I only vaguely remember my father. He died when I was about six years old. What I remember is good, in spite of moving about seven times in my first six years. My stepdad was a louse. Not because he was my stepdad. Actually, as a child, I genuinely loved him. A decade ago, when I came to terms with the abuse I endured at his hands, both directly and indirectly… Well, I have forgiven him, but I now realize I didn’t love him. He made me codependent.
I say that to say this: I didn’t learn what a good dad is until years later. Because of that, I could only imagine the nature of a good Heavenly Father.
In speaking to a friend today who is a new Christian, I discovered he was riddled with guilt about sins that he struggles with. I had to remind him of how proud he was when his child was a newborn, learning to smile, learning to make eye contact, learning to hold up her head, then roll over, crawl, and finally walk. He agreed. Those were proud moments.
I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is just as proud of us as we enter His Kingdom as newborn children of God.
I’ve felt the warmth of His smile and the security of His arms. And, I’ve seen Him encourage me and laugh at my first steps.
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!
– 1 John 3:1