Words of Healing “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” – Jesus (Matt 24:35).

26Jun/130

Life’s Little Lessons: God’s Jealousy is a Good Thing.

Oprah Winfrey in one snippet on YouTube that I saw was saying that she gave up on Christianity when she heard that God was jealous "of her."  Now clearly, either the pastor preaching misspoke or she misunderstood, because God is not jealous "of her" but "for her."  However, she's not alone in this misunderstanding.  In modern English, the word, jealousy, now has a negative connotation.  However, I do not believe there should be any negative connotations to this form of jealousy, but rather a positive affirmation that God loves us, DEEPLY, and simply wants us to love him in return.

The Power of a Name

I remember watching Looney Toons when I was a kid. In one episode, the stork was delivering a mouse to his parents but mistakenly delivered the baby mouse to Sylvester the cat and his wife. The wife fell in love immediately and wanted to keep the baby mouse, but Sylvester the cat had other plans and began working out a way to eat the mouse. However, just before Sylvester eats him, the mouse says "Daddy," and Sylvester the cat swoons, "Awww, he called me daddy." Now, this takes things to absurdity, but as a father, I can tell you...I LOVE it...there is something magical when your children call you Daddy.

Now, probably the worst thing my children could do with my name would be to call me the "parental unit" and depersonalize my relationship with them.  However, second in line is calling someone else their daddy.  When my twins were 19-months-old they were constantly taking my name in vain.  They've called just about every male relative (and even some females) "Daddy".  Obviously, they are young, so I don't get upset with them because they are learning what the word means.  However, when "Daddy" is used as a synonym for "man", it DOES lose some of its value.

My oldest son (3 at the time) brought this to a new level.  He saw some picture on my wife's news feed on Facebook and said, "That's my new daddy," and then he called me his "old daddy."  When we asked him about this, he repeated it a couple of times.  Then and there the scriptures saying that God would not give his glory to another took on a whole new meaning.

I am the LORD; that is my name!
I will not give my glory to another
or my praise to idols.
(Isa 42:8, NIV)

"You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God"
(Ex 20:4-5, NIV)

I am jealous for my children to call me, Daddy, and not as a synonym for "man". I don't want them to call anyone else Daddy. I will do my best to be a good husband and a good father so that there will never be a reason for them to look for someone else to fulfill that role as their Daddy. I will fight, if I must, for the affections of my children. I cannot understand how any man could possibly forsake his children, because the love for my children is an overwhelming force that I could not stand up against if I tried. This jealousy is not a bad thing. It is not the kind of jealousy that a man has who controls his wife and keeps her beaten down to try to keep her from leaving him. Instead, this jealousy binds me. This jealousy has me on my knees some nights asking God to make me the kind of father that they deserve, and the kind of husband that will teach them how to love their own wives someday. My desire to never fail them is a burden weighing heavily on me, because I know I am only human and will fail them...and more than once.

Ultimately, however, I will point them to their Father who will never fail them, for I know that the love I have for my children is nothing but a grain of sand next to the sea of love that God, the Father, has for his children. While I would die to protect my children, Jesus died just so that we would understand His love.

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