Saturday, April 23, 2011
Why Is It So Hard To Really Love My Kids?
In that afterbirth glow, I felt like I would do anything for my kids. Even while I was pregnant, I was prepared to move mountains for them. Well, sort of.
Why is it so hard to really love my kids? I'm talking about hard like threading a camel through the eye of a needle. Like picking up a mountain and planting it in the sea. Really hard.
Sure, I serve them first at dinner time... That way I can enjoy my meal in peace. Sure I hug them lots - that gives me a warm glow that makes me feel good. Sure I feed them healthy food... because healthy kids are happier kids. None of that means that I really, truly love them.
See (I actually do know the answer), true love is too hard for normal people. We are able to give something that looks a lot like love, but in the bible there's this word for love in Greek: Agape. It means pure, self-sacrificing love that seeks nothing in return. Just a few days ago we observed Passover, a memorial to Jesus Christ dying a horrible death because of His love - Agape - for mankind. The bible tells us that God IS Agape.
It's so hard to really love my kids because on my own I'm incapable of Agape love. The love that our kids need is more than a warm and fuzzy glow. If real love were easy, then I wouldn't have eaten so much chocolate while I was pregnant. If real love were easy, then supermarkets would sell a lot less lollies. If real love were easy, then I wouldn't yell at my kids just because I'm frustrated. If real love were easy, then I wouldn't pretend not to see my kids being naughty (because dealing with it is hard work for me). If real love were easy then... well, you fill in the blank - we all have ways we let our kids (and others) down because real love is humanly impossible.
But there's hope! Firstly, God loves my kids more than I can ever even imagine. He also loves me. And if I turn to Him and try to obey Him, God will put His love in me. Still hard work, but no longer impossible. With God all things are possible - things like threading a camel through the eye of a needle.
To read about God's plan for your family, take a look at Marriage and Family: The Missing Dimension