What being a parent taught me about God

By Violetta Reum

Less than two weeks ago, my son, Dominik, turned 10 months old.

It has been an incredible journey of being a parent.

I have been surprised by how truly difficult it is and how unmanageable my life seems at times. I have been surprised by how exponentially and magically my heart has expanded to love this little guy.

I have been most pleasantly surprised by how much being a parent has taught me about God and His Father/Parenting nature.

1. God loves you fully and totally before you accomplish anything.

As soon as my baby was born, honestly even before, my heart exploded with love.

Dominik hadn’t done anything to earn my love yet. He did not affirm me in any way. He did not show gratitude. He couldn’t even hold up his own head, let alone accomplish anything worthy of mentioning on a resume.

But still, I already loved him so deeply. He was simply alive and breathing. He simply existed, and I wouldn’t demand anything more from him.

And still, that was all that was needed for me to love him fully. I think God loves us the same way.

Before we do anything, before we accomplish or achieve, before we can prove ourselves, He already loves us as much as He ever will. We cannot earn that love any more or any less. God adores us for just existing.

2. God’s love doesn’t run out.

As I quickly learned, and had no real concept of before, is that your heart does in fact grow bigger and starts loving deeper.

Unlike my other relationships, I did not feel like Dominik took anything away from my love tank; his existence simply expanded it.

I didn’t have to learn how to give him a part of my heart; my heart simply expanded its limits. I believe this is how God’s love is.

It is ever expanding, unlimited, always growing wider, deeper and higher. His love is not limited to only his top 100 followers; it is not reserved only for the favorite, beloved ones. Every being that God creates, I believe His love only expands to encompass them. We do not need to compete; we simply have to understand how unlimited His love is.

There will always be enough for you and the person next to you and for the millions of people who are born daily.

There is always enough love in a mother’s ever-expanding heart and there is always enough in God.

3. God’s love is not conditional.

Pretty quickly I learned that babies can’t say “thank you.” They cannot show gratitude. They can’t even smile at the beginning. There is no way for them to affirm us in our parenting, no sign to show that we are in fact doing a good job.

But still, we, as parents, continue to do what needs to be done. We love our babies, care for them, feed them, bathe them, cuddle them, play with them, talk to them, adore them. We do not do it for returns; we do it simply because we love.

There is no greater self-sacrifice than to lay your life down for someone who is not even aware that we are doing it for them.

Christ died on the cross for us even before we knew who He was and understood the salvation He brought. He did not die because He felt appreciated and loved and wanted to reciprocate our affection. It was quite the opposite.

He died for us simply because He loved us; no “thank yous” or “good jobs” required.

4. God disciplines those He loves.

Fairly recently, Dominik became very mobile. Though he is not walking yet, I swear his crawling is almost as fast as my walking sometimes.

This of course means that he tries to get into everything and nothing is off-limits in his mind. He has his eye on something and he is willing to do whatever it takes to get to it; no matter how many times he has to try.

Though I affirm this kind of persistence and willpower, as you can imagine, it can be exhausting. I feel like most of my day consists of simply making sure that he doesn’t hurt himself.

I can only imagine how exhausting this must also be for our Father in Heaven.

He, like all parents, has the birds’ eye view and wisdom to know what is dangerous and what is not, what is beneficial and what is not. He so desperately wants to protect us, to spare us the physical and emotional hurt.

But we are persistent.

Just like Dominik, we have our eye on something we want, and we go for it. But the Father is good; He protects us and disciplines us for our own good. And just like Dominik, sometimes we cry out in frustration, but we know that God loves and protects us.

Oh how good it is to be so loved and cared for that God takes the time and opportunity to discipline us so we can be better humans in the end!

So, dear mom or dad, biological or not, present or future,

remember that your sacrifice for your child is a small glimpse into the sacrifice that Jesus accepted for His own life.

When we choose someone else over our own wants, needs, and entitlements, we remember how Jesus chose to die a painful, shameful death for us.

When we look into the eyes of our child, we see a mirror of our own longing for the Father.

And when we feel the expanding of our heart when we look unto our children with adoration, let’s remember that the Father looks at us the same way.

Author: Violetta Reum

Violetta has always had a passion and calling to see people pursue God with their entire lives, find their calling and identity in Jesus, and seek deep healing from past trauma and abuse.  She enjoys spending time with her husband and son and discovering all of the coffee shops and hole-in-the-wall restaurants.

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