“I love you. I am for you. I enjoy you”
This powerful phrase comes from my husband’s mouth often as he speaks to our children.
I hadn’t realized the weight of the words until he first directed them at me. There was something to it. I am loved. This I know, but one can never hear it enough. Someone is for me, really cares, works for my best. And maybe the most striking of all – I am enjoyed, even when I don’t feel enjoyable. To believe that my husband, and not to mention God, enjoys me was… profound.
I’ve started saying it too with our little ones and the response is amazing. It is particularly effective in moments of disobedience or discipline. In that instant when our children feel most rebellious or want nothing to do with us they hear these words. I love you. I am for you. I enjoy you.
We say it in our home because it reflects the truth of God. Without sending a deep theological lesson over the heads of our very young children, we’re able to teach and tangibly show them (though imperfectly) a glimpse of the love their Heavenly Father gives. As children of God, because of what Jesus did in taking the punishment for our sin on the cross, a whole new existence is made possible. We are loved by God. He is for us. And he enjoys us. Let it sink in.
When we ask our sons to do something, to obey when they don’t feel like it, we look them in their eyes and remind them of these three things. We have them repeat it, believe it.
Trust is made easier for them, and for us. They are loved, there is someone for them, and they are enjoyed.
And so are we.
For further reading…
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Romans 8:32
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17