I love you, Daddy

Precious words.  Spoken from the heart.  They make a father’s heart melt.  Whatever the situation, when a child says “I love you, Daddy” it’s very special and memorable.

Last week I heard those words again from my daughter.  But the situation was different.  We were about to walk down the aisle of the church, where she would take the vows of marriage.  Yes, I was the father of the bride.  And when my daughter April looked up at me and said “I love you, Daddy”, all the thoughts and memories of her growing up, all our times together as a family and with just us came to a crescendo.  Those of you who have walked their “little girl” down the aisle probably know what I mean.

My heart melted into a sense of joy and peace.  God had blessed me so much, and I was so proud of the young woman at my left arm.  As we walked down the aisle, the look of joy on my wife Kim’s face was unforgettable.  No doubt the many family members and friends in attendance were happy too.  But being the father of the bride and hearing those words again was a moment I’ll cherish for a long time.

How is that like God’s joy when we love him?  Both Jesus and Paul referred to God as “Abba, Father”, and I understand “Abba” to indicate the close relationship of a child and parent.  Does God desire a close relationship with us?  Does God desire for us to pray and worship passionately, with all our hearts?  Does God desire for us to love him?  Yes, Yes, and YES!  How much joy does it bring to God when we, his children, say “I love you”?  Perhaps our hearing “I love you” from our children, especially at special moments, gives us a small sense for God’s joy when we express love for him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. 

As we celebrate God’s great “I love you” gift at Christmas, and enter a new year, may we recognize the joy, the sense of peace and connection, from saying “I love you” to those who are special to us.  And recognizing how special it is when someone speaks those words to us.

I’ll never forget that moment when my daughter said “I love you, Daddy”.  And I hope that I can bring that joy to God’s heart somehow through my expressing love in words and actions.

In the coming year, may we be blessed with great joy as we receive God’s love.  And may our words and actions be an “I love you” back to God.

THANKS for your leadership!