Love and Forgiveness—they go hand in hand. In fact, it is difficult if not impossible to have one without the other. Let me explain—as a parent—I have forgiven my children over and over again—and they have most assuredly forgiven me. Why? Because we love each other. In fact, while I find it difficult to forgive almost everyone else in my life, it is not that difficult to forgive my children.
Why is that? Dare I say that is because God has given me a great, great love for them—so that I will care for them, sacrifice for them, and put their needs above my own. I think if the situation called for it—I would die for them. I think most parents would say the same thing.
Why? Because this is how God has designed us. He has given us this parent-child relationship so that we can understand the greatness of His love for us and the greatness of His forgiveness towards us.
Well—what if one is not a parent? I was not a parent for the first 31 years of my life. Yet, I had parents. I saw the sacrifices they made for me and my siblings. I saw the many, many acts of love—and I saw all the ways love could be expressed—words of encouragement, acts of service, gifts, touch, and quality time spent with each other.
I’d like to give you an example of each of these things my parents did for me and my siblings. My mom would praise and encourage me often. She would notice things that I did and praise my efforts—even if it was as simple as cleaning out the sink.
My Dad showed his love in acts of service. He would scour pans, vacuum around the house, set up tents when we were camping with great care, chop up wood for our wood burning furnace—and do a myriad of other tasks all to take care of us, and make life easier for us.
My mom was in charge of gifts and gift giving. While my Dad’s salary provided for all our needs, my mom’s salary went to the luxuries of life—gifts, vacations, etc. My mom would shop for Christmas with great care, and then both of my parents would wrap the gifts together. Together they made Christmas time one of the most magical times of the year.
Both of my parents would hug us. However, after my dad had his stroke—hugs and touch were one of the few ways he had to communicate his love, as he lost his ability to speak—and so that was how he would show us he loved us. My Dad lived for 5 years without speech, until God took him home. (Tears come to my eyes at the thought of this.)
Quality time was spent with my parents every day. We ate supper together as a family, every night. We often laughed together, and told stories of our day around that old farmhouse table that my Dad had lovingly restored. Our family took a vacation every year together. We went camping and swimming and canoeing. We took a big trip to California and went to Disney Land and Knot’s Berry Farm. We went to New Orleans. We went to Virginia Beach. We had fun together, and we still tell stories of the times we spent with each other—(and let’s be honest—the fights we also had during these times.)
When I was a teenager, and wanted to be on the track team, my Dad ran with me to help train me and get me in shape. He spent quality time with me, and he would tell me his stories and tell me what a great runner I was and was going to be. (Which was total love on my Dad’s part—as I was not that good. 🙂 My Dad however was a great runner. )
I know that you could tell me your stories of how your parents showed you, they loved you. Maybe you can’t—maybe your parents were not good. Even if that is the case—we have a Father who is very, very good. This Father’s love is perfect for you and for me. He demonstrated that love by sending His Son to live and die for you and me. Take it from someone who has lost a son—you don’t give a son or a daughter up—unless there is no other way to rescue others that you deeply love.
For instance, my cousin had leukemia, and her brother had an operation to donate his bone marrow to help his sister. This was an act born from love and desperation—to take a risk with one child, for the sake of another child. We have seen this risk taken when people donate a kidney or another organ they have two of—to save someone they love.
There was no other way to rescue us from Satan and from sin, but to send Jesus. “But God demonstrated His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” That is why scripture tells us that Jesus is the only way to God—because there was no other way to free us, but through the sacrifice of Jesus’ death.
Our God is a good, good Father—That’s who He is. He loves us, absolutely, completely, sacrificially.
So let us be encouraged!!
4 thoughts on “The Good Parents”
What sweet memories you have with your parents. ❤️ And I agree completely becoming a parent radically shook up my idea of “love” and in the process opened my eyes to God. Before having children I was some sort of atheist, that’s how I had been raised.
I’d say before I had kids whatever I thought was love, wasn’t a very pure love, and I’d say wasn’t LOVE at all. Once I experienced my children’s natural love of me and mine for them, my whole life’s path changed.
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It is really amazing to me–how children–can change literally everything. Thank you for sharing your story! I so relate to not understanding until children what love was really all about. They too have expanded my view of God and my relationship with Him!!
What a truly loving and beautiful life experience you have had. May God continue to bless you and your family. I will pray for healing for your sweet mother.
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Thank you so much Shellie!! I so appreciate your comments and your prayers!