Is God more like a Grandfather than a Father? I’m not trying to rearrange the nomenclature in which we are blessed to be called children of our Heavenly Father. I am fondly and greatly aware that throughout scripture God is referred to as “Father” and I am most grateful to have adoption and “sonship” through Christ in that familial arrangement. It’s just that as I observe others and am even engaged myself in the chapters of life as parent and grandparent, there are some soft, stabilizing and secure traits which grandparents are often more able to manifest than parents are while in their stage of child raising.
Since this is a rather “non-theological” article, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to consider a few personality traits that we observe in God which we would be well to cultivate whether we are at the grandparent stage or not. Part of a grandparent’s challenge is arriving at the right balance of support and independence, helping our grandkids grow up with a positive influential family presence around them. I am mindful that it’s the parents who shoulder the immediate challenges connected with child-raising. There is a sense of delight in watching this “show” take place, knowing that we now can take a back seat while our “kids” take their turn at the experiment of raising “model” children of their own. We try hard not to snicker and say, “see?”
- Patience:We can’t deny God is continually patient with us, from drawing us out of the world unto Himself and ministering to us as we learn to walk in the Spirit vs. our flesh. This can be a pretty messy process. The best grandparents are full of patience for their grandkids as well as for their grandkids’ Moms and Dads.
- Generosity:Not so much in buying material things, but in time, hospitality and even advice (when asked.) How can we ignore the good gifts from our good Father? And advice? It’s in the Book.
- Unconditional Love:Does the word agape come to mind? No matter what, God never stops loving His kids, and He does so without the use of guilt trips or shaming us. Kids will always find ways to disappoint our expectations. God anticipates the downturns and is prepared to love us through them.
- Empathy:Our Savior lived as a man and even came to us as a man purposely to experience the sorrows and challenges we would face. He is well acquainted with our life struggles. He understands. We need to express understanding and be able to see the world through the world others see.
- Willingness to Listen:Just being there when we need to be there. God reminds us He is always with us, ready to listen and affords an open invitation for us to boldly approach His throne of grace. Get it? It’s a throne of grace.
- Detachment:This may sound a little contradictory, but God knows how to keep His distance while at all times caring for us. He, though our “free will,” gives us latitude to do things our way, although it may not always be His way or the best way. He has given His views and precepts. We know where to find them. He wrote a whole book of instructions for successful living.
- Presence:We can learn a lot by being alone with Him or by being in the company of others who know Him. Even through His word, we can learn a great deal about His character and how to live life more fully. Alone time with God is never alone. It is a connection point.
These are some pretty solid and endearing qualities, aren’t they? Our God demonstrates them all to the max. As believers, these qualities are being cultivated within us . . . as brothers and sisters, as mothers and fathers, as grandparents and maybe especially as ambassadors to a world which hungers to be loved in this way. Think About It.