When my boys were very young, I used to cradle them in my arms and look intensely in their eyes. With a dramatic voice, I would say, “I have something to tell you, and you must never ever forget it.” Their eyes would open wide, and they would nod their heads in agreement. I would have a very serious look on my face and tell them over and over again to promise me they will never forget what I was about to tell them.
Eagerly, they would promise me they wouldn’t forget what I was about to tell them. I could see the yearning in their eyes to hear this knowledge I was about to share with them. When their anticipation was at its peak, and I could see that they believed I was about to tell them the secret of the universe, which in one sense it would be, I would look around the room to give them the sense that this incredible knowledge was not for anyone else — only between me and them.
Then I would look deeply into their eyes and say, “It does not matter what you do or the mistakes you make in life, I will always and never ever stop loving you!”
I will never stop loving you!
I could see that info wasn’t what they quite expected, but at the same time, a wide grin would stretch across their faces. On one occasion, my oldest son Eddie looked at me with a mischievous smile and said, “What if I rob a bank?”
I smiled and said, “Even if you rob a bank, I will never stop loving you.”
He thought for a moment and replied, “What if I kill someone?”
I chuckled to myself and told him, “Even if you rob a bank and kill someone, I will never stop loving you ever! I won’t be happy that you did those things but I promise I will never ever stop loving you.”
Today, my sons are grown men. Eddie is 29 and Chase is 25. Neither one has ever robbed a bank or killed anyone. In fact, their mom and I couldn’t be prouder of them and all they have accomplished so far in life.
I choose to love like God has loved me
When I discovered how God loves me, I decided I would love my sons in the same way. Knowing His love for me has never created a desire to live in any way unpleasing to Him. Yet, if I did, I am always comforted with the thought that no matter what I do or ever did that was sin, whether it is robbing a bank or killing someone, my heavenly Father will never stop loving me!
Knowing and hearing about unconditional love, forgiveness, and mercy won’t lead people to sin or give them a license to sin. Jesus used those same truths to turn people away from sin to His Father.
“But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Matthew 9:13
“But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Acts 3:26