For some reason, people think that because you are walking around with a basketball-sized belly under your shirt, you want to hear all of the parenting/pregnancy advice they have to offer. I am sure they had good intentions and merely wanted to sympathize with me in my pregnant state, but I remember being stopped on many occasions when I was pregnant to be told about the midnight diaper changes and the “terrible twos” that were (and still are) ahead of me. Not only did I get advice, but they always had to guess if it was a boy or girl (I mean, can you really tell from how I’m carrying?). After a few weeks of this advice and guessing game, I had come up with a rote, although true, response: “It doesn’t matter as long as they’re healthy!”
But I will never forget what one lady said after I replied with my robot response:
“No, as long as they’re yours…It doesn’t matter if they’re healthy.”
She said this almost in passing and quickly walked away after. But it struck me deeply. She was right. Even if my child was born with some illness or defect, it would not matter. I would love her the same. I would change all the midnight diapers, feed her anytime she was hungry, play with her, make her laugh, bathe her, snuggle her, hold her… love her, even if she was very unhealthy, simply because she is my daughter.
Without knowing it, my ritualistic response placed a condition on my love for my daughter, when it should be, and would be, unconditional.
I was immediately reminded of God’s love for me as my Father. There is no condition in which He wouldn’t love me and He has proved that by sending salvation when I was in the worst condition possible: a sinner headed for destruction.
So, I am thankful for all those remarks and all the advice I received while pregnant. This one comment made them all worth it. It really changed my thinking. And my rote response was rewritten.
Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
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