The Parable of the Mean Dad

Slamming the door shut as the father left his son’s room, he was as furious as he was disappointed. He hates this part of fatherhood, yet realizes its absolute importance. Correction is not pleasing, it is not enjoyable, but is absolutely necessary. For without it, his son would continue on in foolishness, and even increase in it.

Later, as the boy came sulking out of his room he sat down at the table where his father was. “Do you know why you got in trouble son?” “Yes.” “What?!” “Yes sir.” “Why?” “Because I tried to hit my Momma.” “That’s right” “But why did you get so mad? I didn’t actually hit her.” “It is not just the action, but the attitude and intention behind your action son. Your mother deserves nothing more than your utmost respect. And you are to always speak appropriately and act appropriately with her. Men don’t hit women, and only the most foolish of men would strike their mothers or wives. I will not accept you growing up to be one of those men. Do you understand me?” “Yes sir.”

“But why were you so mean Daddy? You spanked me so hard.” “When do I ever punish you son? When do I ever spank you? Do I ever correct you, or discipline you, when you are doing what is right and good?” “No sir.” “Do I ever yell at you when you are behaving properly?” “Well, no sir.” “You see son, you get the kind of Daddy that you want. If you want the mean Daddy of discipline, then misbehave. If you want the nice Daddy that is happy and gentle with you, then be a good boy. I have a responsibility son. I have to react in kind according to your behavior. It’s not a choice I have; it is an inherent responsibility of being a father. The choice is yours. The Daddy you get on any given day is up to you, and your attitude and behavior. Do you understand that?” “Yes sir.” “Then son, I hope and pray every morning that you choose to be a good, and honorable, and respectful, and wise young boy. Because there is no other Father I would rather be than yours, and there is no other kind of Dad I want to be, than a happy a gentle Dad; but that… is up to you.”

This is how it is with us and God isn’t it? So often we can be the recalcitrant child that is kicking back at God (Acts 26:14). And because of God’s righteousness, He has to deal with sin justly. “The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is He?... May it never be! For otherwise how will God judge the world?” (Ro. 3:5-6) God must render judgment “…to every man according to his deeds.” (Ro. 2:6) Just as the Father in the story found no enjoyment in bringing judgment against his son, so God has no joy in bringing judgment against us. It is necessary, because of His righteous nature, but it is not enjoyable. ‘”For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies (spiritually),’ declares the Lord God. ‘Therefore, repent and live.’” (Ez. 18:32)

I know there are many in our society who bemoan and castigate the idea of a God of wrath; however, it must not escape our notice that He is not JUST a God of wrath, but a God of love. For who has made a greater sacrifice than our God? (John 3:16) The “Mean Dad” of discipline in the parable is a Dad that most in our society would understand and respect. Then why not God; Who disciplines to make us the people of holiness we should be? “Furthermore we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness.” (Heb. 12:9-10)

In the end, we are blessed to call God our Father; and we should be honored He treats us as children, “God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline.” (Heb. 12:7) God finds no joy in our sin, or the action of correcting it; but He knows it is for our good. Just as it is unpleasant for the father in the parable to discipline his son, he does it for the good of his son. May we respect God, for His judgment and His love; and may we truly understand and appreciate that, “All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who are trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.” (Heb. 12:11)

What kind of God do you want? Do you want the God of wrath (Rom. 2:8-9), or do you want the God of joy (Rom. 2:7&10)? What kind of God do you want? Do you want the God of anger or the God of peace? The God that we face in judgment is up to us. So may we receive His instruction now, so that we can learn and grow by it unto eternal life. What kind of God do you want? You don’t have to tell me… you are already telling God by the choices and actions you are making every day (Dt. 30:19).

By David Osteen Via GRACE GAZETTE August 28th, 2011 Volume 6 Article 30

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