I have the distinction of being the father of three children who neither respect or love me. My eldest son is Ethan Wade, my Daughter Shannon Michelle, and my youngest son Sean Travis. Life has been cruel and I did not have much time in their lives. Ethan was 3 1/2 when his mother moved away. After that my involvement can be measured in days. They probably have spent more time playing video games that with me. Sean came on this blog over a year ago to spit his venom and hatred. He is very ignorant of the events that have hurt him. Still, a father's love has not changed. This tragedy in my life has caused me to understand my Father God much better. My children reject and hate me without cause. Though I have a wealth of love for them, they run from it out of foolish pride. Even their sins do not move my heart to condemnation. Always do I desire the best for them. I am not troubled by their rejection, I am troubled by their pain. Though they can justify the rejection by their belief that I don't love them, factually this is a lie. Even the pain I experience from their behavior I do not charge to them. There is a special gracious standard applied to them that I don't apply to those who aren't my children.
I know there are only shadowy experiences in light of the revelation they lighten upon, but God is kind in using them as such. I have not always been a child enamored with my heavenly Father. Many times I have brought false accusations, misunderstood, and rejected Him. I have used my pain as an excuse to run from Him instead of to Him. Fortunately His lover never changed and His grace never brought a charge against me. In fact, every provision has been made to restore me to relationship. He is my example of a good father and I have too many examples of rebellious children to ever grow weary of thanksgiving for a Father's love.