February 27, 2023

Parental Love

Written by Boyd Bailey

In hard moments, it’s easy to miss or forget that the investment of time, love, and instruction pays off with the ultimate goal of bringing your child to Jesus.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 27, 2023

One day, some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him. Matthew 19:13

Parenting is hard. Hard to remain patient when chaos and crying are daily occurrences. Hard to know what to do…as each new circumstance does not seem to have a clear way forward. Hard because it’s easy for parental frustrations to cause conflict between a husband and wife. I remember being so exhausted from a packed calendar of kids’ activities that I even resented a weekend volleyball trip…I needed/wanted time to rest and regroup. Gratefully, with great difficulty can come great love and fulfillment…such is the fruit of parental love. In hard moments, it’s easy to miss or forget that the investment of time, love, and instruction pays off with the ultimate goal of bringing your child to Jesus. Hard helps us lean into the Lord’s love.

Matthew describes a beautiful yet awkward scene where loving parents bring their children to Jesus to be loved by Jesus…to bless their little ones, and pray for them. Perhaps feeling they needed to protect Jesus or that their space was being encroached on by needy people…the disciples pushed back on the parents. Jesus was never shy to call out foolishness and scolded the would-be “bodyguards of God!” Let the children come…their humility, purity, and trust are exactly the type of people who belong to the Kingdom of Heaven. The highest form of parental love is the intentional exposure of your children to environments that bring them to Jesus!

“But Jesus said, ‘Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.’ And he placed his hands on their heads and blessed them before he left” (Matthew 19:14-15).

Have you noticed that there seems to be a combination of unconditional and conditional love in parenting? Moms tend to naturally nurture children when they experience hurt feelings or physical pain…unconditional love. Dads tend to provide instruction…when a child falls off a scooter, for example, “Son, you were going too fast, and we talked about avoiding gravel spots.” This feels more like a conditional…corrective love. Both conditional and unconditional loves are necessary…but probably the healthiest is to lead with comfort (unconditional love), followed by correction (conditional love). Both types of love aim to lead a child to the love of Jesus. 

Keep pure love as your parental motivation, and the Holy Spirit will lead you to other parents who may be a few steps ahead in their healthy parenting. Learn from parental mentors who do not have all the answers but who are students of loving their children like they need to be loved and who are intentional in exposing their children to Jesus, i.e., church small groups. Worship with peers. Bible discussions at home. Church camps for students. Mission trips. Reward your child for scripture memory. Mainly, pray for your children to rest in their being beloved by God.


Heavenly Father, lead me in how to love my children with the compassion and love you have for me, through Christ’s love, and in Jesus’ name, amen.


Consider these discipleship resources that our adult children use with their younger children: Habits of the Household, Love Does: for Kids, Ask Me WhoOo

Related Reading

Genesis 37:3; 1 Samuel 1:5; Psalm 103:17; Proverbs 3:12; Titus 2:4

Worship Resource

Hillsong Worship (Children): What a Beautiful Name


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