Another related point: When my boys hurt each other, or take things from each other, whether they realize it or not, they are hurting me, since I love them both. Likewise, God loves all his children, and when we hurt one another, well, why wouldn’t God find it to be a personal affront? This principle works in reverse, too, when we are kind to one another. I’m reminded of this: “I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me.”

But maybe the most important thing I learned about God from having kids was this: Even when they don’t believe it, dad (and mom) knows best. Again, this isn’t a perfect analogy, since I’m not omniscient. But it’s a safe bet that I know what’s better for my 3 year old than he does. And of course, God knows better than me what’s best for me. After all, if my understanding of the physical world is dramatically more advanced than my children’s, then how much more does the creator of the universe understand about anything than me?

Understanding this concept is the essence of humbly surrendering to Christ, that “not my will, but thine, be done.” And teaching me this is probably the best Father’s Day gift my kids could ever give me. Certainly, it’s better than a necktie.