April 9, 2013

Baby Talk

Any day now, Tobey and I hope to bring home our sixth little one. So, while I anticipate that day, I thought I’d reprint some old thoughts on the subject, written back when we were anticipating number two! Here goes …

You can learn a lot from having a baby in the house. I think God intended it that way. He has given us relationships with others —parents, children, siblings, spouses, neighbors, friends, church family — all so that we might better learn how to relate to Him … and how He wants to relate to us. Let me share some things I see more clearly since I began to have little ones running around my ankles …

1. I’ve learned how God loves His children unconditionally. No matter how bad children disobey (and they DO disobey); no matter how much they may disappoint, slow down, or exasperate their parents … dad still loves them. Not because of what they do, but because of whose they are. So it is with our heavenly Father. “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God” (1 John 3.1).

2. I’ve learned how much God’s children ought to rely upon Him. You never realize just how helpless a child is until you are the one completely responsible for his/her care. It seems the only thing a newborn can do for itself is breathe! Everything else must be planned, prepared, and performed by mom and dad. What a picture of how we ought to rely on the Lord! “Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation” (1 Peter 2.2).

3. I’ve learned to interpret tough times as God’s loving discipline. Sometimes our kids don’t learn as quickly or smoothly as they should. That means we parents have to help them learn the hard way. And God fathers us the same way! Now I see that more clearly than ever … and have learned to understand that there is love behind ‘the rod.’ “For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines … It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?” (Hebrews 12.6-7).

4. I’ve gotten a deeper glimpse at how much God gave up at the cross. “For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3.16, emphasis mine). I’ve known that verse since before I can remember. But I could not fully comprehend it until I had a daughter and son of my own. And even now, I can’t get my mind all the way around it. I would be hard-pressed to give my children up for another person. But I can at least imagine what it would feel like. And when I do, I understand that God loves the world more than I ever before understood.

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