God’s Strange (Yet So Effective) Parenting Style


If you desire, humanly speaking, pleasant and happy days, then never get seriously involved with Christ. Soren Kierkegaard

Paula Rinehart writes in Better Than My Dreams these telling words about how God parents very differently than most human moms and dads who will move heaven and earth to spare their children from suffering.

But to what end?

I don’t know about you, but I am grateful that God sees the larger picture and does what needs doing (in my life and that of my children.)

I just sometimes wish it wouldn’t hurt so much.

Isn’t it strange the way God works in our lives? Who would think that he would use something physical, like anxiety, to expose a place of spiritual bondage – and to invite us into freedom with him we would not have known?

Perhaps it’s harder for us to recognize the fingerprints of God in difficult places of our journey because God’s parenting has a deeper goal than our own.

He wounds – in order to heal.

He dismantles and exposes, so that we might know his cleansing love in the deeper reaches of our being.

We grow up assembling a secret little bag of skills and aptitudes that work for us. They take us places. They bring us applause. But if we carry old survival skills way into our adulthood, they either don’t work as well – or they backfire.

God has designed the universe so as to push us out of our comfort zones. We have to step off the side of the nest and fly, even if it feels like a free fall for a while. That naked place of risky newness is the only place we learn to trust him.

And might I add…the only place where we will feel the bliss of flying freely.

So the next time you (and I) feel that little nudge, nudge, push, push, go for it impulse…take the leap confident that in doing so, God will catch you if need be.


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