By John Croyle
Have you ever heard the phrase, “You can’t be good enough for God to love you more, nor can you be bad enough for him to love you less?” I’m sure it has been around a long time, but I heard it for the first time the other day, and it impacted me beyond description. Not only was it a spiritual and personal verification of how much the Lord loves each and every one of us, but it was also a benchmark in the personal relationship that we want to have with every one of our children.
Many years ago a real good friend of ours named Mack Cooper, from Fort Payne, Alabama, gave the Ranch about 24 of those small motorcycles that operate with weedeater engines. You may remember the loud, high-pitched whine from those motors at your house or in your neighborhood. Now, just imagine what 24 of them sound like at the same time. My hearing is still not right.
We had one little boy named Will who had just moved onto the Ranch about a month earlier. He was so excited when it came his turn to ride that he promptly ran straight into a building. You guessed it—the motor didn’t fare very well with the collision. It was totally destroyed. As we all sprinted to the crash site, we saw Will was visibly shaken. He was crying hysterically. You know the kind of tears I’m talking about—he could barely catch his breath as we quizzed him: “How are you?” “Is everything OK?” “Any broken bones?” Once he was able to catch his breath, his first question was, “Are you going to get rid of me now?” He was only 10 years old, but for those 10 years of life, every time he messed up the people who were supposed to love him unconditionally quit on him. I remember his house mom picking him up in her arms, putting his head on her shoulder and telling him, “I will always love you, and there will never be a day I will quit on you. Never!”
Will is now a 21-year-old young man who has found a wonderful Christian girl, and he will probably be getting married in the next couple of years. The foundation of this young man’s stability is simply the fact that he knew and believed his houseparents’ love and consistent support. He is now a young man who knows his family will always love him and will not quit on him. He is turning into a great man, and we believe he will be an awesome husband and dad one day.
Perhaps you are like me. You’ve messed up a whole bunch, and you think there is no way in heaven that God could love you as you are now. I have some great news that can apply to you and me, and we can instill this same truth in our children. Just like the saying goes, “You can’t be good enough for God to love you more, nor can you be bad enough for him to love you less.” Do you believe that God loves you this much? Do your children believe that you love them this much? I have always believed example outlives advice. May we show our children the way.