Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.Romans 15:7 ESV
The lock turned and I held my breath. Slowly, slowly the front door creaked open and my daughter-in-law’s smiling face peeked into the gap.
“Look,” I whispered to my grandson. He faced me with his little back turned away from the entrance. His blue eyes raised to mine, puzzled. “Mommy’s home.” I pointed toward the door.
A red car which had traveled in his little hands from my shoe, up my leg, and had been heading toward my tummy, dropped to the floor. He pivoted. Little eyes lit up with pure delight.
“Mommy!” He shouted with absolute pleasure. He ran into his mother’s arms. My daughter-in-law’s eyes sparkled. She scooped him up and hugged him tightly.
After a long day of work, the sight of her little son brought such welcome delight, my grandson could not help but be assured of her love and his place in her heart. Their response to each other gifted them both with something we all desire. We need to know we are welcome.
“Oh,” she breathed into his hair, “I missed you so much.”
When the Apostle Paul wrote the book of Romans, he wasn’t known for lack of boldness, nor for shying away from danger. Tough and daring he confidently spoke about what needed to be said and what needed to be heard. Yet, within the book’s deep theological content, we picture a gentle heart welcomed by Jesus.
The NIV translates the word “welcome” like this in Romans 15:7, “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”
One of the most precious sentiments we can bestow on another person is simply demonstrating welcoming joy. I’m pretty sure you know exactly what I’m talking about, you’ve felt it directed your way, and it’s wonderful. When a parent, husband, or friend lights up with, “I’m so happy to see you,” it connects hearts.
Paul relates it to an immeasurable blessing for the believer. Christ welcomed us.
Can it be possible that my response just through my eyes and facial expression points to Christ’s welcoming of me? Does it demonstrate His acceptance? Could the opposite be true as well?
As a mom and grandma, I’ve let displeasure welcome my offspring at times. I’ve felt them deflate without me saying a word while unwelcoming disapproval simmered under my skin and murmured underneath pursed lips.
As my children entered their tween and then teen years, I sometimes felt uneasy about new independence. Situations I’d never faced arrived through their friends and expanding activities. At times, a thin veneer covered my uncertainties. Insecurities about how to handle their new stage in life bled through to them in disapproval. As the umbilical cord stretched thinner and thinner, I felt it more and more.
Parents should not fear calling out actions that are wrong. Whatever makes my child happy is not the right response to sin, because ultimately it isn’t good for them and goes against the heart of God. On the other hand, a cloak of heavy-not-measuring-up makes everyone miserable.
Whatever makes my child happy is not the right response to sin, because ultimately it isn’t good for them and goes against the heart of God. @SylSchroeder #parenthoodTweet
Living under disapproval is a hard yoke to bear. Not approving an action, yet accepting the individual is not an easy paradox for a parent to accomplish. Children feel disapproval, even when we try to hide it.
During our children’s growing up years, I needed to be aware of my own attitudes toward them. When troubled feelings stirred, sometimes these questions helped my inner unsettledness regain peace.
- What is driving my feelings right now?
- Is this an issue of right and wrong?
- Does my child need correction or direction?
- Am I reacting from fear?
- Does my discomfort come from my insecurity or uncertainty?
- Am I jealous of my child’s independence?
- Is my reaction selfish?
That feeling of seeing someone’s eyes light up at the sight of another is priceless. A smile, a greeting, or an acknowledgment shows acceptance and love.
I often disappoint my Savior. I am glad I know Jesus loves unconditionally and delights to welcome me into His loving arms.
Facial expressions reflect our approval and value. Intentional welcome gives powerful reassurance. It lets the joy of another show and becomes a conduit of Christ’s unconditional embrace. We remember, Christ has welcomed us for His glory (Rom. 15:7; ESV).
My grandson holds fistfuls of his mommy’s soft hair. Their noses touch and pure pleasure shines in their eyes. The sweet picture fills my own cup. “Oh,” it whispers into my soul, “I missed you so much.” And I feel Jesus’ open arms welcome me again.
Facial expressions reflect our approval and value. Intentional welcome gives powerful reassurance. @SylSchroeder #parents #parenthoodTweet