It was only when my daughter was born that I have been able to gain even the slightest insight to what God’s Unconditional Love for us might actually be.
The Birth Of Unconditional Love
Two years ago, something phenomenal happened – my daughter, Addison Eileen, was born. She arrived exactly on her due date (which, as we joke, makes sense – I’m pretty darned punctual), and the labor itself (a rather easy one, all things considered) was a foreshadowing of things to come – she’s really been no trouble at all.
If you’re a parent, you can probably relate to the experience we were having leading up to Addie’s birth. We were downright freaked out about having our first child. Excited, of course, but freaked out. Would we be good parents or would we screw the kid up? Would we be overwhelmed? Maybe we’d break her sometime after the return period expired! These are things you probably know quite well.
But then you add other things to it. We found out Emily was pregnant not even a month after I had quit my full-time job to try and run our business. So we were, for all intents and purposes, running on one income (and have been ever since). Emily and I are both focused and driven people attempting to do something with our lives that causes us to be insanely busy at bizarre times and throws our schedules out of whack. Not to mention that being that driven and focused can realistically cause you to prioritize certain things over attentiveness to your child.
We were older first-time parents (myself 34 and Emily 35), so there was the concern that we were getting this started too late in life to be effective. And as far as available family that could help us when our schedules went Batsy Cline, we were very much in low supply. We were scared to death that we would fail miserably as parents. That we might even be too preoccupied with trying to make our dreams come true than simply love our daughter.
I know that may sound ridiculous. How could you not love your own kid? How could you think you wouldn’t? But these are the things that were going through our heads.
And then I saw her for the first time, sliding out into the world head first like she’d stumbled into a water park. I got to see her the moment she entered our universe.
It was at that moment I fell in love.
When Alternatives Disappear
All the sudden, there was absolutely no question about how this was going to work. There were no doubts about whether or not I could love this other person that had just appeared out of nowhere. As scary as this was (and still is) I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I was going to be the most amazing father in the history of fathers.
Because there was no alternative.
Every decision I’ve made (and in fact every decision we’ve made) regarding our daughter has been based on that premise. And I’m sure, in that regard, your experience has been rather the same. And those decisions haven’t been very difficult – they’ve been incredibly easy. Sure, one could argue that Addie’s temperament and good nature has had a lot to do with that. She’s so easy-going and chill that we seldom have any real problems or behavioral issues with her. But I think 99% of it comes from something else.
Unconditional Love Makes Life Easier
When you love someone unconditionally, every decision you make regarding or affecting that person becomes the easiest thing in the world. In fact, they are much less decisions than they are “things that you do”. After all, there are no real options available to you. It’s as if you’re walking a walled path that goes only one direction. Life is easier when your love for someone is so complete.
It is in this sense that I often compare my fatherhood to the Fatherhood that God has with us. His Love for us is unconditional. No matter what we do, good or bad or wrong, He Loves us fully and completely. Like my daughter, I make messes sometimes, but God Loves me no less than I love my little Adita.
And the “decisions” He makes for me are not really weighted between other options. There is only one path. One direction (don’t say it). One option.
What God’s Love For Us Might Mean
I used to hear about God’s Unconditional Love in Church or in conversations with other people of Faith that I know. And I thought I had a decent grasp on what that actually was. In truth, it was only when my daughter was born that I have been able to gain even the slightest insight to what God’s Love for us might actually be.
And if my Love for my daughter is this beautiful and wonderful, how immensely gorgeous God’s Love for us must be.
I want to add only one more thing. While this idea of Unconditional Love – particularly from a parent to a child – is a phenomenal thing, what if we could have that kind of love for other people? Not just family or friends but strangers too?
After all, God Loves them no less than He Loves us.