Worship Sundays @ 8 AM - 9:30 AM - 11 AM

Daddy, do you still love me?

Rev. Clay Horton has a personal reflection about Lent:

"Daddy, do you still love me?"

I've been hearing that question a lot lately. Brenna is 4 years old and is really starting to learn about cause and effect. She’s learning to push boundaries. She's at the stage where she's "testing" her mother and me. Isn't parenting wonderful?

When she makes bad choices, she goes to timeout. At the end of time out, Brenna has started asking if we still love her. Our answer over and over again is, "Brenna, we will always love you, no matter what."

Yesterday, I came home from work to find the house in chaos. The clock that used to hang above our back door was laying shattered on the floor. Errinne was on her knees next to the clock trying to create a barrier to keep our dog and Coleson from stepping in the glass. Coleson was repeating over and over that Brenna broke the clock, and Brenna was sitting on a chair silently watching the chaos.

Brenna, out of frustration with her brother, slammed the back door in his face which caused the clock to fall. In doing this, Brenna knew she broke several rules. After we cleaned up the glass and had our parenting talk with Brenna, she asked again, "Daddy, do you still love me?"

Bending down to look at her square in the face, I said, "Brenna, you know I will always love you, no matter what.”

My prayer for Brenna is that she will never forget how much her mother and I love her. I want her to be assured that there is nothing she will ever do that will cause the love to stop.

As she grows older, operating from a place of love, knowing that her parents love her no matter what, will let her make good choices based on confidence and assurance rather than fear of rejection. When she steps out in faith to try something new, she will know that no matter what happens, she is loved by her parents.

Similarly, when she chooses to make a bad decision, my hope is that at her core, she knows her parents still love her. If she's 17 and has made bad decisions at a party, my hope is that she can call us for a safe ride home. While there still might be consequences for her actions, she will know that her parents’ love is unwavering and even in the midst of bad choices, there is always the ability to start making good choices.

Lent is a time for self-reflection. As I reflect, I’m reminded of those places in my life where I have not made the best choices, those places in my life where I’ve pushed God’s boundaries. I’m reminded of those places where I have shut the proverbial door in my brother’s face and knocked the clock off the wall.

Self-reflection causes me to ask the question, “God, do you still love me?”

But it is in those moments of self-reflection where I am most reminded of God’s unwavering love for me. In those moments of prayer, I feel God say to me, “Clay, you know I will always love you, no matter what.”

The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome, 

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)  

No bad decision, no action that makes a mess, can ever separate us from God’s love. We can be assured that no matter what we do and when our love fails, God’s love is steadfast. We therefore are able to live our lives moving forward confidently in Christ’s love, stepping out in faith to serve others and transform the world for Christ.

This season of lent, as you reflect on your actions and discover those places where you have fallen short, may you also feel your heavenly parent reminding you daily of the greatest love ever known.