Parental Love

Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 16:15-23; 17; 18; 19:1-4

At the hand of his own son, Absalom, many of David's subjects were drawn into a rebellion against him, one of his other sons was murdered, all of his wives were publicly molested, and he was forced to run for his own life. Yet, David still loved Absalom. He longed to see his son, tried to protect and soften the blows against him, and mourned for his death, wishing he could have died in his place (13:39; 18:5, 29, 32-33). Even when our children curse us, treat us hatefully or condescendingly, ignore our counsel, reject our values, and make foolish choices, our love endures. We may be mad at them or disappointed in their conduct, but we continue to love them, pray for them and hope for the best for them. We share their pain and celebrate their victories.

Lord, shelter my children from harm and guide them on a path of truth. When they stray from you, watch over them, protect them, and gently draw them back to you. Surround them with your love. Give them friends and mentors who will strengthen their character and spur them on toward love and good deeds (Heb. 10:24). Place your truth in their hearts so that your words will give them strength and guidance when they face challenges and decisions. Help me to build a foundation of love and trust underneath them that will give them solid footing as they reach for their independence. Even when they withdraw from me, make them aware of my love and my deep belief in their innate goodness, marvelous worth and enormous potential.

Thank you, my heavenly Father, that you love me far more than I love my own children. Even when I anger or disappoint you, your love for me is longsuffering. Your anger lasts only a moment, but your favor lasts a lifetime (Psalm 30:5). Though at times I may feel you don't care, your heart quietly aches in my suffering and rejoices in my successes. You long for me to know that I am deeply loved, precious and highly valued in your sight. You never give up on me, even when I've given up on myself. You have a grand vision for my future and you patiently encourage me to live up to my full potential. Your love sustains me and gives me hope.