“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39
When I was in elementary school, the first line to a popular playground song was: “Nobody likes me. Everybody hates me. Guess I’ll go eat worms.” It’s not uncommon for children to express the feeling that nobody loves them. Bullies might tease them. They might have received a bad grade instead of a gold star. A child might feel that a parent is too busy to talk. Without positive feedback, children might feel as though they don’t matter.
Hearing our children say, “Nobody loves me” causes us to feel concerned. We want to dig deeper into their feelings of being unloved to find out what the cause is and how we can help them. We need to assure them that we and other family and friends do indeed love them. God has placed us in each other’s lives to give comfort, lend support, and be present, especially during a tough time. We are called children of God, but sometimes we forget everything that God has done for us. Sometimes we need to be reassured of God’s love, too, so that we don’t stay feeling sorry for ourselves and think that we would rather eat worms than remember how much God loves us.
Here are some ways to remind your children that God always loves them:
Be like the apostle Paul in Ephesians 3:16-19 and pray that your children will “grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” Teach them how to pray by starting with simple and easy to memorize prayers. Work together to memorize the Lord’s Prayer, a model taught by Jesus to show how we should pray. Remind your children that they are children of God (1 John 3:1). Wherever they go, God is always present and watching over them.
Children need to consistently hear of your love and God’s love so they develop the assurance that they are always loved by you and by God, no matter what. Figure out your children’s “love language.” Do they want to hear you say, “I love you,” or would they prefer to spend time with you doing a special activity? Maybe they need a hug after a long day, or would appreciate having help with their homework. Giving a small gift or souvenir after you have been gone can also be a way to show your children that you love them. You might also talk about the gifts that God has given them, like their good health or special talents.
If things get to be too much, don’t be afraid to seek professional help for yourself or your children. Talk to your pastor or a school guidance counselor for a list of names and references. Just being able to talk through big feelings with a professional can be very helpful.
Just like us, our kids need to be reminded that they are loved. May these scriptures and ideas spark creative ways for you to clearly express how much they're loved by both God and you!
Want to do a deep dive? Check out Family Fire's article Finding Immanuel: Our God Who Longs to Draw Close