Sunday, July 31, 2011

Because He first loved us....

It's true..."We love Him, because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19  Face it...we didn't want Him.  We wanted to serve the flesh and continue in our sin, all the while denying our need of God or that we were even sinning.  It was in His mercy that He came to us and opened our eyes and hearts, drawing us to His bleeding side and giving us eternal life, and that more abundantly.  We didn't want it, and we certainly didn't deserve it.  However, our Lord is patient and kind, full of mercy and grace.  God's word is clear...every one of us is born a sinner. 

I'm not writing anything new.  Any born again believer knows these things.  So why do we expect better of our children than what we were?  They are born in sin the same as we were.  Our children aren't born wanting to submit to us, to obey us, or more obey God.  They, like we, are born selfish, rebellious, and disobedient.  As parents that have been redeemed, shouldn't we extend the same grace, mercy, and patience toward them that God so lovingly showed us?  Instead of lashing out with harsh words or angry outbursts, we must tenderly and lovingly correct them - pointing them to the One who can change their hearts.  We must never treat them cruelly or harshly because they aren't treating us the way we think they should.  That's not God's way...He is good to us, all the time - whether we are walking in obedience or stumbling along the path.  Correct them we must, but it must be done with love.

We are by no means perfect and will certainly fail.  I pray we will be quick to realize our failure and repent before the Lord, also asking our children to forgive us.  You've seen the look that crosses their precious faces when we've hurt them with our words or actions....looks of confusion and pain.  They love us and trust us...they look to us to protect them.  They are like tender little plants that need to be pruned...may we be careful not to trample them underfoot because we have failed to keep our eyes on Jesus, praying for His divine help and the patience and stamina that it takes to love them the way He loves them!