As the covers are drawn, she nestles in, a sweet kiss to the forehead and a stroke of her cheek, ‘Florrie, God made you and he made you good.’
This is how we end each bedtime, the same words spoken in the same way, regardless of how that day panned out. Even if she is kicking and screaming, pinching at our arms as we speak, it’s always the same message, little one, you are good.
We heard an incredible woman, Danielle Strickland, speak at conference last summer and she explained that every night she would tell her son that God made him and he made him good. It hit me like a tonne of bricks that day. Children are brought up in a world that constantly tells them they aren’t good enough, friends, media, school. It breaks my heart, the thought of Florence entering into an educational system thats puts so much pressure on our young people that they crumble, Not all of them I know, but my 7 years of youth work tells true stories of the horrifying reality of our kids believing they aren’t good enough, that they can’t keep up with the A grades expected of them. Even as parents we run the risk of failing our babies, of speaking negative words over them in the throws of discipline or applying too much pressure to succeed. I get thoroughly overwhelmed by trying to figure out how to raise a pleasant, well behaved child without ranting and raving so hard they adopt the mantle of ‘naughty’ for life.
I’m proceeding with caution, the best way I know how, with a foundation of unconditional love. My children need to know they are good. It is fundamental. With great urgency and frequency I will tell them time and time again that they are good. They may do naughty things sometimes, but they are not naughty, they are good. But more than that, they were made good. Baby girl, you are not some biological bi-product, you were longed for, planned and wanted. God made you and he made you good. Every finite part of wonderful you was planned out, designed in glorious detail. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, so delicate and precious the maker was almost fearful, crafting something so intricate and of inexplicable value that it’s almost too much to handle. Every mother growing their babe inside of them feels that weight of responsibility too, they have the most precious cargo they’ve ever held. But you also feel that miracle, there is more going on in that womb than is comprehendible to us here on earth, a miracle of life is happening. I need my children to know that, they are not just the biological sum of x and y chromosomes, they have been unfathomably designed with beauty and care by the author of creation. I’d call that good.
You may not be the best athlete, you may bite out of anger or fail your GCSEs, but you are so so good, fundamentally, at the core of your very being, inside and out, you are good.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
Little one, you are good.