Over the years, I’ve heard that parenting provides an excellent example of how God loves & cares for us. Like parents, God disciplines us for our good (see Hebrews 12:10) and I’ve learned from afar that the love parents have for their children is a wonderful parallel to how God loves us.
But during this pregnancy, as I am quickly approaching becoming a mom and plunging into parenthood, I haven’t thought much about how even this stage of parenting is like our relationship with Christ!
I started thinking about it one day while asking God to speak. Here was our conversation:
I said, “Holy Spirit, speak.”
I saw a wine goblet, then I heard: “Eat My flesh and drink My blood.”
I said, “Okay Lord, You have to go further than that–You lost me!”
He spoke again: “I give you all you need. Like the baby inside you gets all she needs from your body, as you are in Me, eat My flesh and drink My blood. If you dwell in Me, this happens naturally.”
How true! I have to do nothing for this baby to survive inside of me! I don’t have to plan feedings or change her diaper. I don’t have to discipline her or figure out why she’s crying! It was then I started realizing a whole bunch of beautiful parallels in Scripture about living inside of Christ.
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me…apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:4-5).
Wow! Not only do I not have to work at caring for her while she is growing cozily inside, but she can’t do anything without me! All these months that she has been growing, it is completely true that she “cannot bear fruit of [herself].” In other words, she couldn’t grow, live or grow her brain without my assistance! Jesus said we can do nothing without Him! Nothing! Think about that kind of dependence: it’s the same kind of dependence a growing baby has on his or her mother while in the uterus!
Here are some other parallels between pregnancy and our new life in Christ:
A. I provide all of her needs.
“My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
[God provides for all of our needs as we are in Christ!]
B. She is hidden inside of me.
“Your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3).
[We are hidden and protected inside Christ!]
C. She experiences my emotions:
“But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16).
[I’ve also heard it said that the closer you are to the Lord, the more you will
experience His emotions: love for others, hatred for sin, etc.]
D. She grows while receiving all her nutrition from my body–not from her own efforts.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).
[These are fruits from the Spirit–the Holy Spirit makes them grow
because He lives in us!]
But there are also differences. We have free will. We will not automatically live inside of Christ and have all of our needs provided for, nor will we automatically experience His emotions. We must choose to abide in Jesus and choose to keep His commandments and to love others. We must choose to walk by the Spirit’s power that we may experience Him, grow in Him and not live according to our own fleshly desires.
“If you keep My commandments, (then) you will abide in My love…”