Will God love my baby?

pregnant belly

The subject line caught my attention. I opened the email to find a young woman pleading for advice. Lily* told me she became pregnant while engaged. The fear she felt seemed to seep through every word of her story. Why was she afraid? It seemed everyone around her was telling her the same message: God would never love her son because she had sex before marriage.

Does God love children who are conceived out-of-wedlock?

Even if you haven’t been in Lily’s situation, I bet you’ve asked a similar question. Will God withhold blessings from my ____________ (career, marriage, child, desires, life) because I screwed up?

Here are some common ways people fill in the blank above:

Am I still single because I had sex before marriage?

Did I not get the job because I didn’t pray about it?

Am I not pregnant because God is trying to teach me a lesson?

Am I dealing with this illness because of my sins?

Am I reading your mail? Don’t worry, I’ve asked similar questions myself.

I recently heard Andy Stanley say that in the midst of trials, “God is not absent. God is not apathetic. God is not angry.”

God is not absent.

Meaning, God hasn’t left you to fend for yourself while He takes care of someone who hasn’t made a mess of their life.

God is not apathetic.

Meaning, no matter what you’ve done, God isn’t standing far off rolling his eyes that you are back there again.

God is not angry.

Meaning, God’s not fuming over your failures-and throwing down punishment because of them.

Let that sink in for just a second.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent a lot of your life thinking of God as a miserly bookkeeper. When we date the wrong guy, we don’t get the amazing husband. When we serve the homeless and pass up alcohol, God sends us spouses and new jobs and perfect parking spots.

But the Bible is pretty clear that God doesn’t treat us like we deserve, good or bad. In fact, it says He doesn’t act according to our character, but according to His-which means lying, stealing, cheating, or getting pregnant out-of-wedlock don’t elicit anger from God. He is consistent, which means his love is constant and doesn’t let up regardless of what we do (or don’t do).

So God loves Lily’s baby just as much as any other baby. He loves you just as much as he does your sibling who seems to do everything right. He loves your friend who spent years dating the wrong guys just as much as he does those who waited for the right guy.

Our good Dad loves us, not because of what we do, but because of who He is. And He is love.

I think I will spend a lifetime trying to wrap my mind around how someone could love me like this. Because I am so aware of my many shortcomings and ways I’ve made a mess of my life. Aren’t we all? In the words of Jars of Clay, “It takes all I am to believe in the mercy that covers me.”

This can be one of the hardest concepts to wrap our mind around. What is your experience with feeling like God is absent, apathetic, or angry?

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4 Responses to “Will God love my baby?”
  1. Nicole says:

    Oh Ruthie…I really needed this today. I have been feeling like I have made lots of mistakes and that, because of those mistakes, God isn’t sending me a husband. I forget that no matter what I do (good OR bad), nothing can make God love me more or less. He doesn’t put me at the top of His list when I’m “good” and do all of the right things…and He doesn’t put me at the bottom of His list when I don’t do all the right things.

    I actually had a thought about this last night…If I think God hasn’t sent me a husband because I have messed up and not done everything right…then according to that logic, it could be said that God HAS sent husbands to my best friends because they’ve done everything right….(which is obviously not true). I guess sometimes it’s easier to believe the bad than the good.

  2. This is an interesting topic. I have never assumed someone could think that God wouldn’t love their baby because he/she was conceived out of wedlock. The way I would look at it is God is a forgiving God. I am sure he wouldn’t withhold blessings for you or your baby because of this. I love your perspective on this you were so right. God is constant, consistent, and knows your path before you take it.

  3. Elle says:

    Great post.

    This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Tim Keller that I heard during a much needed time, and I still remind myself of on a regular basis…

    “The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.”

  4. AnnaLou says:

    I’ve been struck by the meaning of the word grace this year. If you look at its root, charis, you find out that it means ‘unmerited favor’. In many of the churches I grew up in, God’s grace seemed to come across as something that I had to work to earn by continually attempting to perform to a standard and obey all the rules. When I tried and failed to reach up to God’s standard of ‘grace’, I felt discouraged. But this year, I felt challenged to look at the meaning of the word grace… to begin speaking it, walking in it, soaking up the wholeness of what His grace actually MEANS. Unmerited favour. This could never be something that is earned, it is not even given because it is or could be deserved. But it is always, always offered. Extended in Jesus’ hands each moment. Putting on ‘unmerited favor’ is teaching me that grace can overcome even my biggest stuff-ups, bad choices, mistakes.

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