Tuesday, April 7, 2009

God the FATHER

When thinking about raising the Beloved Son, it seems that there are many similarities between the way God raised Jesus Christ, HIS Beloved Son. There are many instances throughout the New Testament where we see how He delighted in his son. The most explicit account is when Christ is baptized. After he is raised out of the water and the heavens open up, a voice from heaven says, "This is My Beloved Son. I take delight in Him!" (Matt 4:17). Although these same actions didn't take place during my baptism, I can honestly say that I felt as though God was telling me this. Moreover, I remember how proud my father was that night, and he delighted in me.
Throughout this chapter, Eldredge focuses on the importance of feeling loved by fathers during boyhood, and there is some merit behind this way of thinking. However, I'm not so sure it's essential to being a man. The author recounts a story of a man who confronted his father about the lack of love and affection he received as a boy, and how he wanted his father to be proud and delight in him. "I can't. My father never did that for me" was the father's response. While I do not dispute this father's inability to do so at the time, does it mean he is forever incapable of exuding these fatherly characteristics if they were never predisposed to it themselves? I argue that he is capable, but it will take some time for him to develop them and give his son what he needs.
It's impractical to think that a man has got to seek and receive the approval of his father before he can begin to pass on those feelings to his son, and I don't think that's what Eldredge is trying to say. Instead, each man can look to the Holy Father for this strength and character, and THAT is what the author is pointing out. If you as a man/father think you are incapable of expressing the love and affection that is needed to raise the Beloved Son, then look to God for it. Just like God delighted in Jesus, he does the same with you. More importantly, he will SHOW you this in your life.
Here are some questions I want you to chew on for a bit: Do you think God delights in you? If so, how and why/not?

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