‘NOBODY LOVES ME!” These words burst forth from my three-year-old daughter as she slammed the bathroom door – a response to both of her parents telling her repeatedly it was time to go potty and then take a nap. I immediately opened the bathroom door and pulled her onto my lap.
“Hannah, what does the Bible say,” I gently prodded. “Thou shalt not. . .”
“Lie,” she responded mournfully. “But I didn’t lie.”
“Yes, you did, Honey. You just lied to yourself. When you say that ‘nobody loves you,’ you were telling yourself a lie. The Bible doesn’t say that we just aren’t supposed to lie to Mommy and Daddy. We aren’t supposed to lie. Period. You know that Mommy and Daddy love you, don’t you?”
“Yes, Mommy,” Hannah replied, a smile beginning to stretch across her sweet face. “I love you, too.”
I am currently reading Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, and I am amazed with how Satan is already trying to trick my young daughter into believing the lies. She is already fighting the lie that nobody loves her when she does something wrong! She is already fighting the lie that tells her that she is not beautiful! She is already fighting the lie that God is not enough!
According to DeMoss, “The world’s deceptive way of thinking comes to us through so many avenues – television, magazines, movies, music, friends, malls, and catalogs, to name a few. A steady diet of these worldly influences will shape our view of what is valuable, what is beautiful, and what is important in life. There are no harmless lies. We cannot expose ourselves to the world’s false, deceptive way of thinking and come out unscathed. Eve’s first mistake was not eating the fruit; her first mistake was listening to the Serpent” (p. 38).
I stay at home with my children, so the world hasn’t been able to get a stranglehold on them just yet. But here is my three-year-old, listening to what Satan is whispering to her! How did he get in here anyway?! Nobody invited him into this house!
It is in these moments that I am reminded what Paul wrote to the Ephesians – “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12).
Satan is on the warpath for our children! He is sneaking in through the cracks, grabbing for them with his claws sinking in as he tells them that they aren’t good enough to be loved, that they don’t have the things that their friends have, that God could never possibly love someone like them!
As I am searching for the lies I have believed myself, I am becoming more aware of the lies that could potentially harm Hannah and Ephraim. As the middle child, I have often believed the lie that no one loves me, and I am greatly discouraged to see Hannah heading into that lie herself.
The truth is that of course we’re not good enough to be loved! But that isn’t really the point, is it? We are all sinners in need of a loving God, and He loves us whether we choose to love Him or not! I John 4:9-10 reminds us, “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
Since I read Ann Voskamp’s book, 1000 Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, I have been challenged to look at the ways that God shows His love. This seems to have become my New Year’s resolution this year, even though I never sought it out in the first place. I quoted her before, but this seems to be the truth that I am trying to grasp this year, so I believe it bears repeating as I strive to teach Hannah to believe the Truth and not the Lie.
“God is always good, and I am always loved.” – Ann Voskamp