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3 Aspects Of Parenting With Love

With Valentine’s Day coming up and all the pretty cards and sweet gifts adorning the store shelves, love can so easily be a word we associate primarily with warm feelings, affection, and romantic gestures. But recently I have been considering the other side of love: the fierce strength of a commitment to sacrifice, provide, and endure for another.

In terms of parenting, I have come to know that loving my children means making hard decisions for them, which can be hard for me too! Loving my children can mean taking a more challenging, time-consuming route for their future wellbeing. Here are 3 aspects of love I have been convicted about:

1) Love is not afraid to discipline.
Discipline has had its turn at bearing negative stigma, but Proverbs 3:11-12 says, “My child, don’t reject the LORD ’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you. For the LORD corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.”

Knowing God shows His deep care for me through loving discipline helps me when I need to implement it in my home. Of course, disciplining your child appropriately needs to be motivated by love, just as it is with God – by a desire to see them grow and learn from their mistakes and to prepare them for whatever they may encounter in the future. 

2) Love sets and (and maintains) clear boundaries.
Going hand in hand with discipline is the idea of creating boundaries for our children. I believe giving clear expectations early on for our kids helps them immensely in setting them up for success in our relationship with them.

Without boundaries, our kids may temporarily feel free, but boundaries give much needed predictability and stability, especially when life gets messy and complicated.

3) Love needs to be well modeled.
Anyone else get surprised by little copycats in their home? I have often heard my kids say something I say repeatedly or seen one of my mannerisms so clearly replicated it is quite unnerving! It has made me very aware of what else they are or will be mirroring.

I’ve been looking specifically at my interactions with my husband. After all, from whom else are they learning firsthand how to handle what will be their most important human relationship? My husband and I constantly remind ourselves to watch our words, actions, and conflict resolution, not only for the health of our own marital relationship, but also for our kids’ future ones!

Let’s not forget that love is more than hugs and cuddles for our kids. It is also about doing the hard stuff for their benefit, just as God shows us through directing us, guiding us, and providing us with the ultimate example of love with Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.


  • Colienne Sanderson

    Colienne and her husband, Dan, moved to California from South Africa in 2017. They have since had two children - a creative and fun-loving girl and an affectionate and energetic boy who are constantly teaching them about themselves, God, and parenting. A high school teacher in her pre-mom life, Colienne is now a Childcare Leader at Saddleback Church and enjoys reading, running, and going on adventures with her family.

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