A Parent's Love
The memory of first feeling my son move inside me is one that is as strong now as it was nearly 24 years ago. Just a little flutter of a baby weighing around 6 ounces, but I already knew at that I would do everything I could for my child. The love I had for this new life was greater than I had ever felt before.
The love a parent has for their children is a love that endures. It doesn’t matter how many children you have, whatever age they are; whether they were born to you or adopted into your family, you love each of them as deeply as ever.
That is not to say there aren’t times when you find it harder to like them, or when their behaviour and attitude leaves you despairing what will become of them. You still love them. You love them because they are your children, and you are their parent.
This love we have for our children mirrors the love that our Father God has for his children. He loves us more than we could ever fathom. God has known us from before we were born.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14
He loves us when we are following him, or when we have gone astray. At times toddlers throw tantrums, Children fight and argue and teenagers rebel against everything you have taught them. You carry on loving them just the same. Love them, discipline them and guide them, and pray God will grant you wisdom as you do your best as a parent.
As a loving father he is there for us, ready to welcome us home when we realise we have gone the wrong way.
As we know our child, as we watch them grow, so God watches us and knows all about us. The difference is that we can’t watch our children 24 hours a day 7 days a week, especially as they get older and start doing more things on their own or with friends. God, however, knows everything we do, nothing can be hidden from him.
“Oh, Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, Oh Lord, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me.” Psalm 139:1-5
We provide for our children, make sure that they have enough food to eat, clothes to wear, a warm home to live in, friends and family to love them and nurture them. In the same way God provides for us. He created the world for us to live in, he make the crops grow to feed us, he gave us the pattern for a family so we would have people around us to love and care for us.
Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest, they don’t have storerooms or barns, but God feeds them. And you are worth much more than birds. Luke 12:24
If your children are anything like mine were they will always be asking for things. Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes no, sometimes no yet. God always hears us when we ask him for things, when we pray to him as our God. And he always answers our prayers. The answer isn’t always yes though. Sometimes it is a ‘no’, sometimes it is a ‘not yet’. Sometimes your prayers are answered in ways that we could never have imagined. We like our child have to accept the answer that God gives us, knowing that he knows better than us what is good for us and what we really need.
So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him. Matthew 7:11
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need. Luke 12:31
As loving parents we make sacrifices for our children. We change our plans to be there for them, do without so they can have what they need. A mother goes though the pain of childbirth. A father will carry his sleeping child even though his arms ache. Father God made the ultimate sacrifice for us, he gave his son. He gave the world his son to die on the cross so that we might be saved.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
As much as I try to do what is right in parenting I have made many mistakes, and looking back it is easy to see where I should have done things differently. It is a great comfort that God’s love is a perfect love, he loves us with a perfect love, he doesn’t make mistakes. We can trust him to always be there for us and our children.
We do what we can for our children and parent the best way we know how. Then we have to just take it all to God in prayer and leave it in his hands.
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Ephesians 3:14-21