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Amongst the many well-wishes when our first son was born in 2015 was a consistent message that slowly but surely,

“You will now come to see and appreciate a whole new side to our Father in heaven.”

At the time, the little cooing and gurgling bundle of joy did nothing but help me to understand how to love someone else in ways that I never thought possible (Psalm 103.13, for example), but, over time, I am becoming more and more awestruck at the patience and perseverance of God’s love. Let me explain…

“When he looks you in the eye and lies to you, it will break your heart.”

This next nugget of parenting wisdom seemed like something that somebody with grumpy, grouchy, and monosyllabic teenage kids would say. I did not understand why it was being said to me: the dad of the world’s most handsome, adorable, and obedient toddler. This boy went everywhere with me. He has been a daddy’s boy since day one. But, alas, the lies came. It upset me like nothing much has ever done and fulfilled the forewarning of the words above. In that moment, I just could not fathom how someone I loved unconditionally could lie to me. This person who had professed their little-legged but huge-hearted love for me again and again had now made a decision to obscure the truth to avoid trouble.

Is this how God sees me?

Am I like this?

Am I unconditionally loved yet willing to lie through my teeth when I think it would turn away trouble?

Fast forward to today and we now have two boys. Super-sleuth detective I am not, but I can tell when my sons are trying to deceive me. It seems to come so easy to them in the moment, too, which makes it all the harder to take. If I can always see it in them, how much more is the creator of the universe able to see it in me? How easy must it be for the omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent God to know that we are lying or being deceitful.

What kind of love keeps someone right there in the face of rebellion?

Surely this kind of behaviour would be enough to turn most loves away?

Being lied to for someone else’s self preservation or gain is pretty hard to take. Proverbs 6 makes very clear that God is not a big fan of lying either (vv.16-19). This is tremendously bad news for us who find it so easy to lie and deceive (cf.Jeremiah 17:9-10). We find ourselves, therefore, naturally and inherently doing things that contradict who God is. Simply, we sin (cf. Psalm 12, Romans 3.23).

What kind of love keeps someone right there in the face of outright rebellion?

…a Never-Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love.
(The Jesus Storybook Bible)

In his letter to the Romans, Paul lists some of the things that God overcomes to be right there with us despite our failings:

“…I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, nor things that are present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Paul could quite as easily, I believe, have written that

“…I am convinced that neither
…lies, nor deceit, nor trying to cover it up, nor continuing to lie when the game is up…
will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

God is love, as John writes (cf. 1 John 4.8) and so, simply, He is always going to be there for those that turn to Him in repentance and with faith.

“The Lord’s loyal kindness never ceases; his compassions never end. They are fresh every morning your faithfulness is abundant!”
(Lamentations 3.22-23)


“It will so happen that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be delivered.”
(Joel 2.32)


“…while [the returning, formerly rebellious, prodigal son] was still a long way from home his father saw him, and his heart went out to him; he ran and hugged his son and kissed him. Then his son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Hurry! Bring the best robe, and put it on him! Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet! Bring the fattened calf and kill it! Let us eat and celebrate, because this son of mine was dead, and is alive again—he was lost and is found!’ So they began to celebrate.“
(Luke 15.20-24)

There is now nothing we can do that will drive Him away (Romans 8.1, cf. Romans 7.21-25). The penitent heart that wants to be loved will always, always be loved.

Both my sons love me, and I love them. I love them unconditionally. I love them despite their failures and would do anything to redeem them from the consequences of their failures, if they want my help. I love them even though I know they will disappoint me again, and again, and again (and I them). I love them despite knowing that they will, I am sure, at some point in their life turn away from me in their hearts and believe they are better off alone and know better (althoughhopefully only for an exceedingly brief moment). As the Jesus Storybook Bible phrases it:

“And though they would forget him, and run from Him, deep in their hearts God’s children would miss Him always, and long for Him — lost children yearning for their home.”

Why do I love them like this, doing my earthly best to show them patience and perseverance? I love them because they are my children, I love them because they are made in my image, and I love them because of the example of our heavenly Father’s love for me (1 John 4.19).

For over a decade, James Travis and his wife Robyn have been in Bahrain where he serves as Pastor of Saar Fellowship ( Their two boys were born there, and they have family history in Bahrain dating back to the 1960s! James is Calvary Chapel University's first M.Div graduate. Reach out to James by visiting his website at