Love No Matter What
Most of you know that I am a stay-at-home dad. This role is one of my greatest joys. Especially when my two year old daughter grabs my face in her small hands, looks into my eyes and tells me, “I promise I will never leave you.” Or when my five year old son stops whatever he is doing and runs up and gives me a hug and tells me he loves me. Although fatherhood is one of my greatest joys, it is also an awesome responsibility that I do not take lightly.
Now, before you read any further, I want you to pause and think about your father and the impact he had on your life. Was he a positive or negative influence? Was he present or absent? Did he show you love or was he apathetic? Was he gentle, showing you grace or was he more like a drill sergeant with a “my way or the highway” mentality?
Positive or negative, the way your father was part of your life impacts you. Having an involved father results in better emotional, academic, social, and behavioral outcomes for children. According to The Fatherhood Project, children with involved fathers are twice as likely to attend college or find stable employment after high school. On the other hand, children with less involved fathers are more likely to act out in school and engage in risky behaviors like drug use, alcohol abuse, and promiscuous relationships. 85 percent of men in prison didn’t have a dad involved in their life. 71 percent of teen suicides didn’t have a father involved in the home. As you can see, it is extremely important that dads are engaged in their families. When we as fathers engage our families we create an environment where leaving a legacy of faith begins to happen and this is the most important thing we can do for our children.
Love is the key ingredient to leaving a legacy of faith. One of the greatest things we can do for our children is to ensure that there is nothing they can do that will take away our love from them. We see this truth in the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). Although the prodigal son wished his father dead, took his inheritance and left for another country, where he squandered his wealthy, his father never stopped loving him. When the prodigal came back home, his father ran to him, embraced him, and threw a party for him. His father never stopped loving him. His father didn’t hold a grudge against him. His father loved him no matter what.
You see, our heavenly Father never stops loving us; He doesn’t stop loving us when we put things above Him, and He doesn’t hold our sin against us. Instead, He loves us so much that He sent His son to die on a cross for us. This sacrifice, this great act of love, shows that God loves us no matter what and that there is nothing we can do to make Him love us less.
So, does your child or children know that there is nothing they can do to make you love them less? This week assure them of this truth. Like my two year old daughter grabbed my face in her small hands and told me that she promises to never leave, grab the face of your child, no matter how old they are and tell them that there is nothing they can do to make you love them less.