My son Kellus is three years old and is the most affectionate person I know. His little hugs, soft touches, and tickles come at my most lonely and vulnerable times — sometimes. I mean, I could be sitting on the couch, finally, after having chased him and his little sister Kerissa from playing so rough with each other while I’m thinking, “Finally, a couple seconds of a break,” and then he comes trotting on by. “Oh, Mama!” he says with big brown eyes and a wide grin, while he rests his head on my lap and extends his arms to touch my face. By his look, I know he’s ready to tickle or cuddle with me.

I admit, there are times when my first thoughts are, “Please back up and give Mommy some space.” I feel terrible when those thoughts penetrate my mind. But I realize that when you were raised in a loving but not a very affectionate home, it makes accepting affection from someone else a little challenging.

I used to be afraid that I wouldn’t love my children the way God wanted me to. I used to think that I’d be too busy trying to train them up in the way they should go, according to Proverbs 22:6, and that between training my children, cleaning, cooking, and being a wife, real tender love and affection would end up missing. Sure, hugs here and kisses there. But I was terrified that I didn’t know how to give them that true genuine embrace.

Although those thoughts ran my mind near insane when I was pregnant with my son, I had no idea that this was a lesson I’d learn once he was here.

You see, God has funny ways of showing us such valuable lessons through motherhood. In a child’s mind, the simplest hug, embrace, or even tickle means the world to them. And do you know what that hug, embrace, and tickle also means? No stress. It is the funniest thing in the world when my son approaches me with such affection. It is almost always typically right on time. And many times I have shed quite a few tears, only to whisper to him and Jesus a thank you. It’s during the moments I feel like I don’t want to be bothered when I need it the most.

Toddlers crave attention. All of us mothers know this. But one thing they are also really good at is displaying the affection that God has for us, too. God’s love never fails, and He has the cutest ways of showing it to us. What I’ve learned from this is to always embrace my son’s love — every hug, kiss, and tickle. My prayer is that I would always demonstrate that same motherly love and affection back to him, especially because he needs it so much in our world today. We’re instructed to train our children properly, and a part of that training is showing them how to love others the same way God loves us!

Can we pray for you? How can we help you with your MomLife?