In Part I of 5 Things Parenting Taught Me About God, I shared how my children taught me why God wants me to obey him, how much he loves me, and how much my sin hurts him . Today I share two more things I've learned about God through my children.
4. Parenting taught me how much Jesus’ sacrificial death cost God.
When I think about how much I love my children and how protective I feel toward them, I stand in awe of God. To think that he would sacrifice his perfect Son on a torturous cross for sinful humanity is too much even to imagine.
“Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man,” the apostle Paul writes, “though for a good man 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 (Rom. 5:7-8).
Picture the worst sinners you can imagine—Hitler, Stalin, Ted Bundy. Then picture the face of your innocent child. Now imagine exchanging your child’s life for theirs.
That’s how much God loves us.
5. Parenting taught me why I must trust him even when I don’t understand.
My husband and I made many decisions that made no sense to our children. We allowed nurses to stick needles in their arms, teachers to force them to study Chemistry, and swim coaches to push them until they threw up. We made them work for their money, memorize Bible verses, and humble themselves to ask forgiveness.
Our actions were often puzzling and sometimes seemed cruel.
My actions toward God demonstrate some of the same suspicion my children felt. How can financial difficulty be good? I wonder. How can a closed door be the answer to my prayer? How can this tragedy be part of God’s “good and perfect will” for me?
Now that our daughters are young adults, they understand why we parented them as we did—because we were looking beyond their immediate comfort to their long term good. I know God is doing the same for me.
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful,” the unknown writer of Hebrews tells me. “Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
God reveals himself in many ways—through his Word, creation, and other believers. One of the greatest ways he’s helped me understand him better has been through my children.
They’ve helped me learn why God wants me to obey and how much my sin hurts him. Through them he’s taught me how much his son’s death cost him and why I should trust him even when I don’t understand. Most of all, he’s shown me that he loves me beyond comprehension, just like a Father loves his child. And that’s something we can all understand.
What about you? Have the children in your life taught you things you might not have learned otherwise? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
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