God roars from Zion, shouts from Jerusalem! The thunderclap voice withers the pastures tended by shepherds, shrivels Mount Carmel’s proud peak. Amos 1:1-2 (MSG)
There is a certain balancing act required in being a good father. A soft-sided love lived out in active affection, grace, and lovingkindness is certainly necessary. But, a hard-sided love modeled by firm justice and, at times, righteous anger is equally needed. One side without the other leads to all sorts of negative consequences for everyone.
It is sometimes difficult to wrap our arms around the God of judgement characterized by the prophets like Amos. Amos reveals the hard-sided love of the Heavenly Father. As I read today’s chapter, I could almost hear dad yelling “ENOUGH!” as every child within earshot is suddenly aware that they are in big trouble.
A loving father loves his children enough to protect them at need from their own foolishness and, when appropriate, to hand out just consequences to teach his children the error of their ways. As an earthly father, I’m flawed in finding the perfect balance, but God is a perfect example to continually seek to follow.
Today, I’m thankful for an earthly father who loved me well with both the soft and hard sides of love. I’m thankful for a God who is a model to follow. I pray I can continue to find and refine the appropriate balance with my children.