Let Me Count The Ways

We love because he first loved us.  1 John 4:19

Have you ever . . . thought about all of the things you do for your child/children  that should cause him to love you?  A friend of mind plays a game with her children called "Let Me Count The Ways" where they tell each other all the reasons they love each other.  One day I decided to play this with my two sons and I asked them to tell me the reasons why they loved me.  And their simple, most basic response was, "Because you love us."

Well, I though that was sort of boring.   I was looking for answers like "because you buy our clothes and food, because you take us to the store for treats, because you are always there when we need you, because you let our friends come over to play."  So pridefully I said again, "No really, tell me the reasons why you love me."  And again, they stated, very matter-of-factly, "We love you because you love us."

My kids were really saying, "Mom, we love you because you showed us the experience of what it is to love and be loved and now we want that as a part of our lives too."  Simple as pie!  It was not the things I was "doing" for them but the way I was "being" with them.  Through a sacrificial, often unappreciated, no holds barred kind of love, they were able to see what love looks and feels and tastes like, and they wanted to model that for their own lives.

Now I realize that is how it is with God.  We come to love Him and love others because He loves us first.  He shows us what it looks like to love.  That is the whole message of the Bible.  But He doesn't want us to love Him merely for what He gives us and does for us.  He wants us to love Him and others as a response to coming to know what love is and for being thankful for that experience.  We find that love through spending time with Him just like our children find that love through spending time with us.

No need to count the ways, love JUST BECAUSE he loved us first!

Click here to find a Picture Prayer  - Just Because

© margaret young