4.07.2008

Making Dad Sad

As I coming down the stairs this weekend, I saw Jada looming ominously
over Aaron. We made eye contact and then I turned the corner; and
then whipped back into view to see what she was going to do to her
little brother once I was out of sight. Sure enough, she raised her
hand and struck him across the face. I swooped in angrily and pointed
her to the corner, where she would be spending some "time out" before
apologizing to Aaron.

When I relayed the story to Amy, she frowned and said, "That makes me
sad." The thought of her kids fighting saddened her. I made some
comment about how that's what brothers and sisters naturally do, and
we just need to be sure to instruct our kids that it's not OK.

Afterwards, though, it occurred to me that God is more like Amy than
me, in terms of His reaction to His kids being in conflict. To be
sure, He is mindful to instruct us when we sin against one another,
through either physical, verbal, or other blows. But there is also a
sense of grieving that I am sure He feels, like Amy did, when His kids
fight.

Ultimately, that sadness is not out of insecurity or impotence; and
ultimately, our sin is not just against one another but also against
Him, and there is a very real and justifiable element of anger and
vengeance in God's response to such behavior. And yet, my
understanding of the God of the Bible is that there is some parental
sadness in there, too, a sadness that Amy first tapped into when told
of our kids' fighting, and one I have a better understanding of myself
being a parent.

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