do.  I can rest in what Christ has done.  I can be free from myself and works and religion.  I am free to love Him and be loved by Him.  A huge weight has been lifted.  I am a free child of my precious heavenly Father.

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