Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Cuddling for Jesus

I am in the midst of a spiritual "realization" regarding my children.  God is impressing upon me that I am Jesus to them.

I am His hands as I hold and cuddle my babies: I am showing them God's love in a way they can understand.  I am His feet as I move about the house creating a home for my family.  The gentle way I choose to speak to them when I'm frustrated, the encouraging words I choose to say, all convey the love of Jesus to them in a way they can understand.  I am Jesus to my children.

Most of the time, I fail.  Badly.  But God did not bring this to light to induce my guilt, rather to encourage me in my journey, to make me want to be like Him more.

As selfish as I am, my own human love for my children was not enough of a motivator.  Only as it is reflected in the deep and great desire to show Jesus' love to my children.

"Where does God live?"

"What does God look like?"

"Where is God right now?"

All of these childish questions reveal a knowledge of the fact that God cannot be seen.

That is my purpose as a mother who chooses to follow Jesus: He is using me in my every-day interactions with each of my children to express to them His love.  Not my love.  His love.  The love that He has placed in us as parents is in fact, from Him.  It is a piece of the love He has for them.

My babies cannot speak yet.  They cannot reason with me about who God is.  They cannot even sit still for a Bible story yet.  How can they know God?  Through my arms as I sit and comfort them.  Through my expressions of His love.
So when I feel impatience or anger, or when I feel frustration at their behavior, I try hard to remember that Jesus wants me to use that moment to express His love to the children He has blessed me with.

I have recently tried a backwards discipline program.  Once in a while over the past week, when my children have been expecting a spanking or a lecture over some misbehavior, I surprise them with a hug.  God's grace in action in a way my children can understand.

I wonder if God's love of us in each spiritual state can be paralleled to how we love our children in each developmental stage.  For instance, I get to hug and kiss and cuddle my babies a good amount of time.  But my 7-year-old would not care for constant hugs and kisses.  He much appreciates me showing my love to him in other ways, like reading together.  Could a comparison be made to a new believer and a more spiritually-mature believer and how God shows His love to them?  

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