Reliance and true Love.
A father can love his young son because he represents all those chances that he did not take, or all those mistakes that he wishes he never made.
It is as if the son were a reflection of himself.
And if the reflection good then he loves him even more, since it vindicates his own self love.
And if the reflection poor then his love diminishes.
The true name for this is not love, but vanity.
True love is not vain.
And for it not to be vain requires autonomy.
However is it not love to care for, and wish the best for, a dependant?
And yet in order for it to be shown to be true, and not vain, requires that you help that dependant to grow in autonomy.
Interestingly enough from even before our outset God declared the autonomy of man. HE did so in a speech whereby He informed the angels of the creation of man as a vicegerent, or successor, on the Earth. The implication being that man was from first a free agent. And then He empowered him with the knowledge of words.
Words are abstractions, the very stuff of ideas and imagination. And words were amongst the very first of creations even before the angels. For at the first He created the PEN and commanded it to write.
And so to show HIS love for man and HIS hope for man, He set him free and empowered him with the greatest of His creations. And then He sent the Messengers to advice; as bringers of glad tidings and as warners of a day of recompense.
There is no doubt that we are reliant on God, the sustainer, the gracious, but He shows His love for us by emphasising His independence from us. This is a clear fact: that whilst we depend on Him, He is independent of all.
A father can never achieve that degree of love, precisely because a father can never be truly independent of his son. There will always be a time where the father can envisage the loss of his power, and his dependence. And at that the table turns and the son shows love for his father.
The opposite also holds in respect of a son or daughter for his father or mother. Their necessary dependence precludes any true love in the nature of how GOD choose us and blessed us.