I’ve been thinking about this word and what it means. Chewing on it, rolling to around in my mind for awhile now.
Relent- verb (used with object)
1. To cause to soften in feeling, temper, or determination.
2. To cause to slacken; abate.
3. To abandon; relinquish
4. To die down; let up
Synonyms: change one’s mind, die away, ease up on, ebb, give in, give up, let go, lighten up, quit, subside, wane, weaken, yield.
Actually, what I’ve really been thinking even more about is the phrase “won’t relent” and what does that really mean. I’ve sung it a million times in church (it’s one of my favorites) as we sing about how God won’t relent.
You won’t relent until You have it all.
My heart is Yours.
The more I meditate on what this means–that God will not relent–He:
won’t soften in feeling toward me
won’t temper His love for me
won’t lose determination to love me
won’t slacken in His love for me
won’t abate in His pursuit of my heart
won’t abandon me
won’t relinquish me
won’t let His love die down
won’t let up on His pursuit of all of me
won’t change His mind
won’t let His love die away
won’t ease up on loving me
won’t give in…
won’t give up…
won’t let go…
won’t lighten up…
Are you getting it? Are you getting the relentless love of God for me…and for you? Two simple words, “won’t relent” mean a depth of love like this:
Place me like a seal over your heart,
like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death,
its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire,
like a mighty flame. ~ Song of Solomon 8:6
A love like this–a love like this, such as I do not deserve, but yet I receive simply because I’ve been adopted into God’s family.
Adopted…I have been brought into a forever family, not because of anything I did (because I certainly didn’t deserve it), but simply because Someone saw me, smiled over me because I brought Him delight, made a heart connection with me and knew I was His daughter, pursued me. That Someone loved me and still continues to love me even when I mess up again, again and again (and again…). Despite my past, that Someone chose me, decided I was worth something and began pouring His life and His love into me so that I could become something different, something new. He decided to offer new mercies every morning. He decided to look at me with that look of love. He chose and still chooses each day to rejoice over me with singing, to hold me in His arms of safety and to embrace me as His own.
When someone offers you this type of love, it should be easy to accept, right? It should be easy…but it’s not. I don’t know why. It’s just not. I am scared. I rebel. I kick. I scream. I run. I test it. I wrestle with it. I fail. I fail. I fail.
I fail to understand why anyone would see me worthy of such love and I resist it. I want to know if that Someone will still love me even when it’s hard and it hurts. I want to know if that Someone will eventually quit and give up on me because I have. Why not Him?
He won’t relent.
That relentless love is what my Daughter of Purpose is after. She is adopted and I see her pursuit of this kind of love in her day after day. Even after almost 3 years of being adopted into our forever family, she still feels like she doesn’t belong and that I will give up on her. She doesn’t say it, but I see it. She is on a relentless pursuit of finding that love she’s always been missing and that is why I must be just as relentless with my love right back. Sometimes I fail and sometimes she fails. I am grateful I have the relentless love of the Father as my example, but sometimes I just wish I wasn’t so human. I wish that I could be the perfect relentless pursuer of my daughter’s heart so that she would finally come to a place where she understands the depth of my love for her–that type of love that my biological children take for granted.
The relentless pursuit of my daughter’s heart is hard work and sometimes I am weary and sometimes I just want to give up, but I don’t.
I don’t give up when she comes up with the most uncanny questions to keep me in her presence.
I don’t give up when she repeats the same behaviors day after day after day.
I don’t give up when I see nothing change.
I don’t give up when she merely hears my footsteps and calls out my “mommy” because she still needs the assurance that I am still here.
I don’t give up when she cries because she’s afraid I will die.
I don’t give up when she craves me reading books like, “Love You Forever” and “Guess How Much I Love You” over and over again because there’s a relentless love modeled there.
I don’t give up when she wants me to assist her with the most ridiculous things she is fully capable of doing because she just wants my presence, tender touch and loving eyes.
I don’t give up when she wants me to play little girl games with her because she wants my time.
I don’t give up when she restlessly roams the house, provoking others because she simply has no idea what to do with herself.
My daughter and I have a lot in common. We both have a relentless pursuer. Someone that knows it can take a lifetime to understand what unrelenting love means even after the act of adoption. He uses her to teach me with every heartbeat, the power of unrelenting love. And until she fully understands that it is not truly me who relentlessly pursues her heart, He uses me as the vehicle of pursuit. I feel the pressure.
I won’t relent because He won’t relent.