So… an odd, incredible, and somewhat important event occurred about eight weeks ago… my wonderful wife gave birth to our first child!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A beloved baby boy.
Having your a child is a profound and momentous occasion. You would think I would be glowing and gleaming with flowing blog posts about it the joys of fatherhood. However, I have found myself at a loss for words. Being a part of and observing the creation of life is so big and perplexing. I have found myself baffled and dumbfounded.
I really just haven’t known what to say.
My fantastic mother-in-law has asked me a simple question a couple times that I usually would not hesitate answering. Though no fault of hers whatsoever, the question has annoyed me for weeks. She asked, “What has being a new parent taught you about God and His love?” It was a great question. I felt like a paralyzed deer surrounded by headlights. My head and heart responses were the equivalent of white noise. I could not figure out why, and it really bothered me.
The question was straight-forward, clear, and made plenty of sense. The entire Bible is about God’s fatherhood and love, as shown through the offering and sacrifice of Jesus. Surely… with my loving Jesus, being a “spiritual” and ridiculously sentimental fella, and my being part of the miracle of life alongside my lovely bride and dream girl… I should be able to feel something magnificent and deliver a powerful, spiritual sounding, and deep soliloquy… or at least muster up SOMETHING. Anything!
As I hold the tiny, precious, and helpless human that God has blessed us with… and look at his beautiful face… tears well up. I often have no idea why.
Yet… I have been unable to respond to the simple question, “What has being a new parent taught you about God and His love?” The question has been a dripping faucet in my mind.
Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
This week, I think I figured out the reason.
My love for my son is illogical. It makes no sense. NONE!
This interestingly contrasts with my love for my wife; it is quite logical. There are TONS of reasons to love her. I am definitely blessed with the CHOICE to love her everyday. She is so incredibly easy to love. There’s also an element of that love that is probably a bit selfish. She does a LOT for me. Holy moly… she does a LOT for me. Sure, I am challenged with selflessness in my love her. I am blessed with the opportunity to die to myself in serving, loving, and leading her, but I receive a lot from her too. She does so much to “deserve” my love. Loving her is an honor and privilege. Have I told you lately how wonderful she is?!?! Sheesh, she is WONDERFUL! The love for my son is different.
He has made our lives much more difficult. He costs a lot of time and money… and that is only going to increase. He cries and stresses me out. He takes precious time away from me and my wife. He keeps me from doing other things I would rather be doing. Already, he is making me evaluate my selfishness way too often. He is making me realize how much more I should pray… which also annoys me a little. He is exhausting. I get frustrated sometimes and have no idea why. He makes my wife cry and feel overwhelmed sometimes, and I hate that. We have to change his diapers. He throws up, pees on, and poops on us (the glorious trifecta!). I don’t have to love him. He does NOTHING for me. He has done and does NOTHING to deserve my love.
Sure… there are moments where my heart melts. Holding him is awesome…. when he is quiet :-). The occasional baby smile is so adorable that it makes me cry (I’m such a dang softy). Don’t get me wrong… I love him deeply. But again… it makes no sense.
The ONLY reason I love him is because he is mine (well… ours) and because I choose to love him. He is God’s, but God gifted and entrusted him to us.
I think this is my big lesson about God and His love: God’s choice of love for us makes no sense, which is why it is so profound.
He is GOD… GOD of the universe… Creator of ALL. He has existed and exists. Period. There is no “beginning of time”… there is only God. He mysteriously exists as 3 separate, but united beings. He has NO REASON to love us. He does not need us for ANYTHING. We do NOTHING for him that he can’t do for himself. He is GOD! Yet, he loves us by divine choice.
That God… THE ONLY God… chooses to love me and you.
We disobey him all the time. He watches us defy him. He watches our arrogant attempts to trivialize him. Who the heck do we think we are to disobey him!! He is GOD!
He loves us far beyond the extent of our capacity to understand love. Only in Christ, through the Holy Spirit are we allowed to get a slither of the heavenly experience of love. Only through Holy Spirit are we able to show the light of love in a dark, stained, and putrid world.
I love my son because he is mine and because I choose to. God loves us because we are his and because he wants to. We are individually owned and loved by God, despite ourselves.