Love: on children

“The soul of Jonathan was bound to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul” 1 Samuel 18:1

I feel that way, and it is times four. To have children, and to choose them, is to have four little souls of yours walking around, outside of you but always part of you.

It is impossible at times and the most incredible at others.

I remember the first days of my daughters’ life, not sleeping just to watch her every breath with wonder and awe. I was clapping, literally clapping with glee in bed with her next to me, unable to close my eyes lest I miss one little moment of her life.

I did sleep, eventually, and there were moments that were tough, particularly when she cried endlessly for hours a day, the first few months of her life. When she got sick, I worried. And when she found her will, I first did not know how to discipline. Learning how to, was really hard.

But the hardest part, the most difficult, is protecting her from the things in this world that are wrong and broken and tough to face.

It is so important for me to find ways to protect her from the ugly, sinful, yuckies of this world and give her the beauty, the goodness, and the truth God intents for her.

It always costs me to do so, usually my time, focus, and energy. I have to keep my soul connected to each of my children and can not let myself slack in my active engagement. Yet, when I do lean into who she is, who each of my children are and are becoming; when I watch their world and surround them with good experiences and rich ideas, and lovely images, and keep the truth of their need for growth guiding our interactions, there is a deep joy and contentment that I could never had known any other way.

What a beautiful thing God has done in giving us love. He exists in it, and as we love, we experience God.

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:16

What an amazing gift that God has offered to each of us who are parents. Every day, we get to rise from our beds, shake off the nights rest, and choose love, again. And in this way, we live in God and God lives in us.

Our souls are bound, the choice is ours, and when we do choose to love those little ones, we find God.