By Madeline Kalu
5 min read
This week, my stepson F* was visiting us in Germany from the UK. He is originally from Kyiv, Ukraine. By God’s grace, he and his mum were able to escape the Ukraine war when it broke out last year and find asylum in England.
Factors such as the war have kept my husband Solomon and F from spending quality time together over the last few years. In fact, the last time we saw F was when we went to visit him in Kyiv in 2016. A lot can change in 7 years, especially in a young man’s life. This week, Solomon was eager to spend time with the boy that he knew, and was looking forward to getting to know the man that F has become.
However, despite the changes and upheaval that have occured in F’s life, it was immediately apparent during his visit that one thing has remained constant – the love that his dad has for him.
I was blessed to witness a demonstration of this love when we went to church last Sunday. We attend a church that consists of a large contingent of Russian immigrants. For that reason, Russian translation through headphones is made available in the gallery section of the church.
When we went upstairs to procure some headphones for F, we discovered to our dismay that they had already been distributed. Solomon immediately started looking for someone from the church to help us attain a pair. When a lady in the service team kindly went in search of an extra set, l sat next to the exit in order to liaise with her and not disrupt the other congregants.
While l waited, l observed from my vantage point how Solomon put his arm on the back of F’s chair in a gesture of protection. My husband, who is generally very (very) chilled, was suddenly transformed into a concerned father whose sole priority was to ensure that his son received the same opportunity as everyone else in the room to hear and understand the Word. In fact, the entire time we were waiting for news on the headphone situation, Solomon regularly turned around in his seat, which was in front of me, to ask for updates and an ETA on the headphones. He also asked his neighbors in Russian if they had some spare headphones lying around. Even the Russian translator was questioned mid-translation. No stone was left unturned in my husband’s quest.
It was only when a pair of headphones had finally been found, and Solomon had tested them and handed them over to F, could he finally relax and fully focus his attention on the church service.
In the same way that a human father loves his child, so too, does God love and recognize us as His children when we accept His free gift of Salvation.
“Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”
This divine adoption is a covenant between God and us. It is a declaration that God will always love us, no matter how sordid our past was, how messed up our present situation is, or how many bad decisions we will make in future. It is a promise to protect us from outside dangers and even ourselves if need be, and that He will turn all that comes against us to our good, for His glory. It is an assurance of His justness and mercy towards us, especially when we don’t deserve it. It is an open invitation to seek Him when we need comfort and to rest in the secret place of His presence when the pressures of the world threaten to break us. And last but not least, it is a request to trust He is making a way for us, even when we don’t see it or believe it’s possible.
The world falsely depicts God as wrathful, judgemental, and distant. However, those who have a relationship with Him know God for who He truly is – a Father.
After a week of sightseeing, eating glorious food, copious amounts of laughter and many insightful conversations, F is now back in the UK. However, the fact that he has gone from being under our roof to living 1000’s of km away has changed neither the intensity nor the purpose of Solomon’s love for his son. A father’s love is not constricted by the accumulation of his children’s birthdays, the physical distance they create when they go out and discover the world, nor their transition from children into adults.
A father’s love is forever.
Our Father’s love is forever.
If you have never known your mortal father’s love, be comforted that God is wanting to be your Father. He will adopt you and take you in as His own (Psalm 27:10). To do so, all you have to do is enter into a relationship with Him by accepting His gift of Salvation. To do so, you can pray the following Salvation Prayer out loud over yourself.
If you know God, yet feel like He couldn’t love you in your current state, please know that there is nothing so bad, or no situation so dire that could stop God from loving you. He wants to meet you in the deepest depths of your darkest places and touch your heart with His comforting grace and love, if only you will let Him in (Psalm 40:1-3). If we wander from His love and protection, He sets out to win us back and return us to the fold (Luke 15:1-7).
Nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39).
And l mean nothing.
We need to talk more about God’s love for us as a Father, not only in church, but also in the world. If people were to know God for who He truly is, and not rashly assume Him to be some distant, judgemental, fictional character sitting on a throne in the heavenly clouds, how many minds will be blessed by the Truth, how many hearts will receive the fatherly comfort they need, and how many more souls will be set free from the damage that is caused by the constraints of human love?
We would be raising up a body of believers who are confident in who they are and whose they are. Instead of parrying and dodging the blows that life throws at us with the mindset of a victim, we will instead walk confidently as victors, firm in the knowledge that we are loved by an almighty and merciful God. For when God is for us, who can be against us?
It’s definitely something to think about.
F* – Although my stepson is of legal age, l still wish to protect his privacy by not revealing his name.
Would you like to know more about God’s fatherly love?
Then read our book review “The Shack” by Wm. Paul Young, and afterwards, read the book. It poignantly depicts the fatherly love that God has for us. The author is also incredibly nice!
Madeline Kalu is a Christian writer and the co-founder of Jacob’s Ladder Blog. She was born in England, was raised in Australia, and currently lives in Germany with her husband Solomon. Madeline is in recovery from burnout, chronic depression, and anxiety. She believes that God can take life’s adversities and work them out for His good; hence, she uses her writing voice to raise awareness of mental illness, as well as to spread the light of God’s love to those who are mentally trapped in the dark, and provide them with hope and encouragement.