I love putting my kids to bed at night. I like praying with them and getting those quiet few minutes to sit, talk (where applicable), and give a few more hugs before they go to sleep. The other night, while rocking, I had a profound experience with my 2.5-year-old, Georgia.
Georgia is very much in the question asking phase. “What’s that, Mommy?” is the most frequent offender these days. I do my best to answer them all even if the answer is, at times, you just asked me that and I said _________. I know she’s figuring out the world around her and I want her to know that she can always come to me with any question. So the other night she asked me a big one. I’m not even sure if she knew what she was asking or what response she was hoping for, but she said, “Mommy, why do you love me?”
I was floored. And I quickly realized I had to get this one right. I couldn’t blow it off.
I didn’t want to say, “because you’re so great”. Though it’s nice to hear, what about days when she’s not so great? And, honestly, that’s not true. I would love her even if she wasn’t great. I didn’t want her to think she could or had to earn my love. So, I thought for a split second and said, “I love you because God made you and because God made you mine.” She seemed satisfied with that.
“We love because he first loved us.” That comes from 1 John 4:19, which is part of a powerful passage explaining the essence of why we even have the ability to love. We are able to love because God first showed us love by creating us, sacrificing his Son for us, and ultimately, redeeming us. I can only love my girls because I was first loved by God.
Whether your kid hits you with this zinger or not, make sure they know they are loved because God first loved you.