Acceptance! Our relationship with God is based on His unconditional acceptance of us just as we are. We can do nothing to get God to love us. We come to Him in simple faith, trusting that He loves and accepts us.
It is said that “in love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will” (Ephesians 1:5, italic added). Acceptance is a choice. God accepts us not because He has to, but He desires to.
Furthermore, God loved us even before we became Christians. While we were His enemies and in darkness, while we were yet sinners, He loved us and died for us (Romans 5:8). If He loved us when we did not have a personal relationship with Him, how much more does He love us now as His adopted children?
What can we learn from God’s unconditional acceptance of us? When children/students sense true acceptance from their parents/teachers, they feel secure and valued. They know that their worth is not based on how well they perform plus other’s opinions, but who they are – a person created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). The more we can communicate unconditional acceptance to our children/students, the more likely they will share, be open, and tell us what’s happening in their lives. Acceptance is a crucial step towards building a nurturing relationship with our children/students.