Thursday, February 07, 2008

Did you love your dad?

God as Father.
"The holy Fathers consider even heroic deeds as acts of a hireling. They claim that the fear of suffering is the way of a slave, and that the desire for reward is the way of a hireling. But God wants us to come to him on the path of a son; motivated by love and zeal for his glory, we should conduct ourselves with honor and enjoy his saving presence in our hearts and souls." - The Way of A Pilgrim

I lived a great part of my life trying to please my dad. In nearly everything I did, I consciously or unconsciously sought his approval and favor. But most of all, I wanted to please him to avoid his wrath - his punishment when I displeased him. That was what I called "loving my dad". I never realized how much I tried to gain his approval until after he died. After he died, I understood my love had been subservient. That was a crisis for me.

Loving God cannot be the same way. I hope to love him for himself, because he is lovable in himself. Obviously I am not there yet.


  1. Well the main thing is God loves YOU unconditionally.

    I had to work through in prayer & therapy many childhood issues..alcoholism etc & have only just come out the other side of a painful purification..God bless..

  2. Terry, I believe that when it comes to God, the word you're looking for is agape: to love someone completely as they are, without expecting anything in return.

  3. Looking back I can see that I often took my Dad for granted. He is a quiet guy who never made a big deal out of doing the right thing. I also somtimes take God for granted; perhaps the sin of presumption.

  4. Hi Terry,

    I think you'd appreciate the film, Smoke Signals. It's a powerful and moving story of a young man coming to terms with his father and their troubled relationship. Oh, and it's also quite funny in parts!



  5. I was scared of my dad when I was little. When I was 6 the neighbour girl asked me who I loved more - my mom or my dad. It was mom hands down (my mother was a saint) but I said, "my mom BUT my dad works hard to look after us" so something a 6 year old would say.

    It was only this past Advent that I started really praying for my dad's soul. It has helped a lot.

  6. Oh, so much.
    He was (and is, though he's very sick now and can be a bit ill-tempered) gentle, brave, loving, thoughtful, sweet, silly, and I always knew he loved being my daddy.

    A good glimpse at the Father's love for His children.

    What a blessing.


Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.