God as our loving parent - Catholic Courier

God as our loving parent

How does our image of God keep us from understanding how much God loves us? We sometimes see God as judge or score keeper or righter of wrongs. These images may limit our ability to appreciate the depth of God’s love for us.

Promoting an image of "God as our loving parent" might help us to better comprehend God’s deep love and care for us. With a parental image of God, reward is not based on the work accomplished. Good parents love their children regardless of their merit or labor. Mothers and fathers love newborn infants who have never accomplished anything.

Sometimes parents offer even greater love and attention to their children who are sick or in trouble. "If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give?" (Luke 11:13)

Jesus had outstanding parents in Mary and Joseph. This may explain why the image of "God as our loving parent" figures so prominently in the Gospels.

Not all children have mature, loving parents — and no parent is perfect. But even if our earthly parents fail, our heavenly God never fails. Isaiah assures us, "Can a mother forget her infant, or be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you." (Isaiah 49:15)

Stories in Scripture tell of God’s unlimited love for us. In the parable of the prodigal son, the father seems to love his children beyond what they have earned. In the same way, our heavenly Father loves us even more than we warrant or deserve.

"God is love." (1 John 4:8) An image of "God as our loving parent" helps us know how deeply we are loved, and inspires us to return that love — "because God first loved us." (1 John 4:19).

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