If I was on my deathbed and had but a few words left to speak…what would I say to my children?
At first, my response comes simply: “God loves you so much, I love you and I am so proud of you,” (spoken with heartfelt sentiment of course). However, this initial response feels largely incomplete. There is so much more…but how do I express the fullness of my love for them? What impacting last words do I leave with them? What do I want most for them?
Know the One that loves you.
In Pride and Prejudice, a handsome, wealthy man named Darcy confesses his love for Elisabeth, a girl with no dowry, status, or education. In that society, her marriage to Darcy would be the salvation of both her and her family from a life of extreme poverty. Despite his wealth, Elisabeth is not interested in Darcy for she believes him to be proud, unfeeling and unkind. Added to her own prejudice, the lies fed to her by Mr. Wickham painted Darcy’s character an even darker shade. Thus when Darcy proposes, Elisabeth rejects him with great distain: “I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry!” (Pride & Prejudice, Chapter XI of Volume 34)
Not long after her rude rejection, the truth is revealed: Mr. Wickham was the untrustworthy, deceitful one. Darcy was in fact, very generous, kind and full of integrity. Upon laying aside her prejudice, it doesn’t take long before she falls in love with Darcy and marries him.
….happy sigh…. (FYI: the 2005 film production of this Jane Austen work is my favourite movie of all time!)
If you know my testimony at all, then you know that just as Elisabeth had once rejected Darcy, I too met God’s proposal for relationship with disgust for I was greatly mistaken about His character. (For more of my testimony, click here). Through God’s grace and patience with me, His true character became known to my heart, and I couldn’t help but fall in love with Him.
This is why I desire that my kids know the One that loves them! If they have no knowledge of who God is, the fact that He loves them might be dismissed as meaningless. Or worse, His love might be met with disgust if they are misinformed of His character. I don’t want them to believe that some unkind distant god has a small place of tenderness towards them and that is why they aren’t struck by lightning. Rather, I want them to know that the gracious, self-sacrificing, faithful, patient, all-powerful, ever-present, loving God is the One that loves them so much that He made a way for their salvation. I want them to know God.
Why wait until my deathbed to tell them this? I don’t want my parting words to be a revelation for them, but rather a reverberation of my life’s message. I desire my last words to echo the message I communicate daily, both in word and action: Know the One that loves you. Jesus is worth serving.
My prayer for them overflows from my heart unto all those who read this : Oh, that you would know the God that loves you. Discover the heights of His amazing character, the depths of His love, and the breadth of His outrageous grace, and enjoy Him forever!
“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” John 17:3
“What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…” Philippians 3:8