Last week, I became a father for the second time. My wife presented me with another son.
I imagine that the birth of a second child proves over time to be a unique experience. There may be no other moment in life which so profoundly demonstrates love’s abundance. When you have your first child, it feels like a pinnacle. How could you possibly love more than that? The prospect of a second child seems to the uninitiated to portend a division of that love between two objects, like the division of an estate between inheritors.
I did not need to know my new son for long before realizing that parental love does not divide. It multiplies. Everything my firstborn means to me has been duplicated.
That experience provides some insight into the boundless love of God. What my two sons evoke in me dimly reflects what each of God’s children evoke in Him. My sons thus make it easier for me to understand why God would create us in the first place, and why He would be willing to give so much — even in the face of rebellion — to offer salvation.
Four years old, my firstborn constantly reminds me of myself, modeling in his relationship with me my own relationship with God. His defiance echoes my own, as does his helpless reliance.
Like most children his age, my firstborn becomes very attached to particular objects and carts them around wherever he goes. It may be a toy helicopter or truck. Sometimes, he clings to a found coin or his favorite blanket. Whatever happens to be his MacGuffin de jour, my son frequently loses track of it, whether darting about home or traveling around town. When he loses a coveted trinket, his world comes to an end. It absolutely must be found without delay.