Why did we have these children?
(And why did God have children?)
Created for Relationship With God
In Genesis, God created people. He didn’t need to create us because of something lacking in himself or because something was missing in his life. He desired to create us to have a relationship with us. It’s a little mind boggling when you think about it. The one who created all the stars and in planets in all the solar systems and galaxies in the universe desires to personally relate to you and I.
It gets even harder to comprehend when you throw in the mystery of the incarnation and the cross. Imagine, the creator God limits himself into the form of his creation, then chooses to suffer and die in its place. What could possibly motivate such actions? Who can understand the heart of God?
Liking Children Doesn’t Make Sense
It’s impossible. At least it would be if God had not created a way for us to begin wrapping our mind around it. You see, I have these short people running around at my house. They kind of look like me, thankfully for them, even more like their mother. If you do the math on paper it doesn’t make sense that I would even like them.
They cost me:
- Thousands of dollars to get here.
- My wife months of difficulty caring them and lots of pain delivering them.
- Many sleepless nights
- Stained carpets, car upholstery, destroyed furniture.
- Diapers, sneakers, summer camp.
- Tantrums in the supermarket, coming home late after curfew, boyfriends….need I say more.
They came bearing no gifts except for that cheesy like substance they were wrapped in and that black tarry goo coming out of their rear. If I kept a tab on them until their 18th birthday, I could turn it over to them and retire on them paying it back. There’s nothing tangible they have ever given me that I didn’t myself pay for! Every time I wear that ugly tie I get to think to myself, “I had to pay for the privilege of wearing this ugly tie.”
Yet, we still have children.
It doesn’t make sense on paper, but my children are precious to me. Before they ever even arrived on the scene, before they could do anything to earn my affection, they are precious to me. I loved the way they smelled (one end at least), I loved the noises they make, I loved watching them discover themselves and enjoy the world I created for them in our home. I love watching them play, I love hearing them laugh, I love watching them smile, I love holding them close for snuggles, and I love hearing ‘Daddy, I love you.’ In short, I love doing them good and being in relationship with them.
We would die for our children.
In fact, I love them so much I can honestly say that if it were necessary I would exchange my life for theirs. I would die in their place that they may live. It doesn’t make sense, but it’s true.
The reason it is true, is because I was created in the Image of God1. My desire to have children and the love I have for them are reflections of the heart of my Creator. They tell me something about his heart and his love for me.
There are certainly unhealthy reasons to want children, such as a false belief that their love will make whole something lacking in us. It’s the reflection of God in us, however, that inclines healthy adults to want to have children.
So why did God have children?
The same reason we have kids, because we want to share a relationship with them; because when they smile, we smile. We derive pleasure and joy from watching them interact with the world we created for them and so does God. We don’t birth our children so that we could enjoy their suffering or hurt them, and neither is God that way. God created us to be in his likeness and to reveal his image.
It makes our heart warm to see our image born in our kids. We take delight in helping them learn how to live well, teaching them how to feed themselves, teaching them to walk, blowing bubbles at them for the first time. All the things we know that they don’t we get to share with them. We love it when we get to teach them those things. We love that they love us. It feels good that they love us simply for who we are. They think we are wonderful because we are their creator.
All these things are reflections of the heart of God. We desire those things for our kids because we were created in the image of God. It tells us something about God’s heart, how he feels toward us, why he created us in the first place, and why we exist.
[post_connector_show_children slug=”discipleship” link=”true” excerpt=”false”]
Referred to by scholars as the Imago Dei, Latin for Image of God; NLT GENESIS 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” 27So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.↩