It really isn’t rocket science! It is a heck of a lot easier than some jobs, where it takes committees to instigate change. It is never okay to yell at another human being. When we screw up we must say sorry. We must not take advantage of our position. God doesn’t; what gives us the right? If we are confronted with our immoral behavior, we must take responsibility and do whatever it takes to rebuild trust.
We must treat our kids the way we wish our parents had treated us when younger. When our children are young, we just need to spend time with them. They actually want us to. We must figure out how to handle their childishness such as temper tantrums in a calm, effective manner. Learn what to discipline and how to discipline. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Quit bringing up stuff already dealt with. We must recognize we Dads do the same wrong stuff more than once, so show a little mercy and grace.
When our kids become teenagers, quite pissing them off. Quit controlling them. We must be real clear in our minds what is moral and take a stand. A lot of stuff we try to control isn’t moral. Teenagers need to start making most of their own decisions. Guide them to do so. They are less rebellious that way. We must not freak when they don’t agree with our opinions. It is a good thing if they feel comfortable disagreeing with us. You and the wife don’t agree on everything. Hopefully, you just work it out without yelling, demanding, and all those other behaviors we men do from time to time.
Do all of this and more and the kids might visit when grown, because there is a relationship.
Evil and suffering could only have been avoided if God had not created at all or at least not given humans the freedom to choose. God understood we might choose to abuse our freedom. That is a risk He took for the possibility of intimacy. Human parents do the same all the time. We bring children into the world hoping they will want to reciprocate our love, but they will have a choice to do otherwise. I don’t think God necessarily knew what choices Adam and Even would make, but He was prepared for every eventuality. God doesn’t stop being God because He doesn’t know a future that hasn’t happened yet. The future is not necessarily fixed in God’s eyes. But, even if God knew ahead of time what choices Adam and Eve would have and the possible ripple effect that would have, I still think from a parental viewpoint that the good with the bad is worth it. God is not going to let a few bad apples spoil the relationships He has with many people such as Billy Graham, Mother Theresa, and millions of others.
Did God plan or know Adam and Eve were going to sin? Genesis 6: 5-6 says: “The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.” Some theists have suggested, based on their interpretation of certain biblical passages, that God actually preordained evil and the fall of man before it actually happened, but that would make this passage seem nonsensical and overly dramatic by the writers if they understand this to be true. Why would God grieve something He had intended all along as part of His plan? Do God’s predetermined actions grieve Him?
Not only did God not plan or foreordain sin, God not having foreknowledge of an unknown future seems to give more integrity to passages that speak of God grieving, relenting, giving another chance, etc. Is a fixed future required from a biblical viewpoint? If God already knows what someone is going to do, one can legitimately ask if there is genuine freedom. Are they truly free to do anything different? Traditionalists may argue that passages such as Genesis 6 teach God was aware of what had changed and chose to act emotionally in accordance with the new situation. We know our loved ones are going to die with certainty, but we still have feelings when that day comes. If the future can be known, we can say God grieves because man either sins or obeys and this still can impact God at the moment.
We could say God knows what is going to happen but still engages with us; it simply is harder to relate to. But, we do not have to argue God knows the unknowable to somehow protect His character. God can still be omniscient (all knowing) and not know the future, if the future is not fixed. God does know what is knowable. He even knows what we are thinking. He is superior to humans in knowing all the possibilities of decisions that can be made by others and fully prepared for what He will do. Too, God knows what He will do regardless of human decisions, such as the miraculous birth of Jesus. It seems to me it can be argued the biblical writers did not know anything about the future being predetermined or known, when we read passages such as Genesis 6.