Over the years I’ve learned to be suspicious when one of my children starts a conversation with the words, ‘How much do you love me?’ It inevitably means that they are about to ask me for something, and they are working on the assumption that if I love them a lot then I won’t be able to refuse to give them what they want!
Much as I dislike this tactic in my own children I have to acknowledge that I have sometimes taken the same approach in my relationship with God! I’ve taken the approach that if He loves me then he’ll surely want to give me what I ask for! The problem with this is that it assumes a deep-seated insecurity in the relationship – does God love me or not? – and also assumes that love will always give what is asked for without wisdom or discernment. I love my children with all my heart, and because I love them I may not always give them what they ask for. I’ve discovered that God is the same!