I’ve been thinking a bit about 18th/21st/30th speeches recently. I’ve been asked to give a few but recently I’ve been wondering what I would say at my own child’s celebration. I realise I may be getting a bit ahead of myself here! But bear with me.
What got me thinking is that often when I hear speeches given by parents, they highlight the achievements of their son or daughter – their education, their career, their interests or accomplishments, their relationships, their character qualities, perhaps their religious affiliation or involvement. The thing is, that while these are good things to highlight, my assumption is that this is not what makes the child valuable to the parents.
But what does? I remember as a child being told by my parents that I had to love my sisters and when I asked why, being told that it was because they were my sisters. And I wonder whether this is the same for parents – that they love their child simply because they’re their child.
It seems to me that there is some deep truth here. For God loves us, not because we are lovely but because he has chosen to set his affection on us. I think that one day if I am a parent and, perhaps in the very distant future, if I am asked to make a speech about my child, I would list their qualities and all the things I love about them. But I hope that I will also be brave enough to point out that this is not why I love them. Rather, I hope I will be able to say that I love that child because God loved me when I was unlovely.
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.