My kids and I decided to eat our chicken in a different sort of way. Rather than cutting it into bite sized pieces and then eating it like civilized human beings, we just stabbed it with our forks and ate it like cavemen (please don't email me chastising me for my poor parenting techniques...).
During our conversation, I set down my chicken on my plate with the fork sticking straight up out of it. My son, Ethan, sneezed or did something that caused him to bump into the table. When the table moved, my fork toppled over and fell off my plate and tumbled to the floor, with the chicken still attached. Splat! Chicken and fork landed right beside my chair leg. I leaned over and picked up the fork and then examined the chicken. It was covered with dirt and hair. (Let me remind you, I have three very active children under the age of nine in my house, so the dirt and hair combo is common on our floors.)
As I picked up the fork and chicken, I jokingly commented to my wife Elaine, "Honey, I know that typically your floors are clean enough to eat off of, but this one particular spot on which this chicken fell just so happened to contain some dirt and hair."
My wife, without missing a beat, replied with a wink, "But you still love me, right?"
Before I could respond with more than a smile, Megan (my youngest), chimed in as she leaned over the table toward my wife, "Mommy, I love you, even though you are sloppy."
Elaine burst out laughing (which cued the rest of us it was fine to join in with our own gut-busting laughter). Again, a memorable moment was created around my dinner table. But this time I didn't just let the laughter fade into nothing, as I saw this as a wonderful opportunity to share a biblical truth that we so often don't embrace in our daily lives. I decided to encourage my kids with the truth that God too loves us, even though we are... (fill in the blank). Elaine even brought up Romans 5:8, "But God demonstrates His own love for us in this; While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
As the days have passed since that wonderful dinner time reminder, I have thought more about this truth that God's love is complete and eternal for us, His children. To illustrate this point, let's look at just a few examples from Scripture of those who God said He loved, even though...
- "I love you, Adam, even though you disobeyed me and ate the forbidden fruit."
- "I love you, Abraham, even though you lied about your wife, saying she was your sister, because you feared man more than me."
- "I love you, Jacob, even though you played favorites with your sons and often dealt with others in deceptive ways."
- "I love you, Moses, even though you murdered a man and often mismanaged your anger."
- "I love you, Samson, even though you were full of pride and regularly succumbed to your lust."
- "I love you, David, even though you committed adultery, conspired in murder, and neglected your children."
- "I love you, Jonah, even though you ran away from my calling and desired judgment over mercy."
- "I love you, Peter, even though you betrayed your friendship with my Son and broke your word."
- "I love you, Paul, even though you persecuted my church."
As you move forward in your life, even with all its challenges and obstacles, remember that you have a God who loves you, even though...