It's hard to believe my daughter turned 6 months old yesterday. It still feels surreal that I'm a father in the first place. The joy I feel when I look at her is almost overwhelming. I love this new little life with every part of my being.  The amazing thing is, she didn’t have to do anything to earn my love and there's absolutely nothing she can do to stop it. She is loved simply because she is my child. For me, it feels completely natural, even instinctual.  A pastor friend of mine said to me right after Magnolia was born, "It’s amazing isn’t it? It is the only love you don't choose or cultivate.  Instant love!"  I find it truly unexplainable.

‘See what a great love the Father has lavished on us, that we might be called children of God!’  1 John 3:1 

A father’s love is impossible to accurately describe, but this new love that I have for my daughter and the way I look at her, I believe, is exactly how God looks at each of us.  Just as my heart wells up with affection when I walk into a room where she is playing, God joyfully comes to us where we are. He desires to be with us. The Creator of the universe wants to be with me! How awesome is that?

Over the past 6 months I have gained a better understanding of God’s love for me, I am compelled to love Him more than ever. Love requires action though. It may begin in our hearts as a feeling of affection, but it doesn’t mean much until it is shared. As we are shown love we become more compelled to reciprocate that love to others. As my daughter grows she will learn to love. The love she receives from her mother and I will serve as her example of how to love and compel her to love us and others.  God’s love for us should cause us to be overcome with a desire to return that love to Him. How do we do that?  Jesus says, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40.

As a Christ follower I am called to love.  Through love, songs are written, relationships are built, walls are broken down, and hearts are mended. Through each act of love, hate is diminished.  Love binds us together and shines a light into the darkness. God is the perfect picture of love. Let’s live by His example.