God’s Love Aint a Country Western Song
My daughter has a fantastic capacity to take everything I say and turn it into something I didn’t say at all.
I say: “Hey T, you need to fold your laundry.”
She screams: “I never get to do anything fun, I have to do ALL the laundry, all the dishes, and scoop dog poop. You hate me.”
I say: “T, you have to share the mangoes with your brother. I bought them for both of you, and in this family we share.”
She snarls: “Nice mom, so now I’m not even a part of this family anymore?! What’s next . . . you going to adopt me out? He gets everything and I get nothing. You hate me.”
I say: “Don’t forget to brush your hair.”
She breaks into tears: “Fine, just cut it all off! You always tell me I’m ugly. You hate me.”
No matter how carefully I choose my words, she artfully twists and manipulates them; always concluding that whatever I say is just code for “honey, I hate you.” As much as it irks me that she questions my love, I don’t even try to talk my way out of it. Any word uttered is just more fodder. Instead I tell her I love her, that nothing could ever make me stop loving her, and (by the way)could she take out the trash on her way to get the laundry.
It amazes me how often I have to remind her that I love her. Because when she distorts my words, she cannot help but to question my love in the process.
I don’t often listen to Christian radio, but found myself tuning in the other day only to remember why I don’t often listen to Christian radio. The song that blasted through the speakers left me infuriated. The chorus boasted:
“I am the thorn in Your crown But You love me anyway I am the sweat from Your brow But You love me anyway I am the nail in Your wrist But You love me anyway I am Judas’ kiss But You love me anyway”
At no point in time did God or Jesus EVER refer to us as the nail in his hand, or the thorn on his crown, or the pain in is . . . for that matter. When speaking of the Cross, He refers to us as the joy set before Him for which he endured it. At no point does God refer to his love as something that He “does anyway.” As though He had to stop and consider whether or not we are worthy of it. His love has no height nor depth, width nor breadth. Nothing can separate us from it, it cannot be interrupted by anyways.
Christ died FOR us, not BECAUSE of us. It is not simply semantics. How you twist those words will determine whether or not you question His love. To say that He died because of us, that we are nothing more than a thorn in His crown, is to insinuate that He looks upon us as the cause of His pain. It gives an image that He was compelled by duty to endure the punishment. To truly hear his words; that He died for us and calls us His joy, is to understand the deep love that compelled him to the Cross. It insinuates that we have a God determined to be with us at any cost, who had a plan from the beginning to make straight the path to Him destroyed by sin. It insinuates that we are the object of His affection, not the bane of his affliction.
I have no intention of adopting out my daughter. I will buy more mangoes. She may never really hear what I’m saying, but I hope she hears that I love her.
We may not understand everything that God says, but it is vital that we understand this: He chose to love us before we even existed. He does not love us anyway, He loves us all ways.