I remember, as a boy I would look to my parents and see them as people who could do no wrong. They seemed to know everything! However, when I turned 13 years old, my parents suddenly appeared to be losing their minds…they became foolish…unknowledgeable…unwise…non-understanding. Ironically, it was at this same age that a great and marvelous metamorphosis took place in my life. It was at this time that I unexpectedly became endowed with all kinds of great wisdom and vast knowledge. This led me to become very concerned for my parent’s well being. So despite being 20 years younger, I felt that I needed to inform them of all of the important decisions that needed to be made in my life, because my “old” 33 year old parents could no longer undertake the task. I was forced to train my parents for 6+ years! I tried to teach my parents responsibility in raising children by doing things like leaving the car on empty…eating all of the bread and drinking all of the milk to see if they were even paying attention to what was going on at home…after all…it is a parent’s job to provide for their children…and life is not all about them, am I right?...Hey, I was just helping them out! When I turned 20…they finally seemed to get it…and they seemed to snap out of their stupor…must have been a phase they were going through…(note: I stole that line…but I couldn’t find a source).
Sadly, I have some memories of my teenage years that I would just as soon forget. Despite my regret, I must admit…some of the choices of my teenage years…and the regret that followed, shaped me into a better person…hopefully.
I remember one event in particular. I had a t-shirt that I was particularly fond of, however, I would consider it to be a “near fit.” In other words, it wasn’t too big…and was borderline on being too small…and eating the way I did during these 6+ years the shirt wasn’t going to be getting any bigger any time soon. So this being the case, I had given specific, demanding instructions to NOT DRY the shirt…it should be air dried…that is NOT too much for a teenager to ask of the laundry workers is it? Inevitably, the day came when the shirt got dried. I was livid! I went and yelled at my teenage younger sister (yes…there was a day when my parents had 4 teenagers at the same time…it’s no wonder they were going through a phase), for her ignorance in keeping my demands.
It was about 10 minutes later…that my mother came at me in tears and with the shirt in hand…she threw it in my face…and said, “I am the one that dried it you selfish twit!” Huh, I didn’t see that coming.
I apologized for my behavior.
It’s remarkable to me how a parent can continue to love their teenagers…at least I should say, I find it remarkable how my parents could love me through my teenage years. How a mother can love her son, when all she receives is criticism and unappreciative solicitations and demands is beyond me.
But that’s love…isn’t it?
We can’t really define it…can we?
There is a remarkable story of love in the Bible. In the Old Testament book of Hosea, we find the prophet Hosea being asked by God to marry a woman named Gomer. He does it. Then we find that Gomer is unfaithful to Hosea. She goes and gives herself to other men.
What does God do?
God tells Hosea…“Go…take her back…love her again.”
God then goes on to tell us in this book…how he is going to use the love that Hosea shows to his wife…to show us how much he loves us. He shows us that even though we turn our backs on him…we disrespect him…we criticize him…we worship other things…He still loves us.
In fact, he still pursues us! Get this…Hosea, not only has to go and get Gomer and bring her back…he actually has to buy her back! He pays money to take his unfaithful wife back. Yet, that is exactly what God does…he has bought us. Jesus paid the price. You have been bought for a price! (1 Cor. 6:20).