Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Father's Day Reflection

This week I have been, in light of Father's Day, contemplating fatherhood and my participation in that sublime vocation. One of the areas which has entertained my thinking processes is selfishness. As I contemplated my daddy-years, it occurred to me that I am less selfish with my time, in regards to doing stuff with and for the kids, than I thought I would have been.

Don't get me wrong; I'm a very selfish human being. Me, myself, and I are often the reigning trinity in my heart. Nevertheless, from my younger years, I distinctly remember wondering how I would deal with being a chauffeur and dedicating so much time to my children. And though, as I mentioned, I'm often all about me, it seems to me that I'm not as much about me as I thought I would have been.

With that in mind, I have also be pondering my affections in light of the famous essay by David Chalmers entitled The Expulsive Power of a New Affection. To over-simplify, this essay suggests we cannot just remove affections from our heart, for the heart, like nature, abhors a vacuum. The heart releases affections when they are expulsed by a stronger affection.

Of course, God's grace is integral in this process as the ideal is not just to exchange sinful affections for other sinful affections, but rather to replace sin-marred affections with godly, Christ-honouring ones.

As I think about dying to self, and grace-initiated expulsive affections, I wonder if God has been using the love I have through him for my children as a sin-killing, sanctifying agent in my life. My Spirit-aided love for my kids has expulsed some of my self-seeking ways, or so it seems.

I'm going to put some more thought into the 'expulsive affection theory', and how it works as a mechanism and means for God-wrought sanctification. In the meantime, I'll continue in gratefulness to God for my children and their profoundly purifying presence in my life.

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