Saturday, January 16, 2010

God the Father vs. Mama Bear

I adore God as Father, but honestly sometimes, I just want Him to be a Mama Bear.

Have you ever noticed the difference between how moms and dads parent their kids? There are many. And I’m certain it doesn’t stem from a difference in how much they love them or want to protect them. I just think moms and dads have different ways of teaching the same thing.

For instance, moms teach their children to not play with electrical outlets by scolding them anytime they get near one. By running over and flipping out the second that it seems they might want to touch it. But dads see their little ones near the outlet and figure that the lesson will be driven home better if their offspring feels a little shock, so they watch from a distance as their kid proceeds to try to insert their little fingers into the outlet or whatever toy they happen to be holding at the time. (Yes, I got that example from a comedy routine. No, I don’t remember which one. I want to say Bill Cosby, but I’m not certain. Sorry!)

It doesn’t mean that dads get a little thrill out of seeing their kids get shocked. It doesn’t mean they care less or want to see their kids hurt. I think it just means that they understand that some things are better learned by experience than avoidance.

Isn’t God like that?! Sure He gives us plenty of warnings. And I’m absolutely certain that He sends angels to block some dangers from touching us. (No parent is going to stand aside while their kid tries to touch a hot stove in order to teach them that they shouldn’t touch a hot stove.) There are some things that He just doesn’t want us to experience. But He seems to prefer to show us that if we keep walking down a particular path, it’s gonna get ugly. I think He knows that we’re more likely to learn our lesson and make different choices in the future if we walk around in the mess we’ve made for a while. And as much as I want to deny it, it’s definitely true for me.

But there are times when I just wish He’d be like a Mama Bear. Hovering over us, scaring us out of our skin if we so much as think of sinning. Batting our hands away from touching the electrical outlets in our lives.

I don’t always understand God’s ways, but I am thankful that He considers me one of His own. I am also grateful to know that even when I get stuck wandering around in my own messes, He is always there to help me out, clean me off and set my feet on a better path. Just like a Daddy should.

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