Your parents? Your children? Your Spouse?
I was a fellowship student in an American University. As one of my responsibilities to grade assignments- I had to read student’s essays answering the question “Who is your Greatest Hero?” Interesting answers. Who was cited most as a ‘Hero’? Batman? A movie Star? A Musician? A president? No. The Student’s Parents.
People recognize who did the most for them in their lives. I would expect young college students to be a bit more vain. But they recognized the great effort and sacrifices their parents made for them. That’s why Honoring Parents is an easily understandable commandment. We show gratitude to those that did the most for us.
I heard that parents love children more than children love parents.
Understandable. It says In Pirkei Avot / Ethics of the Fathers “According to the Pain is the Reward.” The more pain one puts into a person or project – the more rewarding it is when they bear fruits. The more love they have for the person. Thus it is understandable why parents love children more than vice versa. Parents will stay up at night to tend to a child. Ask a child today to clean their room and get an answer is “Maybe later.”
Love of Spouses
So is it parents who love you the most? Is it your spouse that tells you they love you? Not really. Many a time love between spouses is “Love that’s dependent upon a matter.” It tells us what true love is in Pirkei Avot. – “Love that is not dependent upon a matter.”
I love the person – not because what they can bring me or give me. I love them because I recognize their intrinsic value as a person.
The reason for the great divorce rate today is because – what people call love is infatuation. The infatuation fades, the marriage ends.
Love that is dependent upon a matter is best illustrated by someone who says they love fish. Ask them – if you love fish – why do you catch it, then skin it, then fry it and eat it. You don’t love fish – love eating fish. You love what the fish gives you, not what you can give to the fish. Loving is giving – not taking. “Love” of many couples today is taking – fish love.
Apparently the one who gives you the most (in your best spiritual, psychological, emotional and material interest) loves you the most. Who gives you the most? G-d.
There are three partners in the creation of a person. The mother, the father and G-d. The Mother gives the blood, the father the bones and G-d gives the soul.
G-d gives a person a soul, life, air to breath, food, clothing, money, a home, health, transportation, vacations, family, friends, a world, nature, and makes every single cell in one’s body function and grow continuously. I can go on, but better to keep it short.
If we recognized the tremendous kindness that G-d / Hash-m provides for us at every single moment – we would be a different person. Like we say in the prayer Nishmat on Shabbat – “If our mouths were as wide as the sea … we would not be able to thank you for all the kindness you do.” G-d gives you all – independently of what we “give” to Him – He loves us because of our value as a person. He loves us because we are his children. Without expectation of a “favor” in return.
Love of God
G-d loves you more than your parents love you.
Yes, your Father in heaven loves you more than your father or mother on earth.
A parent sometimes gets fed up with a child who goes off the proper path. G-d always has hope for His child. He doesn’t give up on you. He loves you even when you think He forgot you.
Have problems? Turn to Hash-m. He’ll help. Regardless of what you did in the past. He’s always there with open arms. And when you have time try to become better. How? Try starting over – by wiping the slate clean.
It says that even a parent can forget a child – but G-d will never forget you.
Know you are loved.