Since Father’s Day is tomorrow, I thought it might be nice to share a couple things I’ve noticed so far as a dad that God used to speak some deeper messages to me. Since He is the Heavenly Father, a lot of my son’s actions and attitudes (he’s a toddler) make me think about my relationship with God the Father. So over the next couple of days I’ll be sharing some of those lessons, starting today.
Our little guy has recently developed a sweet tooth. He had a taste of cake at his most recent birthday party and ever since, he’s been hooked to desserts of pretty much any variety. We try to limit his sugar intake and swap a conventional cookie for something like Pepperidge Farms goldfish snacks.
Another thing our son has cultivated already is an intense love of cars and trucks—real and toy vehicles of all sorts. While at the store today, we went through the toy aisle and he found a couple inexpensive trucks he really wanted and we let him hang on to them till we could decide whether to give them as gifts later on or not. Towards the end of our time in the store we passed by some baked goods. My son immediately called out, “CAKE!” and reached from the buggy towards them and then to my wife and I imploringly.
We really didn’t want to get the small cupcakes he had his eyes on, but thought we should let him choose what he really wanted: trucks or cupcakes. I thought I was super-intuitive to my son’s thought patterns and that he would pick the trucks. They last longer, he already had other daily treat items at home, and he had lovingly held and played with the trucks from the moment he first had them in hand. I was wrong. He chose the cupcakes even though the factors going into the decision clearly weighted the trucks as the obvious choice.
At that moment, I was like, wow, he would probably trade me and his mom (or at least me) for a cupcake. It wasn’t a serious observation, as I tend to be sarcastic, even in my inner thoughts, but that’s when God hit me with something. I feel like that is exactly how I treat God.
There are things in life I choose over Him. It can be what I do with my time instead of spending it seeking Him. The things I spend money on. What I say in conversations. Every time we substitute something for getting to a closer relationship with God, we’ve let an idol displace Him and they’re always the worse choice. At the time, we feel like the thing, whatever it is, is the most pressing need we have and I know I personally do an excellent job of rationalizing terrible decisions.
A big lesson my son has taught me is to be very careful about what I choose to place my affections on. Because I should be “approving the things that are excellent.”(Philippians 1:10)
Along the way through this series, feel free to share any lessons you’ve picked up from the little ones you’ve known.