I love lions. It may have a little to do with the fact that my alma mater’s mascot is a lion, but also I enjoy the Chronicles of Narnia, National Geographic, and the overwhelming similarities that God and lions share.
Lions are fierce, brave, powerful, dangerous, mighty, and supreme. But they are also protective, corrective, gentle, loving, and affectionate. This is a perfect example of how God the Father’s love manifests itself in our lives.
Our Heavenly Father is fierce, brave, powerful, dangerous, mighty, and supreme. But He is also protective, corrective, gentle, loving, and affectionate. As men, as earthly fathers, God shows us how to use both fierce correction and gentle affection in our parenting.
Far too often, I see fathers miss the mark in administering discipline to their children. On one extreme, fathers withhold correction because they are afraid to hurt their kids feelings and be hated by their kids. On the other extreme, I see dads dish out discipline harshly with no explanation to the child of why. Fathers, both extremes are bad parenting and not beneficial to our kids.
As fathers we cannot separate correction and affection. Correction, or discipline, without affection shows your hunger for power and control (Jeremiah 10:24, Proverbs 3:12, 29:17). Affection without correction shows lack of wisdom and love and reveals a desire for earthly acceptance (Proverbs 13:24, 23:13, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
Fathers, assess the way you parent and lead your children. Are you extremely corrective and lacking in affection? Or do you refrain from correcting your child because you fear hurting their feelings or losing them as a friend? Which extreme do you tend to lean towards and what steps can you take to look more like God our Father?
I don’t claim to be a perfect father, but I’m learning from the best. I encourage you to open God’s word, the Bible, and learn from His example. His fatherly characteristics are throughout scripture. Psalms is a great place to start.