Was it because we were never naughty? No!
Was it because he didn’t believe in disciplining children? No!
Was knowing I had disappointed him or sparked his anger worse than a spanking? Yes!
But, why didn’t he ever spank?
Mom eventually explained it this way. Our daddy was very strong physically. He could lift heavy rocks, chop down big trees, brace a whole corncrib from collapsing or push a whole car out of a sinkhole.
Mom said he never wanted to spank us because he knew how strong he was and he didn’t trust his strength. He was afraid he could hurt us so he decided to never take that risk. I’m glad my earthly father was strong and knew his strength needed to be guarded.
I’m even more glad that my Heavenly Father is both strong and gentle. These attributes coexist in Him and He is free to demonstrate them together.
A story that helps me remember this is the burning bush. Years after the experience the memory is still clear to Moses as he blesses Joseph by asking for the favor of the one who indwelt the burning bush.
My recent witness of a burning house leaves me with deep respect for fire. Structures of metal, brick and stone are unrecognizable in the ashes from a fire. But God can stand in the middle of a burning bush and carry on a conversation.
As we listen to His voice of unyielding strength we hear him tenderly talking about the misery of his people. He hears our crying and is concerned about our suffering.
I am glad I have a Heavenly Father who is both tough and tender. I need him to be both for me today.