As I embark on the 25th year of my life, I look back at how your love for me, expressed in words and deeds, has shaped the person I’ve become.
It has been a couple of hours since I wrote that first sentence, and I have only got this far because so many memories flood into my mind and I do not even know where to begin. To be honest though, it is only on hindsight that I realise the depth of love both of you have showered on me from a young age.
When I was much younger and gullible enough to believe that I knew what was best for myself, I did not always appreciate the things that you did. I recalled being angry and frustrated whenever you punished me, limited the amount of time I spent on the computer, and forced me to study. I know I was far from an easy child to handle, trying to work around the rules all the time. While it would have been easier to leave me to my own devices and let me deal with the consequences, your love meant investing the time, energy and emotion to persevere and effect change in my life. Thank you for this sacrificial love which required the giving of yourself in order to bring out the best in me.
Thank you also for loving me and my siblings equally, for this is the surest indication that your love is unconditional. There were times when I did think that perhaps you did love my other siblings more than me, but this was solely down to my feelings that my siblings were better than I. However, nothing in your words or actions ever portrayed favouritism of any sort, and I soon dispelled the idea. Being such a strong introvert, there are many times when I just feel like not engaging in conversations. The fact that I am loved for who I am, and not what I do, gives me the freedom to truly be myself without having to worry about being thought of as less at home.
I know that the foundation of your unconditional, sacrificial love is God’s love. However, I believe that it is also enabled by your love for each other. It is the collective love from the both of you which has really made me feel so loved over the years. There is a certain complementariness about your love that enhances and adds value to the individual love. The few times that the two of you have had differences, I could feel the changes in your relation with me. This made it evident to me that your love for each other is a source of strength out of which you are able to love me to the extent that you do.
You used to joke that I put up my hand when God asked who wants to join this family. If it were true though, it would be my best decision to date. I cannot even begin to imagine life without the love that you have showered upon me. I hope my future wife and I will be just like you; whoever puts up their hands in heaven to join my family will be able to experience the full extent of love that I have received from you.
With much love.
Editor’s note: In conjunction with our Loving our Children series, we thought it’d be great to hear from young adults. Abraham is the first, with more to come. If you are inspired to love your children, you can discover effective ways to love them on our website and download a free activity pack!
Abraham is an undergraduate who dreamed of playing professional football when he was 5 (and actually still does). While his love for football occupies a large part of his heart, the remaining portion is shared between his passion for photographing the wonders of God’s creation and love for his family.