Loving God and Loving Others

by Jamie Ivey December 11, 2023
“And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.” Luke 2:51-52 (ESV)

I have been parenting children for almost two decades. Over the years, I have treasured many memories and moments from my kids’ lives. I can recall moments when I could hardly believe I was the one God chose to be their parent. Moments of absolute joy and pride that God would allow me to see them as no one else sees them.

My heart’s desire has always been the same for my kids — for them to love God and love others. I’m convinced that everything else will fall into place.

Motherhood is nearly universal in this way. Many moms want to watch their kids mature and grow into adults who love God and love people. I’ve had the unique honor of meeting women around the world who speak different languages, work different jobs, and have different financial circumstances yet still want the same thing for their children. And of course Mary the mother of Jesus wanted the best for her son. I imagine her praying and yearning for Jesus’ well-being.

A few years ago, I traveled to a small village outside of Mexico City with Compassion International and met 3-year-old Mia and her sweet mother at their local church. Mia was receiving medical care, and her momma was getting spiritual, emotional and physical care.

As I sat across the table from this mom whose life looked completely different than mine, I remembered what Mary the mother of Jesus witnessed in her son’s development — “Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52) — and I had no doubt that Mia’s mother desired that as well. She wanted the same things for her daughter that I desired for mine and that you desire for yours.

Mia's mom and I stumbled our way through communicating through a translator. My high school Spanish didn’t hold up too well, but as we spoke, we smiled at each other with a sparkle in our eyes as we talked about our kids. You see, loving our kids and wanting the best for them is universal. It translates into every language and every culture.

As moms from completely different parts of the world, we connected in Mexico City over the fact that we both wanted the same things for our kids. We wanted them to flourish, find a loving relationship with Jesus, and make a difference in the world. If you’re a mom or someone who has children in your life, you probably want these things too. Taking these desires to the Lord in prayer is a powerful way we can intercede for our children. And we can show our kids how to pray for other children and families around the world.

It has been my absolute honor to partner with Compassion International through the years. This partnership allows parents to have confidence that their kids are getting the best care possible, and that’s what love looks like.

I’m hopeful that as I lean into my church community and Mia’s family leans into hers, we will experience the beautiful transformation of our kids growing to love God and love people more.

God, thank You for the example of Jesus growing up into a man who had favor with You and with the people around Him. Your love for us pushes us toward loving those around us even more — the people in our homes and the people around the world. Would You help us remember the mommas around the world and find ways to link arms together as we raise children? In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Please join us in partnering with moms around the world who want to see their children grow in the love and knowledge of Jesus. Consider sponsoring a child through Compassion. You can find out more here!

When you become a sponsor, Compassion will send you a copy of 40 Days Through the Bible as a token of our thanks for investing in the life of a child!



Connect with today’s devotion writer, Jamie Ivey, on Instagram or at her website!

Therapy & Theology with Lysa TerKeurst is back! Tune in now to hear brand-new episodes from Lysa; Licensed Professional Counselor Jim Cress; and Proverbs 31 Ministries' Director of Theological Research, Dr. Joel Muddamalle. Together, they'll tackle some really hard topics, but you’ll soon find they're just three friends having a great conversation and learning from each other along the way. Start listening here!


Luke 2:40, “And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him” (ESV).

How can you support moms around the world in their parenting journeys? Share with us in the comments!

© 2023 by Jamie Ivey. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Compassion for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

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