We love because He first loved us. John 4:19

A precious young mom I know recently shared a story about a wonderful bedtime ritual that a father practices with his young daughter. I loved this idea and want to share it with you.
Every evening at bedtime, a father asks his little daughter, “Do I love you because you’re pretty?”
The daughter answers, “No.”
Then the father asks, “Do I love you because you’re smart?”
Again the daughter answers, “No.”
Finally, the father asks, “Do I love you because you’re a good dancer?”
The daughter answers, “No.”
The father says, “That’s right. Why do I love you? I love you just because you’re my daughter.”
What a terrific way to teach our children about God’s unconditional love and grace! God’s love is first revealed to our children through the love we show them. They learn that they are loved by experiencing love given by parents, grandparents and other important adults. But what makes this Dad’s bedtime routine even more special is that he makes sure that his daughter understands that the love he has for her is not because of anything she does. It is not because of her appearance, intelligence, skills or good works. He loves her because he is her father – and God loves us because we are His children! This is such an important lesson for our kids to receive.
I will always remember a little girl who first learned about God’s unconditional love at VBS. She was so moved when she learned that Jesus knows her personally and unconditionally. She cried and shook her head in disbelief. She was overwhelmed, amazed and a little skeptical that Jesus could really love her no matter what she did! He could really love her no matter how naughty she was! Wow! Tears come to my eyes every time I recall the profound presence of God’s love that this little girl experienced that day.
So, when you tuck your kids in bed tonight, consider starting a similar bedtime routine. Make it personal for your kids. Whether your child plays baseball, swims, dances or makes straight A’s, ask if those are the reasons you love him. Use this special quiet time with your child to teach him that you love him because his is your child – and that God loves him because He is our Father in heaven.
A big “Thank You” to Alexa Dick for inspiring this week’s post. I look forward to hearing from you, too. Let me know your thoughts about topics for future discussions.

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