Different cultures have different social customs and morals that they propagate from one generation to the next. In Eastern cultures, for example, the family unit is extremely important. Parents take very good care of their children, raising them to the best of their ability. Children, then, are very dependent on their parents while growing up. In the same manner, as parents get older, they become dependent on their children, who then reciprocate by taking care of them. Traditionally, this is a deeply meaningful arrangement, but often family feuds erupt based on finances, the marriage of loved ones, etc. In Western culture, the family model is also important. Statistically, however, there are more divorces in Western culture than in most other nations. In this model, independence is of greater importance than family ties. Parents raise their children, who then, normally at age 17-18, set out on the journey to function as “independents.” As they grow older and start their own families, they may care for their parents to a certain extent, but many of these parents end up in senior living homes, being taken care of by other people.
Both cultures have something valuable to offer…but there are also negatives. As we receive revelation about the Father, our King, we must gravitate toward an understanding of what He has laid out for us. When we come to know the Lord, we bring our culture with us, and tend to relate to the Father according to how we were raised. So we must undergo a “chiseling”—a shaping of our beliefs as we begin to understand His Kingdom and His order. That includes learning to depend on Him, determining in our heart to rely completely on Him to direct our steps and to give us wisdom in our choices, discernment in our relationships, and knowledge for living life to the fullest in Him.
Depending on the Father does not mean becoming robotic with Him controlling our every move and thought. If that were the case, Adam and Eve never would have partaken of the forbidden fruit in the garden, condemning themselves and all mankind under sin. God has given us the power of choice. Every day we make decisions that affect our lives. The Father imbues us with His character, which strengthens us to function. Our dependence on the Father is not burdensome for Him. He delights in providing for us, healing us, restoring us, building us up, and making us whole. Our Father gives freely and lovingly and keeps no ledger of accounts of His gifts on our behalf.
For us, depending on the Father is a posture of our hearts. Every day we should be grateful that He is our Father. He who created the entire universe has our very best interests at the forefront of His purposes. As we grow in relationship with our Father, we must stay alert to how our beliefs based on our upbringing may hinder our understanding of what it means to depend solely on Him.