“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
- Roman 5: 6-8
“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
- 1 John 4:9-10
I officially have two toddlers at home. My daughter just turned three and my son just turned one and took his first steps shortly after. Now he’s ready to tear apart everything he can get his hands on. My furniture and I aren’t ready. Lol. With both of these toddlers around, my house is typically filled with the sounds of Cocomelon songs, toys banging, my son babbling, and my daughter talking about whatever comes to her mind. Every parent can attest to the fact that the toddler stage of childhood development is a fun one but also a HUGE test of patience. Some landmarks of these years are lack of impulse control, tantrums, meltdowns, defiance, struggle for independence, etc. It’s hard out here as a toddler mom.
With all that being said, what could a toddler possibly teach me about the love of God?
The answer is A LOT.
As I reflected on the struggle to parent, discipline, and teach my kids, God very clearly taught me a lesson about his love that I wanted to share.
When my daughter behaves badly at home or school, I get down to her level and explain why she shouldn’t exhibit these type of bad behaviors. Depending on the level of offense, I might then put her in time-out as a form of negative reinforcement for this behavior. She protests, reluctantly does her time, and then comes out humbled. At this point, the message I taught her is fresh in her mind. But it’s sometimes only a few hours or a day later until she seemingly misbehaves again. Then I have to explain all over again and go through the motions of discipline.
This sequence gets tiring after a while because at her age, it seems like we’re dealing with the same issues over and over again. It could be that she raised her voice, wasn’t gentle with her brother, wasn’t obedient, didn’t listen to or respect her teacher at school, and the list goes on and on. One recent week, I became very frustrated and asked myself, “Is she actually learning? Does she actually hear the words we’re saying? Does she want to change?”
In this moment of frustration, I was struck by how much I loved her and how every act of discipline was laced with such deep love for my daughter and a desire for her to live up to her potential and be the best she can be in this life.
Simultaneous to this overwhelming feeling of love for my daughter, God spoke to me and told me – “Beryl you’re also a my daughter and I love you so much. But sometimes you are like a toddler to me, and I have to redirect you, but this is all out of my great love for you.” I had literal chills as I thought about just how much God loved me.
I was struck by the burden of living up to the potential He desires for me. And I was also struck by how He’s put me in time out so many times for various behaviors but I still didn’t learn. Yet He still gets down to my level and parents me out of love. And through this discipline laced with love, He teaches me and helps me to do better and grow personally. Every parent wants the best for their children, and God no different.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.”
- 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8
“We love because he first loved us.”
- John 4:19
God’s love for us is truly amazing.
He looks past what we’ve done to who we are.
He loves us even at our worst.
He doesn’t give up on us.
God teaches us in patience the right way to live, just as a caring parent does for their child.
God is L O V E.
Author - Beryl
Beryl has a passion for writing pieces that uplift, inspire, and encourage you to bloom. She's been blogging since October 2018.