There has been a joke among our family (started by Opa and my son) that Daddy drives too fast. That he drives like he is in a race car. And like many jokes, there is some truth to it! Last weekend, while in the Jeep with the whole family, my son was being his usual loud self. (Yes, for all of you who know him, he is VERY loud around us!) He was being loud about how Daddy was driving like a race car and going to fast. I think the noise and everything was getting to Daddy and he, over the noise and jokes in the vehicle, told everyone to stop talking. And everyone did—probably more out of shock than because anyone was listening to him. After a moment, Daddy told my son that he was sorry for using his loud voice. Then he asked my son, "Do you know that I still love you?" My son said yes right away. Daddy asked, "How do you know?" My son answered, "Because you said so."
I had to smile at that. . .
Then Daddy asked, "Do you love me?" My son answered yes. And it was quiet for a while, until my son piped up again, "I love you because you said you loved me first, Daddy."
I had to smile even more at that!
I wonder how we would answer if someone posed the question to us: "How do you know you love someone or that someone loves you? Perhaps your husband? Your mom? Your kids? What about God?"
I suspect we might get tied up on the reasons, the love languages, and the ins and outs of our daily lives with the person we are talking about. But like the children's song says, "Jesus loves me, this I know, For the Bible tells me so." I am constantly humbled by the child-like faith of my son. It was that easy for him to say, "Daddy, I know you love me because you said so." He didn't need any long explanations or proof or examples and verses to back up every detail. He simply trusted. And when he wanted to give a reason for loving, I heard the words of 1 John 4:19 being echoed. "We love because He first loved us."
1 John 3 and 4 speak a bunch about God's love. A "note" in my Study Bible said that only those who are to some degree like him can truly know God. The Bible shows over and over again that God is love—through is words, actions, deeds—in his very essence. Creatures and humans are not capable of loving, except that God loved first and showed us how to love each other. I see the words of verse 16 come to life in the comments my son made, where it says, "And so we know and rely on the love God has for us."
This week, I think I am going to just reflect on the simple truth that God loves me—He told me He loved me. And I can rest in His love because He loved me first . . . and always. This week I will savour the simple words of the song my kids love to sing most at bedtime. "Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so."