[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] I[/dropcap]t’s funny how much we learn through parenting. This morning while making breakfast and lunches, my firstborn was trying to make a deal with me (he gets this deal making business from his mother) about how he could pick one show to watch first and then Ezzy could pick one after. Somehow, we got onto the subject of love, and I said, “do you realize what love means?” I explained how true love means that he would (for once) allow for Ezra to pick the first show. Then Ryder could watch his show second. Ryder then started telling me how Jesus loves us, but he still wants to watch his show first . . . and on it went. It’s been a challenge to teach my son about sharing, being kind, loving, and allowing others to go first.
Yet after our discussion ended, my brain didn’t stop thinking about love and what it means. Lately, I’ve found myself looking at both my boys and at my husband and feeling so blessed to be a part of their lives. I’m so blessed to share my life with them. They are my treasures; they are complete and perfect gifts that only God could give. And I thought about how much joy Ezra brings; he brings so much laughter to our family through his humor, his adventure, and his sweet ways. That turned to thinking about my big boy and how much depth he has. He’s always been an old soul, a deep thinker, and a great feeler; he is such a great older brother. I could not love either of my boys any more than I do, and I love them equally, yet uniquely. It amazes me to think that our hearts can stretch to love more and more. It’s not kept to just one child or that we have to just have a favorite. All of our kids can be our favorites, because of their uniqueness.
And that’s how God feels about us. The Father God’s heart is infinitely large. When I think about this baby that I’m carrying and how God is knitting him/her, how He already loves this little person, and has created this person to be a unique gift to everyone that he/she meets, it blows my mind. Yet even more mind-blowing is that God feels that way about every child. Every child who has been aborted was first in God’s heart. Every child who is parentless, who is starving, who is homeless, who is stuck in human trafficking, or who may have parents but no love, is wonderfully loved by God. Every adult that we meet is just a grown up version of that child. Think on that.
So this morning as I tried to tell my 3 year old how love means that we prefer our brother ahead of ourselves, God was teaching me how I need to prefer everyone that I encounter ahead of myself. He’s been teaching me this for a long time, but this week has been a full on press. He’s wanting me to get it now. And I know the reasons why He wants me to get it; I know what He’s working in my heart. But today was a heart revelation that I’ve prayed for and wanted so much. I want to minister to the homeless adult and love on her. I want to hold orphan babies and kiss them and love them. I want to tell victims of human trafficking that God is not responsible for their suffering. I want to be an extension of His hands, His feet, and most importantly, His heart. But I’ve had to get a bigger and bigger revelation of His heart first. So I’ll leave you with this scripture; one that I’ve been dwelling in all week. Really, the whole chapter and the two surrounding ones are where it’s at, but this part specifically has replayed in my heart and head over and over. So as you read, think about every word, chew on it, and dwell on it as there is so much in just this:
John 15:9-14 ESV
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.