Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love. Ephesians 5:1–2
I once spoke at a secular conference for childless couples. Heartbroken over their infertility, many attendees despaired at their future. Having walked the childless path too, I tried to encourage them. “You can have a meaningful identity without becoming parents,” I said. “I believe you are fearfully and wonderfully made, and there’s new purpose for you to find.”
A woman later approached me in tears. “Thank you,” she said. “I’ve felt worthless being childless and needed to hear that I’m fearfully and wonderfully made.” I asked the woman if she was a believer in Jesus. “I walked away from God years ago,” she said. “But I need a relationship with Him again.”
Times like this remind me how profound the gospel is. Some identities, like “mother” and “father,” are hard for some to attain. Others, like those based on a career, can be lost through unemployment. But through Jesus we become God’s “dearly loved children”—an identity that can never be stolen (Ephesians 5:1). And then we can “walk in the way of love”—a life purpose that transcends any role or employment status (v. 2).
All human beings are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14), and those who follow Jesus become children of God (John 1:12–13). Once in despair, that woman left in hope—about to find an identity and purpose bigger than this world can give.
Is there someone in despair whom you can affirm as “wonderfully made” today? With whom can you share the offer of becoming a child of God?
Father, life in all its fullness is Yours alone to give. I open my hands to accept it.
It’s fundamental to believers in Jesus that we understand we are children of the living God. In Ephesians 5, Paul gives us the key to how we’re to live in that knowledge: “as dearly loved children, . . . walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us” (vv. 1–2). Then Paul outlines some of the things this love will compel us to avoid, including sexual immorality, greed, and vulgar language (vv. 3–4). The apostle urges us by the power of His Spirit to replace these sinful behaviors with a lifestyle of thanks. Paul concludes his thought with this encouragement: “Live as children of light . . . and find out what pleases the Lord” (vv. 8–10). This instruction is in keeping with a major theme of Paul’s letters—transformation: “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).