|Yes, that's me trying to push my little sister out of the photo. 6 and already rebellious!|
My girl flat out told me she wasn't going to do what I asked her to do. I think she kinda freaked herself out when she did it! To make matters worse, in the same breath, she told me what she wanted me to do for her.
As you may have guessed it did not go over very well with me.
Without allowing the steam to escape my nostrils...O yeah, it could have happened...I had a little talk with her about her rebellious attitude...Not OK...and my hope that she would have a greater appreciation for all her Dad and I do for her and that that appreciation would cause her to desire to have a loving respect and obedience toward us.
My beloved girl was very quick to apologize. Like I said, she really surprised herself, me too actually. It certainly isn't that my girl never does anything wrong. It's just that this particular incident of rebellion was more direct than any other before.
As I said, she apologized and I forgave her. We hugged and all was well. As I began to walk away, she quietly asked, " do you still love me?"
I knew instantly that she wasn't simply looking for confirmation of my love. My girl wanted to know if I would always love her, would I always forgive her, even if she rebelled again and again and again. She is very smart my girl. She could already see that her human nature, our human nature, is prone to rebellion.
"My love for you does not depend on whether I think your behavior is good or bad. "I explained. "I love you because you are my girl! I gave you life and you are precious to me! Rebellion can make a heart grow hard though, and a hard heart struggles to feel loved and rebellion can hinder a loving relationship between parents and children."
As I spoke the words out loud, I heard them softly echo in my mind and I was reminded that that is how God loves. As a parent I do my best, but God loves perfectly. His love is unconditional. His love is not dependent on our behavior. He created us, gave us life, we are precious in His sight. However, when we rebel we struggle to feel love, and we are prone to rebel. I am prone to rebel.
Sadly, rebellion separates us from God's unconditional love. Not because He has taken it away, but because we have hardened our hearts. As a child struggles to feel a parents love when they rebel, because rebellion brings strife, we too struggle to feel God's love when we rebel against Him.
As a parent I long for my children to walk along side me, willing to be taught, protected and loved. I hope they will desire to obey me because they know I love them and want the best for them and they recognize all that I do for them.
God, our heavenly Father, who created us, who gives us all things, who has taken responsibility for us by offering His Son as the propitiation for our sins, wants us to know His love. He wants us to walk along side of Him, trusting in His goodness, willing to lovingly obey Him because of all He has done for us. He wants us to seek forgiveness for our rebellion so that we may feel safe, protected, comforted, precious!
God is so good, that though we rebel, if we will seek it, He will forgive us over and over and over. His love will never fail!