By Aladekoba Adeleke Segun
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. [I John 4:7, 9-11 NKJV]
The verse above is so profound!
When you meditate upon it, you immediately discover that the love of God is so exemplary!
Indeed, what manner of love?!
I tried to put myself into the verse and imagine the role of God all in a bid to grasp the magnitude of the kind of love that God has for us and by extension, begin to love my family with this kind of love.
Two things jump out at me and these two things I believe should be evident in every father’s life…in fact; they should be present in everybody’s life.
- Love is our only legitimate claim to being God’s children.
For fathers, houses and riches are good things to leave as a legacy but the greatest legacy we can leave for our children is our relationship with God. If we love God, we have by extension, introduced that same love to our children because they watch us. You see, the way I treat a loved one is the same way people around me will treat that person. They get the worth they place on that person from the worth I place on that same person. If we love God, it will rub off on everything we do and have – including our family. The way I treat God is the same way my children will treat Him. It’s impossible to love someone and not show it. It’s impossible to love God and not show it. What my children see, they believe.
- We should not wait to be loved first before we love.
The unselfish, proforma nature of genuine love is what makes it so powerful! What God wanted for us the most was for us to live. It hurt Him that we were apart and to rectify this, He had to sacrifice His Most Precious Son. Now I can get that…but wouldn’t it be so much better if the people you were going to do all of this for disposed themselves favourably towards you? Yes, but that wasn’t the case. Yet it didn’t stop Him from doing it. Now, that right there is the summation of love. This not-waiting-to-be-loved-first mind of God is what makes me love Him. It pulls me to Him daily. If He did that WHEN I DIDN’T CARE, imagine what lies in store NOW THAT I CARE?
The same holds true for how we should love our family. Don’t wait to he loved before you love. Love in advance even if it hurts… There is Grace available to do it. When our family see us doing this, they gain our respect, reciprocate our love and also, get the gift of knowing what true love is all about.
It’s time for us fathers to love, through God. Selah!