Thursday, January 9, 2014

how we love our children

I may have been made for many purposes, but none of them are as noble or as beautiful as my assignment to love my children as God loves all of His.  

Maternal love emerges from the depths of a heart, and propels a woman out of bed at 3 am, into the middle of fights over sharing, and through days of endless heartache over a wayward child.

I think it's a miracle, this love we have for our children. Marriage is wonderful, and the love I feel for my husband thrills me to the core of my soul. He is my best friend, and my forever companion. His heart has slowly been woven into mine, and the longer we are together the more seamless our love grows. After thirteen years it has become difficult to tell where his heart ends and mine begins.

But the love we feel for our children is of another world, birthed in heaven and hard-wired into the depths of us. 

The sting of any failure to live up to the the call to love our children properly is full of bitter anguish. The joy we know when they reciprocate with true love is unparalleled. Because we loved them before they could ever know how to love us.

Certainly, we can choose to twist and ignore love's call to us. But once a parent has given themselves over to true and selfless love, there is no going back.

It is a gift to be a parent like that; to ache for them when they have gone away; to prefer their success over our own; to cherish their joy and breathe in the beauty of letting go of lives we hold so dear; to pray so earnestly for God's own children even when they are growing to need us less and less as the years go by. 

When I have come to the end of all I can do with my hands for my children, the love inside me bubbles up into desperate pleas to God on their behalf. No storm can quench this love, no drought can dry it out. My hope and joy for my children grow and grow in every season, always drawing me closer to the God who is love and who is always with us.

And so I pray....

Lord, thank you for entrusting the lives of Your children to us. Please pour out on us Your love for them. Teach us to give them grace and lead them to freedom in You. Write Your law of love on our hearts, and may the good news of Your Kingdom reign in our homes. Reveal your goodness in how we parent and disciple our children. May we glorify You in our homes, and see Your glory reign in the lives of our children. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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