I was talking to my girl friends about Heaven one day and what they thought Heaven would be like. We went back and forth about how everything there will reflect his likeness. Since then, I have been thinking about how God reflects his nature now. How it reflects off me as being a child of God, who is responsible to reflect His likeness. One of the things I thought about is His authority. The way He reflects authority to me, how I receive it, and why. I never thought of this idea as a guide to parenting until I started explaining loving authority to my kids one day. It gave me a peaceful understanding of how to handle authority and how to respond in love.
God reveals and reflects His authority in ways of a husband. God is the husband and His people are His wife. He is our Bridegroom and we are his bride. We know He gives husbands authority and mothers authority. Basically, what I want to get at is that we all have authority figures. Authority figures reflect the fact that God created this life style, because He is one. Therefore, we have authority figures. God asks us to obey respect authority/ figures because He appointed them to be responsible for whoever that is. At the same time, He is the authority over us all. Plus God reflects a true husband, happily taking the responsibility to provide for his brides. Looking at Him as an example in whatever authority situation He puts us in.
Other than being a husband, God also reflects a loving father who loves and corrects. How does He reflect being a Father with authority? In Hosea 6:6 God says he’d rather us have steadfast love for Him rather than just going through the motion of obediants.
For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice,
the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
He desires steadfast love. So when we train our kids to do things, as leading up a child the way they should go. It’s not because, “I told you so,” but out of love.
When I ask my children to be obedient or tell them why. I say, “You love on mommy when you do this. You love on Jesus when you respect mommy and daddy.” Because I myself never knew that obeying my mom when I was a child also meant doing it because I loved her. My boys love hugs and kisses and I tell them there are other ways to love me. Such as, not having a fit, speaking to me nicely, or putting diapers away.
Seeing God’s heart is even huge for us as parents in Hosea 6:6, “I desire steadfast love.” I know for me I want respect at times or being selfish and just wanting good obedient children! What God desires more is love. We shouldn’t want to gain anything with our authority as parents more than the love from our children. And again the only way to do that is to reflect the Father by spending time with Him. I forget at times to not abuse my authority by being bossy, but to correct myself and seeing the nature of true authority. Because we are trying to do for them what Christ does for us. Not saying that it is going to be perfect, but if they see God’s reflection in authority, then they will feel safe. They will desire the Father and not turn away from Him because He is The Authority.
I hope this was encouraging or interesting to read. I have had so many times of confusion on how to train my children. How to give grace, when to correct, etc. Looking at the Perfecter of authority and Creator of authority has helped me to have a clearer understanding how to respond to authority and how to reflect it.