The feelings of a father
America was a mere 50 years old when Andrew Jackson was president. The country was frontier, and the unitedness of the states was a work in progress. There were pockets of resistance to the idea of a federal system, and slavery and taxes were divisive issues. South Carolina was a proxy for what a confederacy of southern states would do later. It declared the authority of Washington D.C. null and void. But Andrew Jackson felt about his young country the way he felt about his family. It was his responsibility to hold it together. He threatened military action to preserve the United States. He sent a declaration to the people of South Carolina explaining what he was prepared to do. He said he was writing to them “with the feelings of a father.”
Inescapable responsibility is the feeling of a father. Fathers know the buck stops with them. There is no holiday from their duty to be their children’s providers and protectors. Jesus referred to fathers as proxies for God: “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:9-11). We can depend on God because he cares for us with the feelings of a father.
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