How to See God’s Infinite Love for Us through Parenting

Amanda Idleman

Contributing Writer
Published Apr 30, 2024
How to See God’s Infinite Love for Us through Parenting

Parenting is one such area that regularly offers chances to glimpse God’s true love and desire. Our relationships with our parents and our kids are a shadow of the relationship God wants to have with us.

Plato’s Allegory of the Cave tells of “prisoners” in a cave that see shadows of things passing by cast by a fire. Because they know no different, they believe those shadows are the actual things themselves. A tree, to them, is a two-dimensional stalk with shadows of branches and leaves. An elephant is a large shadow passing by on the wall they are facing. It is not until these prisoners are freed that they realize what we all know: a shadow of a horse is nothing compared to the actual beauty of one galloping in a field; a flower’s shadow pales in comparison to observing its true splendid colors. What they thought was reality is merely a small representation of the true form.

Many authors and pastors discuss this as well in their sermons and works. Our idea of goodness that we hold onto is dwarfed by the goodness God offers us. The Bible itself explicitly states how we are made in the image of God. We may think, act, feel, and even physically look somewhat the same, yet to see God Himself or hear His voice or see His actions (as we saw in Jesus’ life) is truly magnificent. So powerful is His presence that most Biblical characters could only kneel or cower when they met Him. So many good things, but none as amazing as its truest form.

The Best Is Yet to Come 

God created a world with many shadows and reflections that point back to something truer and more genuine. We have desire, jealousy, ambition, goodness, and love, all of which reflect our Creation in His image. Marriage is another great example. The New Testament frequently refers to Christ as the groom and us as the bride. Generosity seen when we pay for someone else’s coffee is a shadow of the generosity God displays when we are continuously forgiven for our sins again and again and again. 

God created this world in His image on purpose so we would have examples that help us understand and relate to His doings. Parenting is one such area that regularly offers chances to glimpse God’s true love and desire. Our relationships with our parents and our kids are a shadow of the relationship God wants to have with us.

Parenting Is a Shadow of God’s Love

When we hit the twenty-month mark of parenting our firstborn, our second child arrived. My concerns centered not on if I had the knowledge and stamina to take care of two kids, but on the fact that I loved one child and our family so infinitely much, I didn’t see how I could possibly love another. Any parent that’s lived this story knows the ending. Somehow, your heart just grows. It loves in ways and amounts never thought possible. And when the third and fourth child arrives, parents somehow have just as much love for each. 

As they grow, you have repeating moments in their lives where you just meditate on how you infinitely love each one. This love carries the relationship through those tough times. Just as the prodigal son’s father forgave, a parent’s infinite love allows us to forgive our earthly children. Always welcoming them back into our arms, yearning for the relationship to stay connected and grow. This infinite love provides the energy and drive to provide for our children, foster their education, and take care of their mental and physical growth. It is the well that sustains our efforts in all that we do for our kids.

Is this a representative shadow as well? This heart-warming, heart-wrenching infinite love that pushes us to sacrifice and work tirelessly for our own children? 


There are plenty of creatures that have offspring and do nothing afterward. Once born, spider babies (I think that’s the scientific name) are on their own. If God’s intention, when He said “multiply,” was simply to populate the Earth, He could have made us like that. But He wants us to do more. He wants us to invest in and raise lovers of Jesus, all the while enduring the elation and heartache of parenting. Why? Because then we just might get it. We just might break free of our cave and see that parenting as more than a temporal, Earthly endeavor. We go forth and multiply and raise children through the good and bad to point back to Him. 

God Loves You with an Infinite Love 

“For God so loved the world, that He sacrificed His one and only son” (John 3:16). We love our children so much that we sacrifice our money and, most importantly, our time. God loves His children so much that He sacrifices that which He loves most. 

We forgive our children when they make mistakes, especially when they are young. It’s almost cute then. As they grow or their mistakes accumulate, we may be less forgiving and patient. We find it less “cute” when our eight-year-old drops his cup of juice for the third time in a row….in the same day…in the last five minutes. You may have a more dire circumstance. Your child may have truly hurt you, and it seems near impossible to forgive or forget. “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” Psalm 103:12. Have you ever walked from the east to west and reached the end? No, because this is hyperbole. It’s impossible. God doesn’t just place your sin really far away. He moves it infinitely far away. It didn’t even happen. 

The implications here are numerous and deep. You may think, “Geez, I’m not God; it’s much harder to just truly forgive and forget.” This comparable image of love that God has for us is not in place to bestow shame, but hope. That same amazingly deep love you have for your children, God has for you infinitely more. That forgiveness that you try to muster and sometimes do, is infinitely available from God. Parenting offers us a chance to sort of grasp how much love God has for His children. It’s one of His best attempts at getting us to understand it. 

In stressful times, when our children act particularly ungrateful, how many times have you thought, “If only they knew how hard I work for them!” If our children knew how much we do for them, they might realize how little they deserve our love. If we know how much God loves us, we just might realize how little we deserve it. It’s in that realization that we can better love our own children and better grasp the love of our Father.

Related Resource: How Godly Parenting Is Central to Sustaining Faith & Freedom - with Os Guinness

As parents, we have a central role to play in passing on faith and freedom to the next generation. The spiritual soil of our kid’s lives is nurtured first and foremost by us through modeling the biblical life, through education and prayer, and through the stories we pass on to our kids about the faith. In this episode of Christian Parent/Crazy World, Catherine Segars sits down with renowned theologian Os Guinness to discuss the critical role parents play in their children's lives. To listen, just click the play button below! And if you like what you hear, be sure to subscribe on Apple or Spotify so you never miss an episode.

Photo Credit: © Getty Images/fizkes 

Amanda Idleman is a writer whose passion is to encourage others to live joyfully. She writes devotions for My Daily Bible Verse Devotional and Podcast, Crosswalk Couples Devotional, the Daily Devotional App, she has work published with Her View from Home, on the MOPS Blog, and is a regular contributor for She has most recently published a devotional, Comfort: A 30 Day Devotional Exploring God's Heart of Love for Mommas. You can find out more about Amanda on her Facebook Page or follow her on Instagram.