I haven’t found a love more reflective of the love of Christ than the love you have for your children. I am a mother of three and fell in love with each of my children before they were born. I have loved my children through toddler tantrums, adolescent mistakes, and probably most importantly, through our adult relationships. I have loved my children despite hurt and even when they didn’t love me back.
The story of love for my children is a series of highs and lows. I wasn’t always a model mother. You don’t realize at the time that those mistakes can manifest into challenges years later. My daughter asked me once, “At what point do you give up on your child?” “Never,” I said. I think she would say the same about giving up on her relationship with me too.
When my daughter had her own children, she and her husband decided to follow a parenting program which deemed us, the grandparents, not godly enough. We didn’t go to a legalistic church and we were Christians who were not “spiritual” enough. I know we weren’t perfect, but we strived to follow Christ. We expressed our differences and we were happy to follow their lead because we wanted a relationship with our grandchildren. I knew some of the hurt was leftover from earlier days in our relationship, but mostly stemmed from this parenting program.
I didn’t exactly know how to love my daughter through this time. I wasn’t allowed to babysit my grandchildren or even be at the hospital for the birth of her third and fourth child. I watched my grandchildren suffer through this program, but their mother was my daughter. She couldn’t do anything to change the love I had for her.
I knew I wanted to see my grandchildren, I knew I wasn’t going anywhere, and I learned to trust God through the rest. As I was praying one day, I heard God say that if I loved my daughter that much and was concerned about her that much, then how much more does he love her?
It took years, but eventually my daughter did change. She and her husband learned that following Christ isn’t a set of strict laws to follow.
Walking away from someone who has hurt you sometimes feels like the only option, but she was my daughter. I couldn’t leave. God has shown me that he would never leave me and I wanted to reflect Christ in the relationship with my daughter. Because Christ never gives up on us.