The Bible says “God is love”. (1 John 4:8) In fact, many who have read the Bible from cover-to-cover see it as a revelation of God’s love for mankind from beginning to end—from the very beginning of mankind and into the future.
If it seems difficult to believe that God really does love people, it’s probably because of a distorted view of God and His motives toward us. Our picture of God is “colored” by our life experience--what we observe, what we feel, what we do. We’ve probably all experienced at one time or another ending up on the wrong side of truth when relying totally on our own feelings and observations.
Notice how Herb Montgomery illustrates this effect in his book, Finding the Father:
I remember hearing of a story about a father riding a subway car with his four young children. These children were, most assuredly, the type of children that would make you never want to have kids. As the father was sitting, engrossed in thought, his children were quite the opposite. One was incessantly pulling on the tie of a nicely dressed man as he was trying to hold an important conversation on his cell phone. Another was running up and down the middle aisle screaming at the top of her lungs. The third was sitting near a conservatively dressed woman, asking questions that would make even a sailor blush. The fourth child, however, took the prize. He was literally balancing himself on the headrest of one of the seats, shining the bald head of a passenger.
The entire car was about to explode when one of the passengers worked up the courage to approach the father. In a gruff tone he blurted out, "Can't you see what your children are doing? What kind of a father are you?" As if to notice for the first time what his children were doing, the father snapped back into reality. He looked up at his fellow passenger as tears began to fill his eyes. Overcome by the emotion of the events he faced in his life, he spoke softly, "Oh, I am so sorry. You see, we have just returned from the hospital where these children just lost their mother and I my wife, and I guess we are all just dealing with it the best way we know how." The whole subway car fell silent.
Is it possible that we have allowed our selfish desires to distort our picture of God? Even children of "perfect parents" at times let their unfulfilled wants and discipline experiences convince them their parents no longer love them or worse -- hate them. Later in life they look back and see love as the motive of their parents actions. Is it possible that God is the "Perfect Parent?"