Yesterday was a rough day for my kids and me. We just didn’t have a good day and honestly, I stayed angry all day long. They were confined to their rooms simply because I didn’t want to set eyes on them. I was too angry and I knew nothing good would come out of my mouth if I was forced to converse with them all day. So, they went in their rooms and stayed there. After much time to think, my son wrote me a letter of apology. It was sweet and it showed how remorseful he was for what he had done. He also pointed out that I yelled “really loud” which is out of character for me. He then went on to say that he didn’t feel like I loved him anymore. (sniff, sniff)
A few years ago, my daughter and I were lying on the bed watching television. We were just having our quiet time and talking and I asked her if she knew that I loved her. She responded by saying that she knew I loved her except when I was mad at her. What?? Where did that come from?? I remembered that conversation when my son said the same thing yesterday. I don’t know where they came up with this idea. But I really understand how they feel because sometimes, I feel that way about my relationship with God. When I am having a really hard time or praying about something for a really long time and God doesn’t come through for me, I wonder if He really loves me.
It’s interesting to me that no matter how old we get, we carry the same insecurities we did when we were kids. We base God’s love for us on the prayers that have been answered. We forget that He has answered many, many prayers along the way but because this one goes unanswered, He has forgotten about us. We forget the sins and failures that He has overlooked and forgiven without any punishment. We forget His grace. And when He takes His time to answer one request, we think His love has expired. We are shortsighted and quick to forget.
“See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are.” (1 John 3:1)
There it is. He loved us, we are His children. We didn’t earn His love. We didn’t pursue His love. He bestowed it upon us. And He did so without anything from us. We did not act appropriately. We did not do all of the right things. We were sinners without a shred of decency and the Father loved us. We forget that don’t we? We forget that we can do nothing to cause God to love us more. And in the same way, we can do nothing to make the Father love us less. Regardless of our actions, He just loves us. So, why do we forget that?
I can honestly say that yesterday was one of my worst days in a long time. But it opened my eyes to the character of my children in a new way. There are things I saw yesterday that I hadn’t seen clearly until then. And I am thankful because we will now work on those areas. My responsibility as their Mom is to love them enough to help them be more like Christ. It’s not about me, it’s about them. I need to show them the way. Sometimes, I have to do the hard things. Sometimes, I have to punish them. But hopefully, that punishment won’t be the ending point. It will only be the springboard to move forward. That is what God does with us. After a season of sin, punishment comes only to be followed by grace. Somehow, we are more willing to listen when we have been humbled. We are more teachable when we realize we don’t have all the answers. We are more open when our former way of thinking has been proven ineffective.
We will all have rough days. And we will all find ourselves sinning to one degree or another. But when we realize, I mean really comprehend the love the Father has bestowed on us, we will be open for His teaching. We will understand that this has to happen in order for grace to abound. All of these things have to take place so that God’s perfect will can be established. Although I am not happy about what my kids did yesterday, it’s over and done with. Forgiveness has taken place. Now we start the rebuilding process. I want my kids to always know that I love them just as the Father loves them. And I hope that someday, more than anything they will come to understand how great a love it is!