Printed from ChabadNewOrleans.com

Why Do People Love Their Children?

Wednesday, 11 September, 2019 - 5:05 pm

Why do people love their children? Do we love our kids because they bring us fulfillment? Do we love them because they represent our achievement as parents and as people? Do we love them because they turned out just the way we imagined they would? Do we love them because they are cute and good looking, smart and successful? Do we love them because they do things for us? What if they weren’t any of those things??? Would we still love them? Would we take delight and pleasure in being with them?

Why does Hashem love us? Does He love us because we bring Him fulfillment as a creator or as a G-d? Does He love us because we turned out the way He envisioned for us? Does He love us because we are successful Jews and accomplished human beings? Does He love us because we do what He wants us to? What about when we aren’t those things? Does He still love us then? Does He take delight and pleasure in being with us?

In an Elul teaching, the Rebbe addresses this issue in a profound manner. It is based on the famous parable of the King in the Field (for an overview see www.chabadneworleans.com/974169). In the parable the King comes to field and anyone who wishes can have access. He greets each person that comes “with a pleasant countenance and a smiling face.” The Rebbe breaks down the two elements of pleasant countenance and a smiling face in the following way. Each of these is an expression of joy and delight. They represent the delight that Hashem has in His relationship with us.

The first is the delight that Hashem takes in our accomplishments. When we serve Him by studying Torah, doing Mitzvot, praying, and infusing meaning into our everyday lives, this gives Hashem much pleasure and delight, causing Him to greet us with a pleasant countenance.

The second, the Rebbe explains, is the delight and pleasure Hashem takes in our relationship, just because we are. Not resulting from anything we do or how we appear, just that we are His children. Our connection with Hashem is rooted so deeply in Hashem’s essence, that irrespective of how we act and what we do, He takes joy and delight in our very existence.

This knowledge of how much we mean to Hashem, should inspire us to enthusiastically want to reciprocate that love by being the best that we can, thereby also bringing Hashem delight in the other manner as well.

This analogy is really important for us to apply to our parent/children relationships on both levels. Parents love their children irrespective of what they do and how they appear. That love should also bring the children to want to make their parents delight not just in who they are, but also how they live.

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

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