“If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us”1 John 4:12
First we must remember what kind of love “His love” is. John has told us: “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16). It is unconditional and sacrificial love. This kind of love neither asks nor expects anything in return. “God is love” (1 John 4:16) and the outworking of this is that He loves in this way as will those who love Him.
A child may be asked why they love their mother. The answer that this question provokes is usually along the lines of benefits to the child. She is kind, a good cook, picks up after me and so on. However, this is not a good question to ask. If love is based on performance then it isn’t God’s kind of love. It treats love as a reward for behaviour. If that was true concerning God’s love for mankind Jesus would never have come down and stayed on the cross to redeem us. Paul writes in Romans 5:8, “God demonstrates His own [kind of] love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Apart from the enactment of God’s kind of love perhaps the nearest we have in this fallen world is a mother’s love for her child. Rarely will a mother cease to love her child no matter what they do. She may not approve all the actions or words of her child but she will still love her child.
Our society has for a few decades moved in the direction of moving children from the care of their mother to the care of hirelings. They care for the child for pay and not for love in the way a mother loves her child. Jesus said, “But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees” (John 10:12). While most child carers probably love children and their work, they can never love the child like their own mother. Unfortunately not all mothers have the choice whether to work or not. Society pressure dictates that many need to work to some degree to pay the bills. Parents need to wait on the Lord and allow Him to lead them in the best direction for their children. Our society does not know Christ so we should not allow it to be the decision maker for us. There is something special about a mother’s love for her child. It knows deep love and deep grief like no other just as our Heavenly Father knows.