The Loving Parent

SDA JournalDevotional


Scripture: If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
Luke 11:11-13 (NKJV)

Observation: The disciples observed Jesus in prayer and asked Him to teach them how to do it.  In answer to their request, Jesus gave them a pattern in what has come to be known as “The Lord’s Prayer.”  He then follows His instructions encouraging His disciples to ask the Father for what they need, reminding them that God, our Father, will not give us anything that would not be good for our well-being.

Application: The relationship between a parent and their children is one of the most important ones not only for the physical, but also for the emotional and spiritual development of each of their children.
     From the physical point of view, human children are totally helpless and totally dependent on others from the time they are born.  Without the physical nurture they receive from parents, or some other adults, the child would simply die shortly after their birth.  As the child grows, parents are responsible for providing them with good, healthy, nutritious food if their children will grow up healthy and with good health habits.  In our day, there is an increase in children with diabetes or with hypertension or other diseases that are directly linked to their diet because evidently they have not been properly nourished by their parents.
     From the emotional point of view, babies and children who experience closeness and healthy physical touch from their parents grow emotionally healthier.  The words children hear from their parents will have a great effect on their psychological and educational well-being.  If what they hear from their parents are words putting them down, yelling at them, telling them how dumb they are or that they will amount to nothing, those words will have have a negative effect on their fragile minds and lives.  If, on the other hands, children hear loving, encouraging, affirming words from their parents, they get the positive foundation they need to grow up and develop into stronger, healthier, successful, independent adults.
     Finally, from the spiritual point of view, the relationship with their parents will either lead them closer or farther from God.  The love of the mother toward their children is used in the Bible as an example of the loving care God has for His children.  The relationship of fathers toward their children is also used and helps form that relationship between their children and their heavenly Father.  That is the message from today’s text, that God’s goodness to us, is greater than even the best of parents, and certainly that of those parents who fail to show love to their children.

A Prayer You May Say: Father, our Father, thank You for loving us the way that You do.  And thank You, Father, for giving us in our parents the love and care that we needed to one day come to trust You and love You.  At the same time, Father, I recognize that some parents have been far from that ideal.  Bless us Father, that we may forgive our parents when they have fallen short of the ideal You have for them, forgive us when we as parents have not been a good example for our children, and restore us all to the best relationship there is, that which we can have with You, our loving Father.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.



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