“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” (Matt. 6:9 NIV)
Our Father … I embrace having a relationship with God as Father.
For those of us blessed with gentle, loving, and understanding earthly fathers, it may be easier for us to view God in those terms. Not everyone is as fortunate. Regardless of what our personal relationships with our dads have been, we probably all have at least an idea of what the ideal would be like.
Parenting is not an easy job. Even if you’re not a parent, you may have friends or siblings who have children, so you’ve been around them when they’re sweet, and also when they’re cranky and rebellious.
Sometimes it would be easier to just give in to what they want instead of standing our ground, but if we constantly give in to what they want—when they want it—they’ll become selfish and irresponsible. It’s important that children learn patience and the value of hard work.
We say no because we love them and want the best for them. I believe God (as Father) sometimes answers prayers with no, or not right now for the same reasons.
Just as we wouldn’t think of handing over the car keys to a ten-year-old child who believes he’s ready to drive, God may not hand over an agent. Or a contract. We may not be ready to handle the responsibility. We may need more growth—in our writing, or even in our spiritual life.
Our Father doesn’t always let us have what we want—when we want it—because he loves us. He wants the very best for us.
We may love our children the same, but it’s not wise to always treat them the same. Some kids need more discipline, guidance, or patience than others. One child may be more interested in sports, while the other is drawn to the arts. To force either one to do something because the other child does it would be—well, wrong.
Our personal journeys in our writing lives/careers are all different. Just like our children who want to be football players and ballerinas, we don’t all have the same interests and gifts. If your critique partner gets published before you, or gets more attention, it doesn’t mean you’re a less favored child.
We encourage our children to develop their own gifts, and our heavenly Father created us to be unique—like no other—because he loves us and wants the best for us.