They interrupt my hopes for a peaceful day. They fight. They complain. They make messes. They argue and talk back. They need things. Constantly.
God, in His infinite wisdom, etched an intense love for my children upon my heart. He planted the seeds of that love deep within me when I was still a kid myself. Then He gave me nine months, followed by the sweet years of childhood, to grow in that love.
But that’s not enough. He did so much more.
He loved me like I should love but don’t. He saw all of my failures. He intimately knew all of my sins. He felt the pain of my rebellion towards Him, my rejection of Him. And then He etched His love for me into the wounds on His hands and His feet.
While I was still a sinner, Christ died for me. While I am still a sinner, He convicts me…..and forgives me. He gives me grace for every moment. He reminds me, often through painful means, that I am a desperate sinner in need of a Savior.
That is the reason I love my children.
It isn’t because they’re cute. (Well, they are awfully cute, but no kid is cute when he’s throwing a tantrum.) It isn’t because they’re smart. (Yes, they are smart, but no kid seems smart when she’s arguing against your authority.)
It’s about the gospel.
It’s about God’s love towards this prideful and rebellious heart of mine. It’s about His suffering for my sins against Him and then adopting me as His child. It’s about a love I don’t deserve and could never earn. Its about loving as Christ has loved me.
Standing in the middle of this messy life, I continually need to remember the cross. As I come to a better understanding of how much I’ve been forgiven, it’s much easier to forgive those who’ve sinned against me.
The more time I spend gazing at the beauty of a holy God, the more I can see the beauty of the children put under my care. And as I grow in my love for my Lord, I’m able to love others, too.
And those kids of mine? I love them dearly. Sure, they make messes and turn my hair gray (at least that’s my excuse), but they also make me smile. They force me to learn humility. They remind me that this life isn’t just about me. Constantly.
“For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps.” 1 Peter 2:21