Not having been able to conceive ourselves Anna and I spend a lot of time parent watching and, truth be known, often judging their efforts in raising their younglings, wondering how we would do it, and what values we would attempt to instill in the life we had produced. Love is obviously top of the list, but what else?

When I was 14 I got caught shoplifting. I’m not going to glamourise or justify it, I did what I did. Fingerprints, photographs, an interview and a caution later I was released. However I was still scared. Scared of what my Dad would say and do to me when I got home. I thought he would tear me to pieces. What awaited me was far, far worse. The disappointment in his eyes and words was too much to take. I knew I had let him down and I didn’t know if I could fix it.

The Bible tells us that Gods words to Jesus after he was baptised were “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Notice that God doesn’t stop at love, but also boasts to those listening about how pleased he is with His Son. God is proud of His Son, God is boasting about His Son, He is showing off the photos and videos on His iPhone to all who will listen. He’s pointing Him out on sports day, telling the other dad’s how his Son will win the egg and spoon race and how this is a sign of his future athletic career. He is greeting every joyous discover His Son makes with rapt attention and open ears.

In Matthew 25 Jesus tells a number of parables about the Kingdom of Heaven. In one of these a Master tells his faithful servants that he is proud of them – ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ Just as God is proud of His Son, He also takes pride in us. He boasts about us, He is showing off the photos and videos… well, you get the idea.

Yes we all want to be loved, but don’t we also want people to be proud of us? Don’t we want them to show their love for us? Could it be that this type of pride compliments love? Could it be that this type of pride makes love feel even better? I don’t know, but I do know that when I do have a child I will tell them I love them, but I will make sure that I tell them I am proud of them at every opportunity too.