I have just watched ‘Worlds Strictest Parents’ on BBC iplayer with tears rolling down my face through the whole thing. So many children now grow into teens and young adults who fall into bad ways because open lines of communication at home aren’t in place or are for some sad reason broken down. Being able to have an open and honest relationship with your parents is such a precious thing. A relationship in which the parents not only say but model unconditional love - “there is nothing you could ever say or do that would ever stop me loving you”.
Through no fault of her own but through her fathers’ serious illness, this teen girl’s life had been thrown into turmoil from an early age. Her parents hadn’t meant to not give her the time she needed, they loved her dearly, but the love and attention she needed had been stolen from her by her mum having to devote so much time to her ill husband. As a result, from the age of six the girl felt rejected, alone and sad and to make herself feel better had gone in search of things and people who could fill this gaping hole in her life. Thus smoking, drinking, drugs and hanging out with people, that under other circumstances she wouldn’t have even met, fulfilled her need for love and security. Her relationship with her mum and dad was one of secrets, lies and raised voices.
This all struck a very deep chord with me – and I am sure it will do with some of you. When I was a child there were many ‘conditions’ on the love I received from my parents. This led me to take a path in my younger years that I now look back on in sadness. I have felt that emptiness, tried to fill the hole in my heart with so many things that just didn’t fit and ended up filling it with many wrong things.
When I had my own children I vowed to myself that I would never love them the way I was loved. I would fight to be the kind of mum who ‘loved with an unconditional love’. Last week I had the pleasure of hearing from my eldest, “Mum, I love you, you are my best friend and I really love that I can tell you anything and you don’t judge me, just love me”. It was such an amazing honour to hear. Don’t get me wrong though, I am not the world’s best mother and still mess up as from the youngest I heard “I hate you, you never listen to me!” So the jury is out it is 50:50, but that is not going to stop me loving her just the same.
As for my longing for someone to love me with unconditional love, eight years ago after a lot of searching, I met my perfect parent. God is the Father who stepped into my life and loves me unconditionally. He loves me with an everlasting love, He knows everything about me and still loves me, He desire is to lavish love on me, He will never stop doing good to me, He encourages me, He comforts me, He wipes my tears away, He doesn’t hold grudges or throw any of my wrong doings back at me, He provides for all my needs – and so much more. In my heart was a hole that needed filling, it is in all our hearts. It’s a God shaped hole, that only God can fill.
Now knowing that I am loved unconditionally, feeling the sense of well being and security that that brings really helps me do the same. It’s always easy to pass on something you have received in buckets full yourself.
Can I encourage you to love your children unconditionally and if you don’t know how then ask God to show you. Our children deserve the best, we deserve the best and God is the best and He desires to be the best for us.
Father, thank you that there is nothing we could ever say or do that would stop you from loving us. Help us to love our children in that way. Amen
Read and see how much God loves you..................