As with many of us, I don’t think I fully understood the concept of “unconditional love” until I became a parent myself. When I gave birth to my baby girl, I suddenly realized why my parents didn’t disown me. There was a fierce and powerful love for my child, even though she had never done anything to deserve it. I knew, no matter what she would ever do, no condition or circumstance could break it.
It’s overwhelming to think that God feels that way about me— but even deeper (Romans 8:15; 8:17; 8:21). His love is not based on my efforts or goodness, but on His mercy alone (Romans 9:16). A speeding ticket, back talk, eye rolls and defiance didn’t separate me from the love of my earthly parents. However, the Bible takes it a million steps further in saying that neither death nor life, angels or demons, the present or future, nor any powers, height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from God’s love for us (Romans 8: 38-39).
That’s a fierce and powerful love.
I bet if you’re reading this, you could classify the love you have for your own child as fierce and powerful. But I bet you also know that just loving your child hard isn’t enough. Fierce and powerful love for our children also means teaching them lessons for living a life that leads to joy and peace.
If my parents had never set boundaries and rules for speeding, there probably would have been many more speeding tickets and accidents. While their boundaries and rules seemed tough as a child, I know now that they saved me from further trials and regret. Similarly, Paul doesn’t stop in Romans 11 with just the foundations of God’s love for us. He continues in chapters 12-16 to discuss the practical applications for living our life out of that love. Paul understood that the practical applications he writes about would lead us to a life of joy and peace as we trust in God (Romans 15:13), rather than a life of trials and regret from trusting in ourselves (Romans 7:5).
God’s love is fierce and powerful. There’s nothing that could ever happen to change the way He feels about us. It is out of that love that He gives us boundaries for protection.
Love and boundaries aren’t adverse to each other, they go hand in hand. Allow His extravagant love to sink deep and saturate your soul, and know every instruction in His Word stems from Him wanting the best for your life.