In an old poem, English poet Francis Thomas calls God “the hound of heaven”—a reference to the hound that never ceases chasing the hare.
If you are like me, you likely realize that God has been far more faithful in His pursuit of me than I ever have been in my pursuit of Him. His love of humanity is relentless. His grace chases us even into the dark corners of our lives.
In many ways, but not all, the relationship between a parent and child mirrors the relationship between God and His people.
You would think, in light of the enormous goodness of God, that creation would fall on its knees and surrender in endless obedience and adoration to a Father who genuinely loves us.
But we don’t. And I don’t. And, quite honestly, neither do you.
You would think, in light of all that you have invested in your children, that their response to you would be one of unequivocal gratitude and obedience. But it’s not. And as they move through the middle school and teen years (and sometimes even into adulthood), they seem to get harder to catch and their hearts seem to squeeze out of many attempted embraces.
In light of what happens in nearly every parent-child relationship—that the parent experiences some level of rejection—it’s easy to reject back. When your daughter rarely returns your texts (but won’t stop texting her friends), it hurts. When your son goes through days where grunts replace words, it’s hard not to be human and decide the relationship maybe isn’t worth the fight.
And that’s where we would be dead wrong as parents.
As much as it hurts to love and not be loved back in the way we hoped we would be loved back, we need to keep loving. Just because our kids might not show a deep interest in us for a season doesn’t mean we should ever quit on them.
God’s story is a story of not quitting on people who have quit on Him. He hasn’t quit and He won’t quit.
And because of that, neither should you.
Keep up the fight. Keep up the chase. Don’t quit. Even if your kids don’t pursue you, pursue them:
Call them, even if they don’t call you back.
Start conversations and linger, even if they seem silent.
Clear space on your calendar for them, even if they seem disinterested.
Make family time a priority, even if no one wants to play games or watch a movie or do anything else that used to seem fun.
Love them for who they are, not for who you want them to be.
Let them know you believe in them, even if they don’t appear to think that matters.
Grace ultimately attracts. Indifference or resentment doesn’t.
After all, you and I have a heavenly Father who seems to keep pursuing us no matter how disconnected our hearts get. Why wouldn’t we do the same?
What helps you pursue? What do you do to pursue those who don’t want to be pursued?