When I look at my daughters I see myself through God’s eyes. I love them more than my own life. I want them to be happy, but I want them to be good people too. I want all the things parents want, but what I really want is a relationship with them.
When they accomplish something new, I want to be the first person they talk to about it. When they make a mistake, I want them to come to me and confess it. As they have new ideas about things, I hope they’ll ask me what I think and consider my advice carefully before taking action. If I do something for them, I hope they’ll recognize it and thank me, not because I need the thanks but simply because they’re thankful.
I believe this is all that God wants from me–a relationship. A relationship like this one fosters mercy when the child makes a grievous mistake and needs forgiveness. A relationship like this begets grace when a child hasn’t done anything to deserve a gift, but you love them and know it would thrill them to no end.
The parent-child relationship, as my relationship with God, teaches obedience, respect for authority, and provides stability. The things I hope to give my children are the same things God wants to give to me, and just as I expect my children to love and respect me, God wants the same from me.
Nothing melts my heart like one of my girls spontaneously declaring that they love me and think I’m a good mom. Better still is when I’ve made dinner or washed clothes and get a heart-felt thank you. It’s something I would do anyway, just because I love them, but I hope I have the kind of relationship with them that will compel them to show their gratefulness.
Then one day I’ll look at my girls and wonder how I would feel if they never talked to me but to ask me for a new toy. What would I do if one of them disregarded everything I taught her and went her own way, disobeying my rules, then teaching her sisters to do the same? How would I react to one if she grew up and told people she didn’t have a mother?
And I come back to God, specifically Jesus, and I am instantly grateful and humbled. I’m mixed with emotions of praise for God’s mercy in allowing me to live as long as He has, then awe at his grace in giving me three girls after I killed a child through abortion years ago. I believe I am a child of God’s and have a responsibility to behave as such, not only for my own relationship to my Heavenly Father, but to aid my “siblings” in coming back to a relationship with Him themselves, to be a good example. This is as much as I would ask of one of my girls.