God Can Play Favorites

At nighttime when I put my son, Josiah, to bed I ‘ll whisper into his ear, “You’re my favorite four-year old…” and he’ll finish my sentence with boyish glee,“in the whole wide world!”

My wife and I will sit in the bed at night and conclude together that two boys couldn’t be more cherished than ours. I’m sure it is a common experience for the average parent. Parenting is a beautiful, frustrating, rewarding, costly experience.

I remember seeing the bumper sticker message, “God has many children, but I’m His favorite.” At the time, I thought it was trite and pretentious. But in fatherhood, I’ve come to appreciate the sentiment more.

To the ancient Jew God was a distant, holy, judge with meticulous requirements of strained obedience. To Jesus, much to the disciples shock, God was an all present daddy with a strong tender love (Mark 14:36).

God isn’t constrained in his affections like me. A unique biological bond melds my sons and I together for life. I can’t share that bond with others. But an eternal God who revealed Himself Father can burn with meticulous equal paternal care for many children. If we are “in Christ” then the Father treats us as His own precious begotten Son. The love He has for Christ is shed abroad in our hearts with supernatural efficacy (Romans 5:5). If the Spirit of His Son cries out “Abba!” in us, then the daddy must give His gracious preference to us as His adopted children (Galatians 4:6).

God’s love is so great we can all be His “favorite child.” (1 John 3:1)

And no matter how physically old or theologically wise we become we will never be more than a child.

Our stumbling hardened spoiled rotten hearts can’t violate our position or His affection. Children we are forevermore.

Sometimes Josiah is stingy in sharing toys with Gideon for no discernible reason, sometimes Gideon pitches a hysterical fit when we deny him chocolate kisses. At the end of tough parenting days, I hug them and kiss them and I’m as proud of them as the first day we met in the hospital.

Their position as my sons can never be broken by circumstance or disobedience.

Neither can our positions as His sons and daughters. Forevermore.

God signed the covenant with His own Son’s perfect blood. Christ’s blood is thicker than water, unfaithfulness, addictions, rebellions, selfishness and in the end: death.

Bryan Daniels

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Author: Bryan Daniels

I am a follower of Jesus, a husband to Jessica, and a father of three boys: Josiah, Gideon and Judah. I teach high school math as a job, read reformed theology as a hobby, and write this blog just for kicks. With the rest of my time I coach football and track.

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