Father’s Love

“As a father has compassion for his children,

 so the Lord has compassion

 for those who fear him.”

Psalm 103:13

Fathers have a very special role in the lives of their children. It’s different from the emotionsthat mothers feel toward their children. Compassion involves a choice of actionthat will meet a need.  This verse also includes an attitude of the child toward that father……an attitude of God’s children toward the Father.  It’s not the kind of “fear” that we think of as being afraid.  “…those who fearHim” have a true respectfor Him…respect for what He thinks, what He knows, and what He does, and who He is.

In the desert, there is great emotional love for one’s mother. She’s the nurturer…the one who provides emotional love and care.  Moms are comforting, tuned-in to the emotional well-being of their children. They’re the ones to snuggle.

Fathers, especially throughout the generations before my desert people became refugees, were the ones to whom the children had to give great respect.  If the radio was playing and the father or grandfather came into the tent, the radio was quickly silenced.  The father’s needs became the priority of the whole family.  There was no unruly behavior in his presence, no disregard of his presence in the room….no sillyness or shouting.  Rarely was there physical expression of love.  Even singing (unless requested) was seen as disrespectful of the father / grandfather.

But if a child was suffering in any way, most fathers would step in to do something to ease the suffering.  It was not very emotional, but rather, choices and actions to help bring an easing or rectifying of the problem.  Compassion causes us to choose to do something to ease suffering.   Fixing the problemis not always the wisest thing to do.

Sometimes, a desert father’s compassionrequired him to be away from his family for long periods of time….whether to engage as a soldier to protect his family and people, or traveling to find work to support his children.  These are not usually “emotional” choices, nor are they experienced as emotional “love” by the children.  But they are choices motivated by love that takes action as compassion.

Our Heavenly Father is most worthyof our deepest respect. Our contemporary world is not very familiar with “deep respect” (‘fear’) of other people.  Often, that lack of deep respect (fear)seeps into our attitude toward our Heavenly Father.   May we consider…and check our own hearts…

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