Why do I love you? That is the question that I asked my son a couple of years ago. In typical kid fashion he told me all of the reasons why I loved him. I loved him because we played ball together, we played with toys together, we went out adventuring together. He said that I loved him because he was a good reader and was sweet to mom and helped around the house. I loved him because he was funny and cool and courageous. Pretty much every reason he gave for the love I had for him was based on the things that he did or the personality that he has. This drove me crazy.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the things that we do together and I love the uniqueness that he has. But, I love my son for an entirely different reason. I love my son because he is my son. Somewhere during the first five or so years of life he didn’t get that, and that bothered me. I got down to his level, looked him in the eyes and told him that. I love you because you are my son.
As a parent, I want to model the love my Heavenly Father has for me to him. I want to paint an accurate picture of who God is to my kid. God, my Father, the ultimate parent, loves me no matter what. His love for me is not based on performance. My Father’s love for me is not based on my attitude. It is not based on my personality. His love is based on who he is. He loves me because I am his son. He loves me no matter what.
God Showed Us Love
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person – though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:6-8
This passage is nuts. It tells us that God’s love for us is not dependent on anything but himself. His love for us had nothing to do with our performance. If it did, he wouldn’t have sent His Son to die on the cross. While we were sinners, while we were ungodly, God came down to dwell among us and give his life for ours. That is love.
This is the same type of love that we should show our kids. They need to know that their parents love them no matter what. That their parents are in their corner fighting for them and loving them. I am not saying that we shouldn’t be hurt or disappointed in decisions. What I am saying is a parent’s love for their child is not based on their decisions.
Mourn The Sin, Love The Child
God hates sin. He grieves our sin and the effects of it. We should do the same for our own kids. We know most of the time what is best for them. This is why we give them rules and guidelines. We don’t want them stabbing themselves in the eyeballs so we tell them not to run with scissors. We don’t want them wrecking their car late at night so we tell them not to speed. God gives us his word for the same reason. He knows what is best for us, and that is himself.
God tells us to love our neighbors because he knows what happens to us when we only love ourselves. He knows it is best for us to live for others. God calls us to be generous because he knows how a greedy heart can ruin us. He commands us to live lives devoted to our spouses because he knows how homes can be destroyed when we don’t. He grieves when we sin because he wants what is best for us and for his glory.
But, he never stops loving us. I can attest to that myself. I have failed so many times, and yet my Father is there in love. He picks me up from the ash heap and places me at a table with princes. He loves me no matter what.
You know what has happened to me over the years? As I have realized the love the Father has had for me it has caused me to not take his love and grace for granted. It has compelled me to live for him. It has encouraged me to follow him. His love for me has stirred up within me a love for him. I love him because he is my Father. And he is such a Good Father.
I ask my kid a couple of times a week why I love him. Now, his answer is simple. You love me because I am your son and you are my dad. I love that answer. Ask your kid why you love them. Remind them that it is because you are their parent. Nothing can change that. Then go and lead them in truth today.