Charles Spurgeon writes in his book, Come Ye Children: “The things that are essential to salvation are so exceedingly simple that no child need sit down in despair of understanding the things which make for his peace. Christ crucified is not a riddle for sages, but a plain truth for plain people: true, it is meat for men, but it is also milk for babes.”
The first sentence of Scripture—“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth”—is essential to the gospel story. It tells us that the world is not the result of chance but the direct, authoritative, and creative work of God. God places His image on a man and a woman and calls them to display His nature and holiness—this is the plan of God. And a clear understanding of that plan from creation helps our children to see the full arc of the gospel story.
Love Made: A Story of God’s Overflowing, Creative Heart by Quina Aragon is rich milk for young babes (and their parents)! I’m excited to chat with Quina today and hope that you are encouraged by the conversation!
Nana Dolce: Quina, thank you so much for your time in conversation. I’m excited to know you a little better. Please tell readers about yourself. Who are you? Where do you live? Who do you love? And what do you do?
Quina Aragon: Thank you for having me! I’m a writer who sometimes performs spoken word poetry and sometimes copy edits. I’m a wife to Jon and mother to Jael Sofia. We live in Tampa, FL and are the small group ministry leaders at Living Faith Bible Fellowship. My husband is a web developer, designer, and creative director. We both take on various creative projects and sometimes have the privilege of working together on projects. I love the beach, ripe mangoes, and Christopher Nolan movies.
ND: Thank you! I enjoyed Love Made. The book is special for many reasons, among which is this: it retells the creation story from a perspective we don’t often show children (or adults for that matter). Love Made doesn’t rush immediately into the days of creation but allows readers to linger on the truth of God’s eternal self-sufficiency and complete joy before creation! Why this emphasis? What benefit is there in helping children see a picture of God before His creation of the world?
QA: Thank you! I think the benefit of lingering on the inter-Trinitarian joy of God pre-creation is that this helps us see more than the power of God in the act of creation. It helps us see that God has forever existed in a perfectly unified community of love. Understanding this helps us to know that God is self-sufficient. He didn’t create everything because He was lonely. He created us because He wants us to partake in His eternal joy. I think children need to know this primarily because it is true of God, but also because it helps them know that God made them from an overflowing heart of love.
NA: Yes indeed! Love Made is a beautifully illustrated book filled with rhyming stanzas that teach solid theology. It talks about the stars, the plants, and the animals at creation but more than that, it shows us attributes of God. This line captured my attention: “Can you imagine the happiness God felt to see all that He made out of love, not out of need?” This line, in many ways, shows the aseity of God—His independence and complete self-sufficiency. How can we grow as parents and teachers in using simple language and pictures to teach big truths to kids?
QA: Yes! They say you don’t really understand a subject until you can explain it to a child. I think there’s some truth to that. One way we can grow in breaking down weighty theological truths is by reading Christian children’s literature and by working through children’s curriculum for Sunday school. A book that greatly impacted me way before I became a mom was The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones. I recommend that book to singles, married folk, parents, and non-parents. A curriculum that greatly impacted me as I taught a Sunday school class for 4-6 year olds was the Desiring God Attributes of God Sunday school curriculum. One attribute that curriculum covered was the Happiness of God, which stuck with me years later when I wrote Love Made.
ND: Love Made is helpful for another reason: it teaches the creation story with an eye on the Trinity. You write this: “The Father loving the Son and the Son right back, the Spirit rejoicing in it all, a perfect love union forever intact. And now all that He made in six days was an overflow of that.” We don’t often teach Genesis 1 in Trinitarian terms. What made you do so?
QA: Years ago I was sitting on my bed listening to a John Piper sermon (I can’t remember the name of the sermon now). In the sermon, he spoke about the Trinitarian joy of God and how that related to creation. I had never thought about creation as an act of God’s overflowing love. That really stuck with me, and it honestly just made me love and enjoy God more. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I was praying and thanking God for the privilege of being a mom. In my prayer, the connection between God’s Trinitarian joy and creation really hit me as sort of parallel to the joy of marriage overflowing into the creation of a baby. So after I prayed, I wrote a poem to my unborn daughter trying to explain to her the character of God while also expressing our joy in her.
ND: Beautiful! Your book is a poem that celebrates the dignity of human life. I love the way it ends! Children apply what they’ve just heard to themselves through questions and answers. You ask: “Daddy and I know what it’s like to love so much that...someone new became true…..Do you know who that someone might be?” Some insist that humanity is a “cosmic accident.” How might your book counter this idea for a child? And can the ending also apply to an adopted child, not biologically conceived by his or her parent?
QA: Love Made certainly counters the idea that we are cosmic accidents. The book tells us that we were intentionally created by a God who is love. This means that no matter our family of origin, no matter our parents’ failures, no matter our abilities and limitations, we were each created by God out of love. This helps parents of biological and adopted children to center their children’s identity on being loved by God and loved by their (biological and/or adoptive) parent.
ND: Quina, thank you for your time and for your work! As we leave, can I ask you how God has used this book as a means of sanctification in your own heart? And what is your prayer for families, teachers, and kids as they read Love Made?
QA: Honestly, the primary way God has used Love Made in my own sanctification is by making me more in awe of Him. Knowing about the Triune nature of God, the joy of God, the love of God, and the creativity of God, makes my heart explode with gratitude and joy. That joy in Him helps me choose His way because I know He’s just so much better than anything else.
My prayer for adults and children alike, is that they will grasp the great love of God expressed in this book. And that grasping that great love, they will long to know God more. I pray that this book helps center our identities on being loved by God.
Quina Aragon is an author and spoken word artist who resides in Tampa, FL with her husband and three-year-old daughter. Her articles, poems, and spoken word videos have been featured on The Gospel Coalition, Risen Motherhood, Journey Women, Fathom Mag, and The Witness: BCC. She blogs at her website QuinaAragon.com . Quina’s first children’s book, Love Made: A Story of God’s Overflowing, Creative Heart, is now available wherever books are sold.