God said, “this is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the clouds and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.” Genesis 8: 12-13
A covenant is distinct from a contract in that a contract is based on living up to stated expectations while a covenant is based on relationship and love. God’s covenant, symbolized in the rainbow following the great flood, is given to all life on earth. The earth is God’s creation, and all life on it is beloved to him.
Moms can relate to covenant love. We love first, and enforce the rules later. And when the rules are broken, we continue to love. The constant is love, no matter what.
The other night, our eight-year-old daughter was stalling at the dinner table over eating her corn. We go through this nearly every night when a vegetable she doesn’t like is served. Our rule is: if you don’t eat your whole dinner, including the vegetable, you don’t get any dessert or snacks later. On this particular night she felt so strongly about not eating her corn that when she was reminded of the rule, she conceded the point and left the cold vegetable on her plate.
As we were cleaning up after the meal, there was a nearly empty bag of chips left open on the counter. As my daughter moved toward the family room, she picked up the bag and put some in her mouth. I raised a finger and said, “Uh uh [no]!” She immediately put the bag down and, dashing to the trash can, she opened her mouth and pushed the few chips that were on her tongue into the can.
I was stunned! What a precious thing to do! I instantly scooped her into my arms and thanked her for her honesty. My hug caught her a little off guard; she pulled back at first, fearful of a reprimand. Instead, I kissed her and told her how proud I was of her. My heart was filled with overflowing love for this child who just a few minutes prior had been testing my patience to its limit!
Dear Reader, please comment:
When has your love for your child caught you off guard?
When has your child done something that really honored your parental instructions?