God and Parents

My daughter left this afternoon.  She and her daughter got on a plane to join up with her husband to eventually end up in Utah.  He wishes to further his career.  When I hugged her goodbye on the curb at the airport, I found that I was almost too choked up to speak.  The rest of the family went into the airport and I sat in the car to keep it from being ticketed or towed.  To my surprise, I sobbed while sitting there.  Now..I don’t sob.  It’s not manly. Couldn’t find any tissues in the car either which increased my anguish. Oh, I will cry few tears here and there over emotional moments in movies but nothing serious.  I was unprepared for the level of pain even though I had mentally prepared for it.  Life shouldn’t have long departures.  In a perfect world, why should any loved one be away from the others?  Because God has planted a message for us to find.

God says in Genesis 2:24 that children should leave their parents, cleave to their spouses and form a new family   It’s a normal thing.  Natural, acceptable, to be expected.  I know that I was quite pleased to launch out on my own and be away from my parents.  At that time, I had no idea what they might be feeling.  Maybe they felt the same pain but didn’t tell me.  I see God in this.

Parents usually (with exceptions for very selfish or evil people) love their children with an endless torrent of unconditional love.  We parents love uncontrollably.  It’s a wild love that cannot be contained or explained.  It’s risky because children rarely if ever love their parents to the same degree and so they can cause great suffering without any conscious intention.  Interestingly the love of a parent is indescribable.  Only parents experience it and they cannot explain it.  It is the closest we ever get to understanding the love of God.  The parents of a serial killer still love their son.  No one else does.

As I said, it is an unrequited love.  Kids just don’t understand nor are they able to love back with the same degree of determined, unconditional unselfishness.  They love….differently.

God is the super parent.  He loves His own with an unlimited passion like only the finest of fathers ever could.  Nothing done or said can diminish His feelings.  Once I became a parent, it slowly dawned on me that God loved me far more than I realized and much more than I loved Him.

There is something delightful hidden here.  A lesson in plain sight found in  every decent human family (which is still the vast majority of families.)  God created the family and left a clue behind for us to discern if we wished.  He reveals His heart and His existence to anyone who has eyes to see.

Just as the parent loves a child with no strings, God the great parent loves us.  Just as a parent will have a broken heart from watching their child make a life altering and sometimes destructive choice.  Just as a parent wants their child nearby until the end of time.  God wishes and feels these things and more for us.  We like children have no perception of this love.  We do not give back anything  close to the same degree of love.  We gladly use God’s blessings and are grateful for them and then move on to the next personal event.  See ya God.  Talk to you later.  None of this comes into focus until we have children and then….Oh!

I am not trying to make anyone feel guilty here.  All families contain this picture of God inside them.  He placed it there for us to discover and then perhaps understand Him better.  His intent is to restore things to the way they should be.  And someday, He will do it.  Until then I am grateful to be loved by Him and thankful that He shows me grace for not loving Him nearly enough in return.

Matthew 11 28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.  (NASB)

4 thoughts on “God and Parents

  1. It’s interesting that you should write this. I have often thought of parent/child relationships as comparable to God/people relationships. It’s the only way I could wrap my simple mind around why and how God could love us. I came to the realization around twelve years ago when my oldest was born. Up till then, I still looked at the relationship through the eyes of being a child with no one to love unconditionally. Sure, I love my parents, but my bond to them is vastly different than that to my own children. While I’m willing to do a lot for my parents, I’m willing to give everything I am to my children. A point I’ve proven many times over the years, but as kids they probably don’t see it that way just as I didn’t with my own parents. So thanks for putting into words thoughts that have circled my mind, but I couldn’t quiet grasp.

    • Thanks for writing Christina. This post on parent/child relationships has been one of the most provocative for me so far. I’m still thinking about it.

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