The heart of the (f)Father?

We sent our son (the one who acts like me) to bed last night without any dinner. We really had no choice in the matter and I know it was the right thing to do given the issue we were dealing with. Yet I couldn't help but miss him at the dinner table. It diminished my time there and my oldest son, upon being put to bed, was worried that he would not be going to Seabreeze with us tomorrow. Mind you, I didn't miss the behavior that landed him in his room. I would have to be more than a fool to long for that. But here I was in the midst of his self-imposed exile to his room for the night missing him. My love for him sent him to his room. That same love for him wanted him in his chair to my right.

I have often remarked and written of the fact that I am more in touch with the emotional side of God's great love for me now that I am a parent. The passages in the Bible that deal with parent/child relationships have a real depth to them that they never had now that I am a father. I know that I can't transfer all of my feelings onto God because, much of the time, they are left wanting in the motive department. But I wonder if the feelings I had for Drew last night is the longing He has for me when I stray? Even in the midst of my discipline, one that is a result of my own sinfulness, does He cry out to me "Turn back. Turn back so we can hold hands again."? Is the love that moves Him to drive me, for a time, from His closer presence the same that carries His heart to me as I lie on my bed hungry for lack of food that He has withheld from me?

I pray he has learned his lesson because I ached for him last night. I pray that I do not have to serve him again by punishing him today. I will do it if I have to, but I will have to swallow hard knowing that it is right, but neither easy nor pleasant.


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