- By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (I John 4:9-10)
God loved us enough to do what was best for us even though it cost Him that which He held most dear. He loved us sacrificially and unselfishly.
- But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
Even when we were living in outright rebellion against Him and didn't care that he wanted what was best for us, God loved us.
- For whom the LORD loves He reproves; Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights. (Proverbs 3:12)
God loves us too much to allow us to continue our self-destructive behavior, so He disciplines us.
- But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us (Ephesians 2:4) Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32)
But, even as God disciplines us, in His mercy he forgives us when we repent of our sin.
- The steps of a man are established by the LORD; And He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong; Because the LORD is the One who holds his hand. (Psalm 37:23-24)
When we're holding God's hand and walking in His ways, He delights in us!
- He who has clean hands and a pure heart; Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood; And has not sworn deceitfully. He shall receive a blessing from the LORD; And righteousness from the God of his salvation. (Psalm 24:4-5)
When we're living in obedience to God, He blesses and rewards us.
Do we love our children the way God loves us? Do we...
- love them sacrificially and unselfishly?
- love them enough to want what's best for them?
- love them enough to do what's best for them even if they fight us every step of the way?
- love them enough to disicipline them?
- love them enough to forgive them?
- love them by delighting in them?
- love them by blessing and rewarding them for doing well?
It's a huge challenge. Our kids are going to drive us up the wall, rebel, pout, whine, and at times, break our hearts. Just like we do to God. But if He so loved us, we ought also to love our children.