Stinky Face theology: My response to a children’s book

I Love You, Stinky Face

by Lisa McCourt


At first glance—it’s not the kind of children’s book I’d typically choose, but choose it I did.



When Little Man was just a baby, I discovered the book and thought it would appeal to his Mommy. Now it also appeals to me—and my grandsons. Doesn’t it look well-loved?


If you don’t know the story, it begins like this…


The question? The little guy wanted to know if his Mama would still love him—if he were a big, scary ape!


Well, not only did Mama answer in the affirmative, but she said she’d bake his birthday cake out of bananas—if he were a big, scary ape!


Of course, in typical little boy fashion, Question #1 was followed by yet another …


“But Mama, but Mama, what if I were a super smelly skunk, and I smelled so bad that my name was Stinky Face?”



And his patient, loving Mama answered …


Perhaps the little boy’s imagination took over—or perhaps he simply didn’t want to go to bed. Either way, he asked more questions:


What if he were an alligator with big, sharp teeth … or a terrible, meat-eating dinosaur?


Mama’s answers included buying him a bigger toothbrush and looking inside his mouth if his throat hurt … and making a mountain of hamburgers to eat—making certain, of course, to say, “I love you, my sweet, terrible dinosaur!”


And the questions continued…



Mama said she would live by the swamp so she could take care of her slimy, swamp monster—and tell him, “I love you!”


And then the little boy wanted to know what Mama would do if he were a green alien from Mars—and ate bugs instead of peanut butter.


Mama said she’d fill his lunch box with tasty spiders and ants and bugs—and add a note that said, “I love you, little greenie. Bon appetit!”


And then the little boy asked what may have been the biggest question he could think of …




… to which Mama replied, “Then I would look right into your one eye and say, ‘I love you,’ and I would sing to you until your one droopy eyelid finally closed and you fell fast asleep.”




It didn’t happen the first time I read the story, but somewhere along the way, my thoughts moved beyond the love of a parent to the eternal love of God.


Have you ever been like the little boy in the story, wondering if there’s anything you can be—or do—that would keep God from loving you? Do you think you’ve already become that someone … or done that something? Are you feeling unloved—or unlovable—right now?


Please believe me… YOU ARE LOVED! There is nothing—NOTHING—you can do to keep your Creator from loving you. NOTHING.


Who then will condemn us? Will Christ? No! For he is the one who died for us and came back to life again for us and is sitting at the place of highest honor next to God, pleading for us there in heaven.


Who then can ever keep Christ’s love from us? When we have trouble or calamity, when we are hunted down or destroyed, is it because he doesn’t love us anymore? And if we are hungry or penniless or in danger or threatened with death, has God deserted us?


No, for the Scriptures tell us that for his sake we must be ready to face death at every moment of the day—we are like sheep awaiting slaughter; but despite all this, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us enough to die for us. For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels won’t, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God’s love away. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, or where we are—high above the sky, or in the deepest ocean—nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when he died for us.

Romans 8:34-39


I love you, too—and I want you to find encouragement here at My Place.

If you’re facing something you think is too big of a problem for God… think again! Why not stop right now and challenge Him?

  • Tell God about all of your mess, insecurity, fear, unbelief.
  • Ask Him to help you know how to start cleaning it up.
  • Ask Him to bring someone into your life (or help you recognize someone already there) who will give you wise counsel.
  • Thank God for loving you enough to listen to your most heartfelt pleas—and for already knowing your path out of the “muck” and into a place of peace.
  • Every day from now on, start the day asking God to help you trust Him.


Friends, we’re here to encourage each other. If you USED TO BE in a place where you felt unloved—or unlovable, won’t you please leave a comment to encourage someone else? Let’s offer Hope to someone who needs it today!


For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11


I’m joining Spiritual Sundays.



  1. What a friend we have in Jesus. And, what an incredible gift to be loved for who we are.

    Susan, I count you among my blessings. Rest assured I will share the smile you gifted me.

  2. What a mess I was when He found me. Oh, the love of our God.

    Wonderful reminders today. Thank you!