It’s hard to imagine the depth of God’s love for us. When I think of how big the universe is, with billions of stars in each of the billion galaxies, it seems insane that the God who created all that could possibly care about me as an individual. And yet, he says he does.
How can I communicate this lesson to my kids, when even when I, as a parent, can’t fathom it?
Recently I read a blog post* that made me think about how I present God to my kids. I have always tried to emphasize God’s love and grace, because I know that it is God’s kindness that brings us to repentance, and his love that makes us want to love and seek after him.
So I recently started sending my kids to sleep with this little ritual.
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I say: You’re very creative. Does God love you because you are creative?
They say: No
I say: You’re very kind. Does God love you because you are kind?
They say: No
I say: You’re very good at helping others. Does God love you because you help others?
They say: No
I ask: So why does God love you?
They’re learning to say: Because I’m His child.
I ask: Can he ever stop loving you?
They Say: No.
I ask: Why not?
They Say: Because I will always be his child.
The intent is to help kids understand the depths of God’s unconditional love and acceptance. I was rather surprised when I did this with my middle son and I asked if God loved him because he is obedient. He said, yes. OOPS!
I had to do a little damage control because there’s no way I wanted him going to sleep thinking that God loves him because he’s obedient. The unfortunate opposite of that thought is that God doesn’t love him when he’s disobedient, which is absolutely not true. So we had a little chat about that.
I have a lovely story for your family that communicates this truth in such a kid-friendly way. In “Audrey Bunny” by Angie Smith, a little stuffed bunny spends her whole life trying to cover up a little mark over her heart. She covers herself with a towels and blankets when Caroline isn’t looking, deeply ashamed of being different. It’s not until the end that this little stuffed bunny realizes that Caroline chose her BECAUSE of the mark on her fur, not in spite of it.
Prepare to get a little choked up when you read the words Caroline speaks as she nestles Audrey Bunny close to her heart:
“I chose you Audrey, and I love you more than you could ever know.”
It’s a beautiful message for both parents and kids. There are also some good, kid-friendly and thought-provoking questions at the end, as well as a sweet activity that will help bring the message home for your kids.
They are loved.
You can find this book, “Audrey Bunny” by Angie Smith on Amazon or at your local library!
If you love the books I suggest, I’ll send you my free list of the 10 best Christian picture books. Click here to get the list.
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** If you know which blog post it was that spurred this idea, please tell me! The author talked about it in terms of human relationships and drew a parallel to our relationship with God.
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