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​A Father’s Love Is More Than Feelings

​A Father’s Love Is More Than Feelings

Posted by Kenny Vaughan on 8th Sep 2020

“In our lives, we experience feelings, and we take actions. Feelings come and go, most often beyond our control. However, decisions and actions are fully in our control. Our decisions and our actions can be based on our feelings, but they don’t have to be. In other words, I can spend my life just reacting to all my feelings, or I can choose to set my feelings side long enough to consider what the truth says about the situation.

If we set aside our feelings long enough to respond to the truth in love, we will keep healthy, loving roots. If we immediately react to feelings in fear, we will risk destroying the love in our lives and living with the consequences.

“Feelings are real, but they are often very misleading. If we make our decisions and take actions based on how we feel or how people make us feel, then feelings and other people, which are beyond our control, will rule our lives. By attempting to control our lives based on our feelings, we hand over that control to everyone and everything else that may influence those feelings—often in ways that are not founded in the truth.

“Once, when I was coaching my daughter’s softball team, two of the players were arguing with each other. I wanted to try and help resolve the situation, so I asked them to come talk to me about what was going on. The argument was heated enough that I decided to separate them and talk to them individually before I talked to them together.

“When I asked them each what they were so upset about, they both explained how the other one was being rude and insensitive. When they told me in detail the things that had happened, it was pretty easy to see why they both had had their feelings hurt.

“I asked them each what they’d done when the other one hurt their feelings, and they both said they’d protected themselves or they’d defended their feelings by hitting back or reacting. I asked why they’d done that. They responded that they wouldn’t allow people to be rude or take advantage of them without trying to stop this.

“I asked them both, ‘Do you realize if you treat people based on how they treat you in an effort to keep control of your life, you will actually give control of your life to everyone else?’ They asked me what I meant by that, and I said, ‘Well, if you treat people who are nice to you nicely and people who are rude to you rudely, what would you do if everyone was rude to you?’ They guessed that they would be rude to everyone.

“I said, ‘So really, you will be what others determine you will be, not what you determine you will be, what the truth is, or what God says about you. Do you really want to do that?” They said they didn’t. I said, ‘I don’t want you to, either, because neither one of you is rude to me. You’re both awesome and loving young ladies, but in order to stay awesome, you have to commit to always strive to be that from now on, no matter how anyone treats you.’

“I asked if they would do their best to do that, and they said they would.

“We all hugged and never had another problem the rest of the season.

“I found out later they had been best friends for years, but their friendship was coming undone. Fear destroys relationships and, in the end, destroys us. Love builds relationships and, in the end, builds us.

“We are all born with the special power to love. If we love for ourselves, our special power still works, but it works to destroy us. If we love others, expecting nothing in return, then love rules our lives, and the fruit of love is our destiny.

“Nothing has ever deceived me more than my own feelings. I have learned that if my feelings don’t align with God’s word and the truth, I should do my best to completely ignore those feelings. If they are based upon a lie, then it is better not to react to them and to let the truth replace the lie and soothe any distress I may be feeling. That’s very hard to do, because feelings are strong and real.

“If feelings rule our lives, then fear will dominate and drive us. That happens not because of the feelings themselves but because we allow the feelings to determine the choices we make and the actions we take.

“The choices we make and the actions we take truly do end up ruling our lives. This is not to say that we are doomed to be defined by bad choices we have made in the past that we may regret now. There is always repentance and the choice to make different decisions tomorrow, though our past histories may or may not continue to have consequences.

“I mean that the choices we make today and those we will make tomorrow determine tomorrow’s destiny.”

“Base your choices and actions on truth, not feelings, and you are choosing – not a life of fear and selfishness-- but a life of love filled with the fruits of love.”

Laus Deo,

Kenny

“The Right Fight: How to Live a Loving Life” by John Kennedy Vaughan