Our girls were still very young when one night I heard one of them still awake and talking in their room some time after we put them in bed, so I went to check on them. Elizabeth (our four-year-old) was already sound asleep, but Emily (our almost-two-year-old) was wide awake, lying on her back and singing/talking. I noticed that she had dropped several of her pacifiers (she needed at least three when she slept), so I picked them up and put them back in her crib and gave her one last good night kiss.
And as I kissed her, from behind her pacifier, I heard her say, “I wub u.” “Oh, Emily, I love you too!”
“I wub u.” And she turned her head, so I could speak in her other ear. “I love you, Emily!” Now the pacifier was spit out. “I wub u.” Head turn. “I love you.” Head turn. “I wub u.” “I love you.” Head turn. “I wub u.” “I love you.” And on it went. And as I began to straighten up (you can bend over a crib for only so long), she reached up her arms to give me a big hug and kiss.
Then as I walked out of the room, there was one last “I wub u.…Bye!!”
It was enough to make a Daddy’s heart melt! Three simple words, yet they are perhaps the three most powerful words in our language. I love you. So simple that even a one-year-old can understand their meaning; so profound that even the oldest and most hardened can be softened by them.
Do you ever stopped to think about what those words mean? This powerful phrase means commitment. Strength. Help. Sacrifice. Permanence. Loyalty. Emotion. And it is God’s precious gift to His beloved children. He proved it in creation. He proved it at the cross. He proved it in the offer of salvation. And He proves it every day of your and my life.
Just what does this love of God do for His people? Listen to John’s words:
“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.” (1 John 3:1–2)
He loves us enough to call us His children. And with that, He also invites us to call Him, “Father” (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6). But not only are we called His children, but we actually are His children. Though previously His enemies and enslaved to sin, now we are in actuality adopted into His family and we are His sons by position, with all the rights and privileges that are granted to sons (see also Gal. 4:5, 7).
But that’s not all the love of the Father does for His newly-made sons. For all the benefit we derive from the status of sons of the King of Kings, we also have a confident expectation of something far more in the future. Whatever He makes us to be as His sons through the process of sanctification, and no matter how much we are changed on this earth, we have not begun to see and experience the magnitude of our transformation at Christ’s coming. For when the Son returns to earth to take His bride home to present to the Father, we will do what no man has ever done before — we will see the face of God and we will not die. We will live! And we will live because we will be just as He is — with no blot of sin or ability to sin within us.
This is the love of God.
Do you hear Him? Listen. Listen carefully. “I love you.”