I am so thankful today for Jesus who died for me, loves me, and fights for me but does not hold me indebted to Him for it. He wants my love, my adoration, my obediance, but does not demand it. Never in my life has he put me up against a wall and told me that his love and support would only be there if I did what he wanted.
And I am thankful for a husband who loves like this as well in regard to our children. He continually reminds them that they will not get away with defiance and disobedience, but even if they misbehave, we will still love and accept them at the end of the day. We pour out on them, not because we expect anything in return but because Christ's love compels us. And God is no different with us. For a kid in our culture the message of Christmas is this- behave and you will get presents. Not in our house. We give gifts to celebrate the birth of Jesus- and everyone gets to receive no matter their past bahavior or future choices. Just like Jesus free gift of eternal life is meant for everyone, not just the well behaved or right.