FAITH: Understanding the protective emotions of God

Published 12:24 am Saturday, August 28, 2021

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Karen Stevens

God made us in His image, and with that He is very protective of His children.  I know if someone is mistreating my children, my feathers get ruffled. I have to start praying that God will help me control those emotions, so they don’t get out of hand.

I love my husband very much, but if someone picks on him, I do not experience those same emotions.  I don’t like it, but I don’t have a protective instinct come over me.

I started thinking about this prospective behavior, and how God sees us as His kids.  Since we were made in His image, we must have His emotions.  Not the perfect ones like His, but the ones that are flawed.  Nevertheless, we still have some portion of God’s emotions.

Elephants are very protective of their newborns, and not only newborns, but up to 10 or 15 years old.  Elephants ensure that their babies get the best food, teach them the most useful skills, and show them how to lead the herd during hard times.

And just like us, we nurture our children, teach them social skills and how to prepare for their future.

God does this same thing with us.  He nurtures us when we first turn our lives over to Him, He teaches us Christian skills thru His word, and He tells us what our future is so we will be prepared.

You’re probably wondering why I did not use a bear for this analogy?  I read that only grizzly bears are protective of their young.  Black bears and other types usually run and abandon their young when a predator shows up.  But the grizzly is something fierce to contend with, if you show up when she has young ones around.  Seventy percent of human deaths caused by grizzly bears, are related to a mother grizzly protecting her cubs.

When my children were growing up, it did not matter to me if it was their fault, or someone else’s fault – if my child got his feelings hurt, I was upset with whoever was inflicting this pain on them.  Still to this day, I have those emotions.

Naturally, the older they got, the more I would look at both sides; but when they were babies – look out!  I know that is how God treats us.  When we are children in Christ, He will be there – ruffled feathers and all, (read about Job and his friends. – God put those friends in their place!) but the older and more mature we get, He gives us free will to choose our own path.

He is just hoping we choose the path that will be best for us.

The thing is, if we never let our children make their own decisions, they will never grow, and that is the same with God.  Even in wrong decisions, we must stay with God.

If an elephant leaves a pack for whatever reason, they have lost the security of the pack.  If they are in that relationship with the pack, they get the benefits of the others.

As long as our children are under our roof, they get the benefit of our protection, financial blessings, wisdom, etc.  The further away our children get, the harder it is for us to protect them.  Not that we still don’t love them, and we would still do anything for them; we just don’t know what is going on in their lives most of the time.

It is the same with God.  We must stay close to Him to receive all the benefits He has to offer.

If my son calls me every day, or twice a week, I will know about what is going on in his life.  If I never call, and he never calls me, then I don’t know anything about him.

Just as if we pray daily – we will know more about God, and He will know more about us.  Stay close to God and treat Him like a Father that you would call daily, and tell him about your hopes and dreams, your disappointments, your fears, the good things in your life and the bad.

There is a great old hymn that goes like this – “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face; and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”

The more we talk to God, the things of this earth, (or more commonly known as problems), seem to fade away.  God put that instinct in us to be protective of our children, so we can help them see that the problems of this world don’t have to be overwhelming, just like He shows us.


Karen Y. Stevens, Executive Director, Meals on Wheels