“Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children, and walk in love, as Christ also loved us and gave himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God.” (Ephesians 5:1-2)
Every now and then I watch my younger kids imitating the older kids. They pick up styling tips, hobbies and what to look forward to as they get older. There is one who literally walks behind the other mimicking every move. It is quite a compliment, but can be frustrating to the older one. I use to do the same thing with older kids. They were so much cooler in my eyes and I wanted to grow up as fast as I could to be like them. Everyone seemed to already be comfortable in their own skin and I was far from it. If someone could have just told me who I was or that I was loved, protected and valuable, would have been helpful. Just following rules or looking a certain way never quite changed my heart. Being told to change, drove home the you aren’t enough record playing in my head. The whole striving thing gets old and living from one reward to the next isn’t sustainable. You miss the mark more times than not.
Just a quick word of caution – be careful who you and your children are setting up as examples, ones worthy to admire. Look for ones that are modeling characteristics that line up with who the Bible says God is and those that walk in love. Look for people that serve and do not expect anything in return. A persons heart becomes evident pretty quick. Be mindful that the truth they live/preach is straight out of scripture. Anything else is just their opinion and not truth at all. Place Christ as King of your heart and ask for His wisdom in discerning the wise from the foolish. Not in a judgmental spirit, but as a boundary line.
Here is what we are seeing work in our home. We point ourselves and our children to the One who made us and loves us unconditionally. Remind our hearts each day by reading His Word. Read about the life of Jesus and how He walked, talked and interacted with people. He served and loved beautifully. He had such compassion and stopped to really see people. He saw needs and met them. People came to Him in times of desperation and He helped them. Many of us know what this feels like. The gift of help can be huge! Jesus was also always truthful and did not waver. These verses tell us to do the same. We then can walk into healthy communities and bring our unique gifts that He has entrusted us with. Unity is a beautiful thing and love is the glue!
Dearly loved children know in their hearts and minds who God is and act accordingly. Their identity is secure and they do not live to prove their worth. They belong to God and serving happens without a second thought. Again, look at Jesus and the relationship He models for us. He was so loved and gave His love for us by dying on the cross to pay what we never could. How can we ever question His love for us? The heart healing He offers is beyond anything I have ever experienced. The strength He gives is remarkable and often unexplainable. Love that is without end is just a whisper away and available to anyone. Wouldn’t you like to know the love of a father and live out your days as a dearly loved child? Your life turns into one of sacrifice because of love and according to this verse, smells pretty sweet to God. Sounds good doesn’t it?
*I took this picture yesterday while Damon was driving. Just like God to place a heart in the clouds.