God’s love- A Perfect Father and Imperfect Kids
By Mike Stonehill, XXX Church - Crossmap On November 14, 2013
It's been hard to wrap my brain around that statement. What does it mean? We so often struggle with acceptance and forgiveness when we deal with our struggles and addictions. If we are honest with ourselves we have to see that we are far from perfect. In fact, sometimes we struggle with even feeling that God would love us in the middle of our unfaithfulness and repeated failures. But according to the Word, our perfect Father loves us totally imperfect kids beyond what we can understand. Let me explain my answer.
I am a 50 year old with a miracle 3 year old boy. The Doctors told my wife and I that after about 10 years of trying various things we would not be having children.
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Now the fact that it was even a possibility was a miracle in itself since my wife had been raped as a young woman and had her uterus damaged to the point that it was not possible for her to get pregnant. God gave her a Word she was restored, and when she was examined before we got married, the Doctor told her she was perfectly normal and healthy and in fact had her hymen restored. So it was a bit confusing when years later the Doctors said we couldn't have children. The question we asked God was, "Why did you restore her if we are not going to have kids?" To be honest, we never really got an answer other than God said, "Do you trust me?" So we resolved ourselves to the fact that God did not want us to raise a family. We were able to spend the next 10 years traveling to different spots around the world doing missions work and being able to serve wherever we were needed in the church.
20 years went by and then God saw fit to bless us with an amazing little boy. It was an absolute blessing and miracle of God. I wish I could take the time to share everything that God did in this process to answer the question we asked Him years before about why we were not successful then in getting pregnant. But I will just say for now that God is God and His ways are not our ways. He truly has a plan beyond our comprehension.
But I can say that right now as a 50-year-old first time father, I am beginning to understand a bit about God's Love-A perfect Father and Imperfect Kids.
I know that at the place my wife and I are right now it has been such an eye opener to be able to put together how much God our Heavenly Father loves us, and how He can love us when I know how absolutely imperfect I am.
I am so thankful that God included Romans 7 in the Bible:
(vs 15)"I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do-this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God-through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
I read that and I know the Father understands. In fact He loves us beyond what we can comprehend even when we are the imperfect beings we are! Having a son now myself really helps me to wrap my brain around that. My son is great; I love him more than I ever imagined I could. But he plays with his poop. He doesn't want to rest when its nap time. He doesn't always want to eat what is placed before him. He doesn't always come when I call. He doesn't always do what I ask him to do. He doesn't always say please and thank you. Sometimes he ignores me. He sometimes acts like he doesn't really like me too much. He doesn't appreciate how hard his mom and dad work for him and how much we do to take care of him... sound familiar yet? If not, look back over all those statements, and you will begin to realize that in one way or another, we act exactly the same way to our Father in Heaven. Yet he loves us.
Even when my boy does those things, it doesn't overshadow the absolute joy it brings to me when I come in the door and he comes running and yelling, "Daddy! Daddy!" Those things don't overshadow the times when my 3 year old boy lays on my chest at night and quietly lifts his head up, places his hand on my head, closes his eyes and whispers, "Jesus, heal daddy's cold, make daddy better, Jesus heal daddy." Those things don't overshadow the times when my boy goes to the nursery in church and the little girl is crying and he sits behind the chair next to her and strokes her shoulder and offers his sippy cup and quietly says, " don't cry, have a sippy cup."
I am so blessed by the awesome things that show, even at just 3 years old, the love of God in him, that when he ignores me, or doesn't do what I ask, or doesn't want to eat dinner, I just take a breath and exercise patience and try to teach him how to do better next time. If I can feel that way, as imperfect as I am, then how much more so does the Heavenly Father, who is PERFECT, love me and forgive me and understand me.
Matt. 7:11 says this, "If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"
We all struggle with things. The good news is that we struggle. The point when you need to really worry is when you don't struggle. Then you don't see the need to change anything, and if that's where you are, guess what? You're wrong. That's just called denial. It's called a "fight of faith" (1 Timothy 6:12) for a reason. We will be fighting something until we are with the Lord in Heaven. The joy and peace comes in the truth that in the midst of all this, we realize that God loves us deeply, purely, perfectly. Better that we can imagine.