“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children”- Ephesians 5:1
This verse means a lot to me as a mother and as a Christian. Paul calls us God's "dearly loved children." If we think about our relationship with God as a parent-child relationship, then this makes perfect sense! As parents, we know that our children are seldom perfect, even though we've modeled the expectations we have for them. If you watch my kids in a restaurant, please know that I've never taught them to behave that way!!! Sometimes I wonder whose children these are because MY children would never act like animals. But, I keep correcting them, sometimes gently, other times with less patience, and slowly but surely, they change.
God demonstrated for us perfect love, grace, and mercy. We, his dearly loved children, continually mess up. We don't love others the way we should, we are selfish, we are mean. None of this is consistent with God's teaching. Our actions defy all of the goodness He wants to see us show. Whose children are we? Where on earth did we learn to behave in such a way? But, like a patient father, He keeps on loving us, forgiving us, correcting us, and giving it another go.