(Pencil Sketch of me and my youngest 2015)
I love being a father.
I feel as though I fail more than I succeed with patience and flexibility as a father more than I succeed, but I also see where I have learned along the way to this point I am at now as a parent.
My kids are like yours, if your blessed to be in the role of a parent, in the fact they each express their love to me in completely unique ways. It is in the uniqueness of this expression that I find complete and utter amazement each time their love is expressed.
Think just a moment about something that your children do for you as a way of expressing their love for you.
Got it in mind? Good! Now look at this passage with me for just a moment.
"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:"
~ Romans 8:16
I love the mental picture that this passage gives. We are the child and God is our Father. Now I fully realize this can be a painful picture to those who were raised with an absent, abusive, or even a father who caused harm. If that was your case, I want to encourage you to ask God to help you see Him for the Father that He truly is. He is greater than the best ideals we could list as requirements for "The best dad".
I grew up in a large family where my father's time for individual attention was limited. My dad is an amazing man but he is also human. There were many things that I looked at him and subconsciously attached to my view of God. Re-learning God has been the most exciting / difficult part of my spiritual journey.
I see the picture I posted above and I read the passage I posted above and I see a picture of what the relationship I have with God as my Father should look like.
Safe, comfortable, trusting and completely secure in the understanding that Daddy loves me for no other reason than I am His son.
"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not." ~ 1 John 3:1
As I mentioned earlier, my kids all express love in their own unique way and the one on the top is who inspired this post.
This one has a really cool way of expressing his love to me. When I get home, he runs out the door to wrap his arms around me and say, "I love you soooooooomuch!!!"
I know lots of kids say that to their parents, but when this kid says it to me, he does his best to imitate a voice that I use when we play with his stuffed animals. He is trying to give back something I have done that makes him feel loved and special. My son is expressing his love by imitating and expression of love that I give to Him.
An impersonated tone of voice accompanied by the tightest hug that he can give.
I cannot even begin to relate to you how loved I feel at that moment in my day.
I was reading a passage of scripture today and saw something similar to my son's statement of "...soooooo Much!" and wanted to share.
"So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep." ~ John 21:15-17
Jesus was telling Peter that He wanted Peter to love those who He loved. Jesus did not tell Peter every detail of feeding his sheep (People). He just said, "If you love me, feed them."
Peter would do that in his own unique way and in so doing, it would be sending the message to his Heavenly Father, "I love you sooooo much".
Here is the whole point that I am trying to make.
If you are God's child the He is your Father. You have been given God's love. You have the opportunity to express your love to God by extending the love He has given you in your own ways to those He loves.
Our expression is that unique thing that God gives us that makes us feel loved and special. It is in your gifts and talents.
For some it is is what you write. It is in that unique ability to express that you are best able to inspire, uplift and point others to an understanding of God as their Father.
Perhaps it is the way you sing, relate to others, communicate. You may be gifted with a way of sensing people's hurt or helping others reach places God has for them. The gift is not as important as what you do with it.
It is giving that "voice", that the Father gives you, to others the Father loves that is your way of saying "I love you soooo much" to Daddy.
He does not need that expression to love you and you do not do that so He will love you. You do that because you genuinely love Him and you want Him to know it.
It is called living FROM Jesus rather than living FOR Jesus. The difference between the two is HUGE.
What is your gift?
What are you doing with it?
Who are you extending love to through that gift?
The sheep mentioned in this passage were the ones that had been scattered (Ezekiel 37) and they were the ones that He came to seek and to save. They were His people and He came to bring them into an understanding of who He is and what He had for them.
"...And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep." ~John 21:17
Using your Gift to strengthen, encourage, or care for another is the ultimate expression of love. Use your gift!
Climbing with you,
*If you enjoyed this post, may I also recommend:
"Unfinished" : Click Here
"Where do you come up with this stuff" : Click Here
"Love notes from Father" : Click Here