For as long as I can remember, I have been taught that we are God’s children and that he is our Heavenly Father; but I don’t guess I fully understood what that meant…that is, until I became a parent.
From the moment we brought our firstborn home from the hospital, I have been regularly shown glimpses into how God loves us. I can recall being curled up on the couch in our old rent house, holding our sleeping baby in my arms, just staring at him. My heart literally felt like it was going to burst it was so filled with love.
That’s when it hit me. This must be how God feels when he looks at us.
Since then I have steadily built a list of ways parenthood has opened my eyes to how The Lord loves us.
1. I receive great joy when I see my children learn and grow.
Nothing quite compares to the feeling I get when I see our oldest put a puzzle together or experience our baby mastering a new skill like waving hello. I seriously jump for joy, clap loudly, and shower them with praise! I am, without a doubt, their biggest fan. I want them to always know that I am in their corner, cheering them on, excited for every accomplishment no matter how big or small.
Now to put it into perspective, that is how God feels about you EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. He is literally standing there, cheering you on, patting you on the back, beaming with happiness. He loves watching you learn and grow. So just know, even if no one tells you today, I know someone (who is kind of a big deal) that is crazy proud of you!
2. I am grateful that they seek me for help.
Along with being my kids hugest supporter, I am also grateful to be their protector and teacher. To know that they look to me for guidance and come to me when they need help, means the world to me. It is sincerely one of the best honors in the world, knowing someone trusts in you enough to count on you to help instruct them through their ups and downs.
Let me tell you a secret, God LOVES when you seek him in your times of need.
3. I love giving my children gifts.
God is all about blessing his kids. Just pick up your Bible and you’ll be hard pressed to not find a place where The Lord is pouring blessings down on his children.
I get genuine joy when I am able to give a gift to our kids. Whether it be a new book, a long desired toy, or a surprise trip to get ice cream – when I can bring happiness into their hearts, it pleases me.
4. I will happily carry their burdens.
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NLT)
These past few days our youngest is the sickest he has been since he was born. He isn’t so terrible that we have had to take him to the doctor, but his normally cheery demeanor has been draped with snot, watery eyes, and a roller coaster of fussiness. Just like Jesus will happily carry any and all burdens that we lay at his feet, as a parent, if I could take away any pain my children feel, I would gladly put it on myself.
5. I don’t like when I have to discipline them.
Do I really need to go in to detail here?? Disciplining my kids puts a damper on my day just as much as it does theirs; but it’s my responsibility to teach them what boundaries are and right from wrong. It doesn’t mean that I don’t love them, it means I love them enough to guide their feet down the pathway they should walk.
Hint hint: Check out Proverbs 3:11-12.
6. I have unconditional love for them, even when they do things they shouldn’t.
My love for our children is unwavering. Even when my oldest repeatedly tries to “use” the vacuum cleaner or “play” with the oven after constant reprimanding…God help that kid, I still love him. Just because he makes mistakes, doesn’t change the way I feel about him. He is my kid and I love him.
Try replacing that sentence with your name. “Amber is my kid and I love her.” (PS. That is me channeling my inner Holy Spirit.)
7. I enjoy watching my kids help each other.
For Christmas, my Mother in Law gave the boys a miniature bounce house. While it’s still pretty large, it’s small enough to fit in my currently empty office space. As I watched from the hall one afternoon, I saw my two boys interacting and playing together. Noah was crawling around trying to get Emmett to crawl after him – they would go back and forth playing tag. When it was Emmett’s turn to get chased, he went straight for the bounce house and tried to climb inside. Poor kid struggled for a solid minute before big brother intervened. Then something awesome happened – Noah put his hands under Emmett’s rear-end and hoisted him inside, then climbed in after him.
I stood there quietly giggling to myself, completely amazed by their love for each other and how naturally it came for one to help the other.
Trust me, you’re crazy if you think Jesus doesn’t get the same giddy feelings when he sees us lend a helping hand to one another. Just imagine how incredibly happy the world would be if we all gave each other a boost when we needed it.
8. I love how happy they are to see me.
When I walk through the door after running errands, there is nothing better than when Noah runs to find me shouting, “MOMMY IS HOME!” And the excitement he radiates when his father arrives home after working all day, is immeasurable. Kids genuinely love when they are reunited with their parents; but I don’t think they will ever be able to comprehend how much more that is reciprocated on our end.
I truly believe that the same goes for God when we, as his children, decided to take time to meet with him and to get into His Word. In my mind, I can just see him, hanging out on a cloud, looking down with a smirk of acceptance on his face as we come to see him and spend time with him.
9. I am always thinking about them.
When you have kids, they are ALWAYS on your mind.
From the second I wake up until the moment I lay down, I am constantly thinking about our children. They are one of my top priorities and my most precious treasures – I absolutely adore them and am consumed with their well-being.
How crazy is it to know that Jesus feels that way about you. To be treasured and adored. YOU. You are treasured and adored.
10. In my eyes, they are perfect.
Seriously though, perfect. Whether they know it or not, in my eyes, they are the most amazing creations in the world. (Pssst…if you haven’t picked up on a theme here, refer to points 1-9 on how The Lord sees you.)
If I were to keep a pen and paper with me at all times, I am most positive I would have at least one new experience as a parent every day that demonstrated how Jesus feels about us.
So how has parenthood opened your eyes to God’s love? I would love to hear your stories in the comments below!