Over the last month or so, this has grown little by little into a ritual when I realized as I talked to Rinah (age 5) and Valor (almost 4) and was horrified when they thought I didn’t love them anymore when they were misbehaving or when I lost my temper and yelled at them.
Even if I didn’t think it was a big deal to snap at them or yell at them after telling them the same thing 10 or 20 times, they would get hurt if I did and I would often be too stressed out or overwhelmed to notice. Generally, poop on the floor or a baby trying to run out to the street would take precedence and I didn’t pay as much attention to them as they needed.
Recently, as I listened to them tell me, sobbing, how afraid they were that I didn’t love them unless they were good, I remembered I felt the exact same way growing up and I spent a lot of time scared and worried about the same thing. And when I was older, I worried about God’s love for me if my heart and actions weren’t perfect … and whose are?
So I started telling them this. Sometimes, when I’m yelling at one of the kids (I really need to stop that but I don’t know how), then another will pipe up from the sidelines, “Mama is yelling at you because you were bad but she still loves you.” And then I want to cry.
I love you when I’m happy.
I love you when I’m sad.
I love you when I’m angry.
I love you when I’m frustrated.
I love you when I’m laughing.
I love you when I’m crying.
I love you when I’m yelling.
I love you when I’m not yelling.
I will always love you.
I love you when you’re happy.
I love you when you’re sad.
I love you when you’re good.
I love you when you’re bad.
I love you when you’re quiet.
I love you when you’re loud.
I love you when you’re laughing.
I love you when you’re crying.
I love you when you’re awake.
I love you when you’re asleep.
I will always love you.
Do you know who loves you most of all?
God loves you most of all.
He sent Jesus to this earth as a little baby.
Jesus loves everybody.
Jesus died on the cross for you.
For you and for me and for everybody.
And then He resurrected from the dead.
Death could not keep Him because He defeated death.
And because Jesus defeated death, after we die
We will rise again and live with Him forever.
He is in Heaven now sitting at His Father’s right hand.
And He protects us all day and all night.
Jesus is always with you because Jesus is everywhere.
He is in front of you, and behind you, and beside you,
And above you, and below you.
God loves you so much He sent His Holy Spirit to live with us always.
And someday, we will all be together in heaven forever.