Over the past few years I’ve experienced an interesting progression of the conscience of my oldest child. As a toddler, she responded to correction with resistance, as a preschooler, negotiation and now, as an almost 7-year-old, we’ve entered the realm of shame. As life has progressed and her awareness broadened, she now holds a deeper understanding of cause and effect, sin and consequence. It often breaks my heart to observe her countenance as she is corrected by me, ( admittedly, not always with grace).
One evening a few months ago, her response to my correction was over the top. While she was sobbing uncontrollably, I felt the Lord say, “Just hold her.” So I sat on her bed, embraced her, and held her tight so she could feel the strength of my love.
“Why are you so mad at me?” she whimpered between cries.
“Oh, sweetie. I’m not mad. I’m so sorry I responded harshly. I am frustrated with how you are acting but I am not mad at you. I love you so much. Nothing you ever do could change that. I love you no matter what.”
She sank into my arms and her cries began to fade. We sat there for a while, both soaking in the relief of unconditional love.
I feel so ill-equipped to write about this kind of love at the moment. But perhaps that fact actually makes me qualified. The very essence of unconditional love is that it is so steadfast, so strong it pierces through our mess until it is felt at the very core of who we are, where we are.
I am blogging on FaithGateway today about the pressure to love my children well and how my imperfect love, when partnered with Christ’s perfect love, is exactly what they need.