Parenting: A Glimpse into God’s Heart

photo courtesy of

There are many reasons people intentionally become parents – the desire to create a family, to participate in raising a child, or just to experience pregnancy and birth, as well as all the other stages. I can’t remember why I wanted to become a parent, but I’m sure it was probably a combination of all those reasons and more. As our children are now grown (the youngest is 18), I look back at all those struggles of parenting, and I realize that parenting allows us to see into God’s heart and understand a little about how the Father, Son, and Spirit feel as they parent us.

When I remember those long nights, staying up with a sick child and sometimes not well myself, I see the faithfulness of God in action. Though I was far from being omniscient, especially on little sleep, I reassured my little one that he or she would get better. I was present and attentive, and though not omnipresent, my child knew I wasn’t going to leave. This same reassurance from God sometimes comes from inside us, a certain knowing that all is well despite outward circumstances, and sometimes it comes from outside us: an offhand comment from a stranger, a song on the radio, a call from a friend, a helpful article.

When I think of difficulties and bad choices my children have made, I first think of my own parents and the suffering I put them through, and then I realize how God feels when he/she watches us make choices that will only bring more difficulty. I want to save my children from this hardship, just as I’m sure God wants to save us from our foolishness, but the best learning tool is the ability to choose. Free moral agency, they call it, and it is the basis of our world. Without it, we might not have the tragedy that sometimes happens, but we also would not have profound instances of beauty, compassion, and grace. It must be worth it in God’s eyes, so I do my best to let them make their choices, good or bad. I can’t say I’m proficient yet in not offering unwanted advice, but I am working on it.

One of my favorite Bible images comes from Matthew 23:37, where Jesus says, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing” (NIV). Jesus wants to save them, protect them, even though they continue to make bad choices. He totally gets the mother in me, yet he moves me toward being the mother I want to be, the one who knows how to let “free moral agency” do its thing.

Parenting is our opportunity to glimpse God’s heart, to feel the pain that comes when we watch loved ones suffer or make choices that we don’t agree with and know this is the same pain that God feels as he/she watches us exercise our free moral agency in less than perfect ways. As we support and parent our children through all life’s stages, we can know the Father, Son, and Spirit support and parent us perfectly, forever faithful, present, and patient.

~by Nan Kuhlman


No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: