“How great is the love
the Father has lavished on us,
that we should be called children of God!
And that is what we are!
1 John 3:1a NIV
I never cease to be amazed at the word pictures that are provided for us in the Word of God. This Father’s Day I am thinking about the love of the Father. The Bible says in 1 John 3:1 that God lavished his love on his children.
My children have occasionally disappointed me but the bottom line is there is absolutely nothing in this world they could ever do or say that would keep me from loving them unconditionally. As a mother I love them beyond words. I believe this confession of love is true for my husband as well. We love our children more than life.
Lavishing love on our children IS NOT our ability to give them great gifts and opportunities. As great as those things are, there are still things that are greater. A Christian heritage that models our faithfulness to God is the greatest gift we can give our children. It is a gift that is not purchased. It is a gift that is lived by example. We love our children lavishly when we teach them to respect God and teach them that each person is personally accountable to God. As we teach our children about the love of God we also teach them the necessity of having a personal relationship with God. We are to teach them the importance of developing a dependency on God for every need in their life. We teach our children that God can be trusted and that he is faithful. When we invest in our children’s lives in this way we love them lavishly!
My husband and I are Christians and we have for the most part had a healthy family life. This principle was modeled to us by our parents and we in turn are in the process of passing it on to our children. I wish I could say we have always done this perfectly, but we have not. There have been times when we let life get in the way. There were times when we thought that gifts, activities and opportunities came before example. I’m sure our children always knew we loved God but sometimes our example of living it out was lacking. Now our children have both left home and are currently living out their own faith. God has been faithful to them and they are faithful to God. Still, my husband and I are not free of the responsibility of example. Only spending time with God in the garden of our hearts enables us to continue to lavish God’s love on our children by example. We must remain faithful and become overcomers when we experience trouble that is always a part of life.
God is so good to give us the model of “family” so that in our humanity we can better understand his love for us. God had a son that he adored. Yet he sacrificed his one and only son, Jesus, so he could lavish his love on humanity. When we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior he lavishes his love on us personally in the form of forgiveness. Yet the Father did not forget the Son. His son, Jesus Christ sits at his right hand in heaven; this is a position of honor. Some day soon Jesus will return to earth and this time he will not be a suffering servant giving his life as a sacrifice for sin, but he will be the King above all Kings and the Lord above all Lords! On that day we who have accepted Jesus as our personal savior will rule and reign with him forever. This IS lavish love for the Son and for all of God’s children. “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
I am amazed that not only do we have the opportunity to teach our children, but our children sometimes out trump us and teach us more about God’s love and faithfulness than we could ever hope to teach them. Once again, truth is taught by example and many times our children are the perfect example to us. There are times when our hearts ache for our children when they are hurting and experiencing hard times. Other times are hearts sing for joy when we see our children choosing Jesus during difficult circumstances or during a time of loneliness or loss. Our love for our children is a beautiful picture of how much our Heavenly Father loves us. Our Heavenly Father’s heart breaks for us when we are in need and he rejoices when we choose him. Everyday is Father’s Day when it comes to our Father in heaven cherishing and loving all of his children lavishly!
1. How do you feel knowing that God’s love for you is lavish, plentiful, generous, and abundant?
2. Have your children ever taught you anything about the love of the Father?
3. What did they teach you?
4. Have you asked God to help you as you strive to be a godly example to your family?
5. Is there anything in your life that is sending the wrong message to your children?
It is an awesome responsibility to be a parent. Sometimes I do it well and other times not so much. Father, forgive my short comings and challenge me to do a better job. Thank you for the gift of my family and help me to love them lavishly just as you love me. How blessed I am to be called your child. I pray God that I would regularly take stock of my priorities so that I can make sure you remain first, number one, and at the top of my list. Bless all fathers everywhere this day. If there are hurting men who are childless I pray that they would realize that there are always children to be loved and ministered to by example. Give each of them opportunities to touch the lives of children. I pray that every man on this Father’s Day would know the lavish love of the Father. Give every dad the wisdom to lavish on his children God’s love through his leadership, teaching, his faithfulness to the Father, and his loving example.
In you Son’s name I pray. Amen.
In you Son’s name I pray. Amen.