Tuesday, 3 September 2013

The 'maternal' love of God

Like many Christians, I grew up hearing about the love of God. In fact I even talked to others about this love, but sadly I didn’t really understand the depth of God’s love until I became a mother. 

You see I grew up in a typical Nigerian home where dad was a bully.  I remember how terrified we always were as soon as we heard him drive into the house from work. We would quickly turn off the TV, stop laughing, become sober and pretend to be busy reading our books or involved in one house chore or the other.
Our happiest times were those days when dad was away from the house. We adored mum because she was the exact opposite of dad. Dad wasn’t a bad man, he was a responsible father who took care of us: there was always food, we went to decent schools, we lived in a comfortable house, we wore decent clothes, etc, but we were afraid of him. He never ever told us he loved us; rather we often felt he tolerated us. The only time we made him happy was when we did something outstanding like getting top marks or excelling at a task. And so we grew up trying to earn his love.

So you can imagine how I must have felt when I heard about God’s love. Because God is always portrayed as our father, I thought He was only happy with me when I did the right things. I viewed God the same way I viewed my dad.  I saw God as a grumpy dad who was eager to punish me and had to be pleased all the time. Of course I wasn’t always right, and would feel such condemnation for doing wrong things. Even though I'd heard God’s love was unconditional, I felt differently.

But then I became a mother, and I understood what love truly means. As I carried my infant son, I knew I would not hesitate to sacrifice everything to ensure he was comfortable and happy.

 I endured sleepless nights for his sake. I must mention that I love sleeping and even my husband knows he dares not wake me up otherwise there would be World War 3! 

But this little baby would wake me hourly at night and I wouldn’t complain. As he grew older and began trying to crawl, stand and walk, I would cheer him on, encouraging on him with praises, and clapping for every tiny effort. I was his greatest fan! 

When he got tired or fell suddenly, I would comfort him and soothe his fears. Even as he grew more defiant and learnt to say “no”, I would laugh and gently correct him. Did I get angry? No way! I saw him as a baby who was still trying to make sense of the world around him. But above all I saw myself in him.

I believe God relates with us in the same way. He made us in His image, and He did not hesitate to sacrifice His dearly beloved son for our sake.  Like the pictures in this article suggest, God delights in us, He wants our comfort and He is our greatest fan! God is not against us. He loves us because we are His. I believe every time He looks at us, He sees Himself in us and is proud of us. The Bible says in 1John 3:1a “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
For me this realization made a profound impact. No longer do I feel the need to do good things to earn points from God, I do them because I love Him. No longer do I feel condemned and afraid, I know He will never leave me nor forsake me.
No longer do I need to go seeking validation from career, people, money, etc, I have all the validation I need from Him.
I know that even though sometimes my actions  may not be pleasing to God, He will never stop loving me. I often imagine God cheering me on when I do well. And when I fall I can also imagine Him saying “come on girl, you can make it, don’t give up, you can do better”.

I don’t know about you, but I love this ‘maternal ‘ love of God.

P.s: Sorry if this post appears rushed, my son wants me to come play with him. I may be his greatest fan, but I am also his greatest playmate!

Image 1 courtesy: http://inspirationaldaily.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/mother-inspirational-daily.jpg
Image 3:http://umkhontowesizwe.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/young-mother-and-child-andre-ajibade.jpg


  1. so deep...when I remember my mum's care ,worries over me, It reaffirms so much love...which am sure God's own is much more.....nice post

  2. You are welcome Pearl. By the way, your name is lovely, you are indeed a Pearl to God!