“And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them” (Mark 10:16).
Do you remember when your baby was brand new? Remember how tightly that baby liked to be wrapped up? When my babies were tiny, my husband used to unwrap them, thinking they would enjoy being able to wave their arms and move about. Inevitably, they would start crying. Soon, he learned that babies derive security from being tightly wrapped.
As children grow, they continue to need the sense of security they get when we hold them. Even my son, who towers over me, still likes hugs from his mother.
Have you ever watched little girls playing with dolls? When they are in good moods, they hug the dolls closely. When they are in a bad mood or are angry at their toys, they fling them away.
In a child’s language, a hug means acceptance, love and security.
Jesus interacted physically with children. He communicated His love for them by holding them.
When I taught first grade and had children who struggled with learning to read, I would often hold them on my lap. It was surprising how much better they did. When I held them, they relaxed. They knew I loved them, and they did not try to impress me anymore. They no longer wondered if something was wrong with them because they had a difficult time learning to read. They felt accepted and did a much better job learning to read stories.
Jesus took children in His arms and blessed them. We too, need to hold the children we love.
Kimberly Snider is a missionary to the Philippines.
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Copyright (c) 2003 Women’s Ministries of the Assemblies of God.