I’ve heard a lot of people say that after becoming a parent, you come to understand much more how God must feel about us. The love a parent has for a child is so deep and self-sacrificial, it offers a glimpse of what that all-loving Parent feels toward us, his children.
In the four and a half months since Kate’s arrival, I’ve gained some small bit of insight into this divine love. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot more once she’s capable of being willfully disobedient! Right now it’s like a Garden of Eden parental relationship, and there are greater challenges to come, I know!
But, if I may be so bold as to apply my own human perspective to God, I dare make the following presumptions:
God loves when we delight in his presence. Nothing makes Matt or me happier than when Kate is giddy at just the sight of us. God must love it when we stop and smile, basking in the moment of recognizing that he is here with us.
God loves it when we go to him for comfort. I hate to see my child upset, but when she’s wailing and scared, I feel honored to be the one to hold her and comfort her. I can’t always just make it better, but I can accompany her through the distress. I’m not going to tread into a whole mess of theodicy issues, but bottom line, surely God mourns with us in our despair.
God hates to see us do things that he knows are bad for us. I’ve thought this for a long time, believing that God doesn’t make up arbitrary rules, but rather just doesn’t want to see us go through the emotional pain or physical risk that certain habits and situations can bring. Kate’s not really to the stage of making cognitive choices about her behaviors, but even little things, like sticking her hands into her mouth so far that she gags—and then doing it over and over again—make us sad (even as we’re laughing a little) that she doesn’t realize she’s bringing that discomfort on herself time and again.
God would do anything for us. I generally sum up my devotion to Kate by saying “I’d walk in front of a bus for her,” meaning I would die for her, risk or sacrifice anything for her. This analogy gets tricky because God can’t die and I’m not going to claim I would sacrifice any other children I may have for Kate. Nonetheless, Jesus did “lay down his life for his friends” to demonstrate the greatest love a person can have.
As Christians, we all strive to emulate that Christlike, self-sacrificial love, and I’m thankful to be learning more and more through this special stage of life.