For those of you who may not realize it, our son, Ben is adopted. You can read our miraculous birth story (but you may want to grab a tissue first).
Last week, during a tough couple of days (puberty is so hard!), Ben questioned for a moment if it was possible that I could love him as much as I would if I had given birth to him.
While I was reassuring him of my incredible love for him, I made the comment that God had knit our hearts together from before his birth. That it was no surprise to God that he was given to us in adoption. That was His plan for him (and for us) all along.
He understands the word “knit” from a handiwork perspective. I crochet and he knows what that looks like. But he didn’t really get what exactly I meant about our hearts being “knit together.” He certainly knows he is loved and that he loves us. But love is a word used so much these days — we love our iPhones, the color yellow, and pizza. I wanted him to understand that our love for him comes from a place much deeper than pizza — I wanted him to know what it means to be “knit together.”
Of course, since my go-to way to expound on the meaning of words is by doing a word study, a quick word study was in order here, too.
If you’re unsure about what it means to do a word study, or why I do them, take a peek back at A is for Attentive. I explain more there.
Today’s word for study is KNIT.
Key Word Definitions:
Unite: to put together or join to make one mixture
Closely: in a close, compact manner, with the parts united or pressed together; with near affection, attachment or interest
Join: to set or bring one thing in contiguity with another; to couple; to connect; to combine
Grow: to increase; to be augmented; to advance; to improve; to make progress
Draw: to pull along; to attract; to cause to move towards itself
Together: in company; in or into union; in concert
Knit Defined in My Own Words:
To be knit together is to be joined in a way that cannot be broken. To be combined, united, made into one. To be coupled.
And it came to pass . . . that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. (1 Samuel 18:1)
. . . that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ. (Colossians 2:2)
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13)
. . . from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:16)
If you knit (or crochet), then you probably already have a visual for how yarn can become entwined, connected, and not easily separated or broken. Grabbing a knitted afghan to show Ben how the stiches all intertwine and cannot be pulled apart or “un-knitted” was a great object lesson to explain this concept.
Being knit together means to join and grow together. That’s exactly what God did with our family — he joined us and now we are growing together. The “yarn” is love. It really has little to do with blood or childbirth. In fact, God gives us the beautiful example of marriage to show that two people, unrelated to each other, can have their hearts and souls knit together with the common bond of love. He does the same between parents and children, and sometimes with friends.
When I read the verse about David and Jonathan, I was particularly touched at the great love these friends have for each other. It is a special relationship — intimate on a level that is truly a gift — when two friends reach a level of intimacy that can be described as having souls that are knit together. It requires a companionship of innermost thoughts, feelings, and ideas and a transparency that transcends pride or fear. What it does not require is a blood connection.
It is no accident that the Bible would use the word “knit” to describe how God forms his children and then connects us. Just like the tangled yarn, it’s nearly impossible to un-knit people who have been woven together at the heart and soul level. Especially when it is God himself who did the handiwork.
I hope that Ben now understands knitted hearts are inextricably connected. That the love I have for him transcends childbirth. That I love him as I love my own soul.
And that we can never be un-knitted.