Before bedtime a few weeks ago, my 7-year-old daughter Rebekah looked me in the eyes and asked,
“Mom, but… who created God?”
Nighttime is always the perfect opportunity for theological questions and vulnerability from our kids.
“That’s a good question.” I said. “No one created Him. He has always been. He was here before everything.”
“You mean, he always existed?” her eyes grew wide.
“You got it. It’s amazing isn’t it?”
She paused for a minute.
“And, do you know how much he loves you?” I asked.
“Yeah … I think…” she looked up at the ceiling.
“He loves you so, so much- way beyond the moon,” I said.
“Can we read Princess Snowbelle now?” she flips open the first page.
I realize how “I think I know how much God loves me” is an honest answer. It’s difficult to understand. Not only is it unfathomable to think about God always being here before the foundations of the earth, but His love has, too.
When I look at the canvas print on her wall showcasing the moment when she and her sister chopped their hair secretively in the kitchen one slow summer afternoon. God knew every strand cut then. He knows every lock that’s grown out. I observe her physical changes and how her face has matured since that photo. I think about how God knit and fashioned her in my womb and knew her before she was born.
Even though time is slipping away as I watch her permanent teeth grow in, her favorite sparkly leggings shrink, and her maturity developing at a rapid speed, God’s love remains steadfast and unchanging for her even in the midst of my imperfect motherly love.
There are many things I want to teach my daughter that it can be overwhelming. But perhaps I’ve made it more complicated than it should. There’s really only one thing that matters most in her life and it comes from Ephesians 3:17-19:
“… And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
My daughter, I want you to know this about God’s love:
“Be rooted and established in love …” (vs. 17)
May you know this love intimately from your Creator and heavenly Father. Be rooted in love, like a tree planted by streams of living water that never grows thirsty or dry but is constantly a source of life, growth, and blessing. I pray your life will be grounded on God’s overflowing love because everything you do springs forth from that.
“Grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ…” (vs. 18)
You can trust in God’s love because he proved it by sending Jesus to save you from every sin, bad word, wrong behavior, offensive action, or thought. In Christ, you have the power to grasp this love and to believe it personally. His death on the cross and resurrection proved this love and that he is indeed King forever and in fact King and rescuer of your heart.
“Know this love that surpasses knowledge…” (vs. 19)
You can depend on him to love you like no other earthly daddy, mommy, or man ever could because love is who he is. His love isn’t broken, half-hearted, or lukewarm. His love for you is perfect, complete, and a consuming fire. No person can even compare to him.
Even though human relationships will inevitably let you down and cause you pain at times, Jesus won’t. His love surpasses human knowledge or wisdom because it is from above – it’s not of this world. It goes beyond the mind and into the heart. You don’t have to be on a chase to find an earthly love to satisfy what only God can.
“That you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God …” (vs. 19)
There’s so much the world wants to pour into your heart from a young age: the desire to be beautiful, popular, accepted, noticed, followed, liked, and treasured. I pray you’ll experience the fullness of God being near to your heart. He is the source of your joy, satisfaction, and happiness. Live for him and not the short-lived approval of your peers. Grab hold of how good and wonderful He is. He will show himself to you.
Because of his deep love for you, love Jesus in return by worshipping him with every ounce of your being. You were made to glorify him and enjoy him forever.
May our daughters grasp this love and believe it their whole life. May God’s kindness draw them in as it did for us (Romans 2:4). As mothers, may we tangibly display this love in their life with God’s continual help and guidance.
Rebekah’s eyes are glazed over after reading about princess friendship in Frostovia. I close the book, say prayers, and kiss her goodnight. She peeks out her window and sees the light shining in from the moon.
“God is watching over me. Goodnight, Mommy.”
Samantha Krieger is a pastor’s wife, mother to four, and writer in rural Colorado. She’s the author of Quiet Time: A 30-day Devotional Retreat for Moms in the Trenches. To read more from Samantha, visit her blog: www.samanthakrieger.com