Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Emerging from the days early fatherhood

As my son is now almost three months old, I am now starting to feel like a normal human being again.  Let me just say that being a parent is a wonderful thing.  The love and joy you have at seeing your little infant is great.  But, as I am an emotional guy, sometimes I get teary-eyed thinking about times when he'll grow up and get hurt, or be mean to someone.

I also think about passages in the bible where God declares that he is a jealous God.  These passages have been under much ridicule from atheists like Dawkins, who said, "The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it."

When I think about these passages, and think about them in the context with which they are supposed to be read, they make perfect sense to me now.  It's funny that atheists malign and discredit the bible when taking it out of its context.  In order to judge a worldview, a religion, or just about anything, you really must judge it from within its own confines.  In particular, the context of God's claims to jealousy is embedded in terms of either a father-child relationship or a husband-wife relationship.  Since this post is about fatherhood, I'll focus on that one: God is like a loving father who has sacrificed greatly to raise his child.

In the context of this analogy, I think about my son growing up, when we're trying to raise him to teach him manners, discipline, etc.  Let's say we let him play video games, but limit the amount of time he can spend on them.  Let's also say that he has a friend, and whenever he goes over to his friend's house, his friend's parents let them spend as much time playing video games as they want.  How do my wife and I feel when our son comes home and says he loves his friends parents more than us, because they let him play video games for longer?  I'd be pretty jealous, and I'd also probably be pretty angry.  I'd probably think, "Don't you understand what we've done for you, son?  Don't you realize that our limiting your video-game-playing is for your own good?"  Of course I wouldn't say any of those things, or act out of my anger, but I would be both jealous and angry.