The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may freely eat…”

Genesis 2:16

It’s amazing to me that God did not hold back the gift of eternal life from Adam and Eve when He first put them in the garden. There were no prerequisites other than trusting Him to provide the definition of good and evil. In other words, to trust His guidance.

As a father I wonder sometimes how much good I withhold from my children until they have met my standards. But God, in His mercy has never held anything back, from the gift of eternal life with Him, to His only Son so that we might be reconciled to Him. He has always generously poured out every good blessing with no expectation of receiving anything in return. All He asks is that we trust Him. So we see that even in the garden it was by faith that God blessed His children.

So, how can I, as a father, bless my children without sacrificing the lessons of discipline and obedience? I think this is the way all fathers should think. How can we teach our children to trust in the Lord while not holding back anything good? I believe that this means trusting in God’s definition of good rather than my own. For example, it is good to teach kids to do things they don’t feel like doing. It is also good to spend time with them, even if they haven’t finished all of their chores or school work. God allows us to approach Him based on the righteousness of Christ not our own merit.

So, if you’re like me and you struggle to find time to spend with your kids because maybe they haven’t finished their homework or their chores, find a way to get involved in their homework or chores. Come alongside them and don’t hold back your affection or an opportunity to minister to them just because they haven’t earned it yet.