My father is one of the great blessings in my life. When I was growing up, he never hesitated to give me his approval and express his happiness with me. I never doubted my father’s love and I always wanted to please him. But I still had a healthy fear of him, because I knew that if I did wrong, I would face discipline. So, I learned early on that it was a good idea to obey him, because it eliminated a lot of punishment. This understanding of my father served as protection for me, as well as motivation to do the right thing.
This is similar to our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Just as discipline from our parents is a sign they love us, God’s discipline is a sign that He loves us. So we want to have a healthy fear of God, that if we do something wrong and displeasing to Him, we will face consequences for it.
“Fearing God” does not mean a cowering anxiety of the Lord; it means having a healthy respect for the loving discipline we receive from a loving Heavenly Father. And in the world in which we live, it surely would be wonderful if more people had a healthy fear of God.