Happy Mother’s Day! I was blessed with wonderful parents, but that’s not always the case for everyone. For those left with painful memories, the psalmist David gave us a confession of good news:
“Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close… I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.” 1
A Thankful Response…
It’s always great to hear from those blessed by the site, such as Steve’s letter from the United Kingdom.
“I would like to start off by thanking you for your reply and informing me of aboundinglove.org. You definitely have a gift of weaving a picture with your words.
“Your writings affected me greatly. I could see myself in almost every word that you wrote about yourself. Growing up (I know now) my family was very emotionally retarded. I knew I was loved, but was never told or shown any love.
“I have tried to be different with my two girls (now grown up), but I’ve always felt emotionally distant. The words come out, but I can’t feel them. Thankfully, my girls are well-adjusted, so I’ve done something right. Stay safe, stay well always, Steve, U.K.”
It’s unconditional love that makes all the difference, since feelings can be so deceiving. I believe Steve learned that true love is more than an emotion. He said, “Growing up…I knew I was loved, but I was never told or shown any love,” leaving him “emotionally distant.” Thankfully, he was able to raise “well-adjusted” daughters, who knew his love for them. Sadly, I receive other letters from those still haunted by childhood memories of abusive parents.
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” 2
As a child, I sang, “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so” and memorized John 3:16 in church. Mt parents did their best to steer me right with their kind of love, but it wasn’t enough. My problem was a lack of experiencing God’s unconditional love through the power of the Holy Spirit, which is the key to emotional health. I let my foolish choices to disobey get the best of me. Like Paul wrote to Titus: “Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other.” 3
God’s Unconditional Love…
After my fall, my parents went through a tremendously painful time, to say the least. It brought them to their knees, where they found “…grace to help in time of need.” 4 God’s unconditional love graced them to always be there for me. They went to their graves disgraced in the eyes of the world because of my actions, but they knew: “When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.” 5
It didn’t take long for me to recognize that I needed spiritual and emotional healing, especially forgiveness for my sin through the kindness and love of God. I had spent my life on a performance treadmill trying to measure up to my parents’ wishes. I resented and blamed them for mapping out my life that I felt caused all my failures, when in reality, it was my prideful, irresponsible choices. Regardless, I bore the guilt and fear of failure, with the resulting anger and pain that drove my addictions. But God, because of his mercy, washed away my sin and accepted me just the way I was. He made me a new creation, declared me righteous by the blood of Jesus, and revealed His unconditional love for me to share with others.
God’s Love is the Answer…
In Steve’s letter, he commented on my gift of weaving a picture with my words. But, if you’ve noticed, I mainly share the importance of God’s Word, which has much more validity. For instance, I beg you to meditate on the anointed words of the apostle John: “Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.” 6
Saint John went on to summarize, saying: “We love each other because he loved us first.” 7 Without knowing and believing God’s love, we’re unable to be loving and caring spouses and parents to our children. Hence, the importance of being born again or born of God, for God is love. “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” 8 Won’t you receive God’s love by faith in Jesus Christ, so you can be that loving and caring person you really want to be?
Lastly, let us continue to pray for the families of Ukraine as they battle the force of evil through faith in Jesus Christ. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” 9
A Prayer for You…
Father, thank You for forgiving my sins and saving me from eternal separation from You. By faith in Jesus, I accept His finished work and death on the cross as sufficient payment for my sins. I rejoice that His resurrection from the dead shows His complete victory over sin, death, the grave and the devil – making me holy and acceptable in Your sight. Thank You for providing the way for me to have a relationship with You and for eternal life. Thank You for hearing my prayer and for sending the Holy Spirit to regenerate my dead spirit, thereby making me a new creation – the righteousness of God in Christ. Thank You for the strength and wisdom to walk in the center of Your will now and forevermore. In the precious name of Jesus, I pray, Amen!
Scripture References (NLT):
1) Psa. 27:10,13
2) Isa. 53:6
3) Titus 3:3
4) Heb. 4:16b, NKJV
5) Titus 3:4-7
6) 1 John 4:7-12
7) 1 John 4:19
8) 1 John 4:16, NKJV
9) 1 John 5:4,5, NKJV