I want to share a personal story with you about how God showed me a depth of love I didn’t know existed through an experience I had with my children.
Annaliese is my firstborn child and there are countless lessons she has taught me in her four short years of life. Like many fathers, I remember the miracle of her birth very clearly.
After several hours of labor our stubborn child finally decided to enter this world (funny how “born” is in the word stubborn!). I am normally an emotional person and this was no exception, the difference that morning in November was a new and amazing love I felt in my heart, mind, and soul for both my wife and this little infant baby girl.
I remember walking away to go to the bathroom and thinking/praying about this new child and the love I felt for her. I was overwhelmed with joy to have this beautiful baby girl in my life and committed to honoring God through our parenting of her.
My love for Annaliese is inherent, I did not have to conjure it or to work at it, my love for her exists without effort. I think in many ways God’s love for us is like this. He loves us because he is our Heavenly Father, it is natural for Him, this is His very nature. As a parent it wouldn’t make any sense for Annaliese to come into my life and for me to struggle to love her, to have compassion for her, and to forgive her for her mistakes.
Annaliese didn’t have to earn my love, I love her because she is my child. In the same way, we don’t earn God’s love He freely gives it to us and as I had to learn, we just need to accept His love and forgiveness. God had another amazing lesson in love for me a couple of years later. I came to a new understanding of the breadth and depth of God’s love through our second child Haleigh.
My Love is Different But Equal
Before Haleigh was born, I struggled with what would happen to my relationship with Annaliese once her sister was born. How would our relationship change? How could I spread my love between Kari, Annaliese, and a new child?
The experience with Haleigh was entirely different than with Annaliese. First off, it wasn’t hours of labor it was 25 minutes, second she wasn’t breathing when she was born (from the umbilical cord around her neck), and once she began breathing it was this scary process of waiting for her to wake up fully and start to get some color and begin nursing.
Ultimately, Haleigh was fine and began breathing and eating (I don’t think she’s stopped eating). Through this experience and the months after, there came this realization of the shortness of life and the love and compassion you can have for someone you have known for such a short time. This lead me to realize my worries about loving my second child were unfounded. It also highlighted how my love for her was different than for Kari or Annaliese, but equal.
God’s Love For His Children is Unique and Equal
I think this is how God loves us. God loves each of us as individuals and loves us perfectly and equally but shows His love in different ways to each of us. This is the beauty of a loving relationship between parents and their children. Not one child is loved more than the other, the love for each child is just different and in my experience, my love for Haleigh helped me to love Kari and Annaliese more deeply.
A parent’s love is not a perfect analogy for the love God has for us, but it may be the closest. For some this analogy hits home and is powerful in a positive way, for others it hurts. I am sorry if this brings up bad memories for you, but please don’t let the imperfect parenting you received inform your view of God’s love for you.
Many people come from broken homes, lived with abuse for many years, and experienced a lot of pain (and still do) from the way they were raised. God’s Fatherly love is nothing like this, His love is full of grace and forgiveness, joy and peace, and above all, unconditional. As you read about my experiences with God I hope it tugged on your heart to ask some questions about God or to draw closer to Him.
Do you have a relationship with God? Did you know He has always loved you and will always love you, unconditionally? God knows my mistakes, my past failures, my hopes and dreams, and I will trust Him to love me through them all. Will you?
A Relationship With Jesus Can Begin Today
If you don’t know Jesus today and would like to have a personal relationship with Him, let me share with you a simple prayer you can say to begin your personal relationship today.
Jesus, thank you for loving me when I haven’t loved you. Thank you that I don’t have to earn your love or earn a relationship with you. I am sorry for the mistakes I have made in my life, the very sins that You carried to the cross, I choose to turn my life around and live for you. Jesus give me the wisdom and strength to do this every day. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and heart and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.
If you made a commitment today to Jesus, please comment below or contact me through this website. I would love to talk with you and connect you with someone who can help you in this wonderful journey called faith!