september 23: parenting lessons from God

This morning, I read this little passage about the grace of God toward us:

“The Bible is a history of God offering His grace to people who do not deserve it nor seek it nor ever fully appreciate it after they have been saved by it.”

And I was struck by how perfectly that describes the kind of fatherly love I grew up with and am still blessed by. My dad is a constant. He lavishes, at his own expense, love and mercy and forgiveness and help on us, his children. He does that when we ask for it, he does it when we are petulantly pushing him away. It continues when we are thankful, and it continues when we take it utterly for granted and don’t even see the fatherly grace we’re living in.

My dad’s love toward us is completely independent from how we respond or how we live. He loves us with constancy because that’s who he is.

And that’s how God is: His love for me has nothing to do with my loveliness or right behavior. He doesn’t offer grace because He’s hoping for a certain response from me — and if I don’t give it, He takes His ball and goes home. His character is faithfulness, love, mercy.

Today I am challenged by my father’s example, which is really a reflection of God’s fathering: May my love and grace and generous heart toward my children be constant, always decided based on the grace I receive from God, and never on the response I receive from them. May they understand better the underserved grace of God in the gospel because they grew up in an environment of such love.

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