Growing in Knowing God

God’s commands make some people turn off to the Bible. Why do they stop listening when the Bible says in God’s own voice, “You shall have no other gods before me,” for example? One answer might be that they had severely authoritarian parents. My mom never told us boys why we were to do something. Some parents who are like her say, “Because I said so!” Why should we obey God’s commands?  

People also rebel against authority when their parents were very permissive, resulting in spoiled kids. Then, people who have experienced either of these extremes in parental unbringing transfer their childhood experiences to God the Father, a comparison which is very unfair to him because he is the perfect Father unlike our imperfect ones. 

God the Father teaches us his tough and tender love through his instructions in his Bible.

As the caption to the humorous picture above says, God is the perfect Father who gives us an abundance of promises which he will fulfill on his perfect time schedule, not our imperfect one. He has inspired the writers of the Bible to give us enough information about him for our comfort. 

God the Parent comforts us with his tender love by way of his biblical promises, the way these parents do with this baby.

However, because we are far from perfect, he also shows us his tough love with his commands and instructions. For example, the New Testament letters of the Apostle Paul show God’s tender love in the first parts (Romans 1-11; Ephesians 1-3; Colossians 1-2; Hebrews 1-11) and his tough love with his commands in the last sections (Romans 12-16; Ephesians 4-6; Colossians 3-4; Hebrews 12-16).  

We need both God’s tender and his tough love, but we must remember that he always shows us his love to enable us to grow to know God better. I welcome your responses.

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