Updated: Feb 11, 2019
Recently my oldest daughter and I were having some hard moments. You see already at the age of 7, this girl has some big opinions, and some big emotions. And I too, often have big opinions and big emotions.
In the mess of our feelings, we find ourselves in a bit of a struggle. And sometimes I am too harsh, or too loud, or too done with discipline for the day. And sometimes she is too stubborn, or too disobedient.
We found ourselves at the end of one of our tumultuous nights, and there, with tears streaming down her face and her head hung low she said, “I feel like you don’t even love me.” At first, my momma heart was crushed. What could I have possibly done to make my own child think I do not love her?
But as the conversation unfolded, I found that there was so much more behind those words. She continued to explain that when she is disobedient or behaves in a negative way she thinks I could not possibly love her. She thinks that her bad behavior equates to being a bad daughter. And therefore, if she is a bad daughter, she is not worthy of love.
You see, she was making the mistake that we so often do. She was basing her value, her ability to be loved upon her actions, her behavior. Bad behavior equals unworthy of love.
My heart broke as I began to understand her words but in a different way. In an understanding way. Because how often have I been in that same place, a place where I thought I was unworthy of love because I had messed up. A place where I thought my value was based on my performance, and if I could just do it good enough, then people would love me, BUT dare I fail, dare I struggle- because then clearly I would be unlovable.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
On some level, I think we all do this.
We base our worth on our actions.
We allow the sin within to define us, rather than the righteousness.
We become bogged down with our mess and feel as if no one could possibly love us.
But, just as that sweet little girl was wrong, so are we.
I held her in my arms, explaining that nothing she EVER did, no matter how bad, or how disobedient, would change the depth of this love I have for her. I reminded her that sometimes she will do things that I will not like and that sometimes she will get disciplined for her actions, BUT her actions cannot shift my love for her, even on the very worst days.
And, if I am capable of such love, how much more is my heavenly Father?
"See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" 1 John 3:1
As I gently spoke to my daughter, I heard Him speaking to me. Because His words are the same…
It does not matter what you have done,
It does not matter what burden you carry,
Or how big a mess you have made.
I LOVE YOU.
My love for you is unchanged by your actions.
You are valuable because I say you are valuable.
You ARE loved.
Have you ever felt unlovable? Today, choose to relish in the goodness of His love.
“But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love..." Nehemiah 9:17
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