I’ve been trying to let my love show, but I realize that I often miss a whole lot of opportunities. It’s easy to let my love show around my grandkids, after all, I can visit and go home to a quiet, peaceful house afterwards – too quiet sometimes, but that’s a story for another blog.. Sometimes though, showing love is not so easy. What can I do when it’s not easy? How can I show love to those extra-grace-required people? I know I should ask God for help because I sure need it, but I often resort to complaining instead of loving when faced with difficult people.
I know that God loves me and that’s the basis for love for sure! I’m so thankful for His love and grace each day. so how do I go about showing it? Yes, I try to spend time reading my Bible daily and I do pray, albeit sometimes it’s a hurried “Bless this day!” type of prayer as I’m logging onto my computer. At least I’m trying – right? What would happen if I woke up 5 minutes earlier and spent just those first few minutes everyday in prayer? Just 5 minutes to say thank you to God and invite Him into my day? Would I find more grace to love others?
When I pause to think, I have much to be thankful for. God has blessed me in so many ways. Even in those not-so-good moments, God’s love has always been there for me. His presence has carried me through many struggles. Okay, maybe I will take just 5 minutes and spend that time focusing on God, praising Him and talking to Him as my best friend.
But what about people? How can I love people? Can I be God’s hands and feet to the people in this world? First I’m going to start by slowing my pace and appreciating the people God has put in my life beginning with my family. Why is it that my family are the ones I find easiest to ignore especially when I’m in the middle of a project? Could I not take just 5 minutes to stop and listen to what they are saying? Do I remember to say, “Thank you!” for the times they have helped me? And instead of responding in frustration when I’m interrupted, what if I remembered God’s patience and love towards me and responded with love to them?
Is my love showing when I allow my frustrations to get the best of me? Is my love showing when I complain instead of give thanks? Is my love showing when I get too focused on myself and my agenda forgetting about others? How can I love God and people?
I can love when I take a moment to remember how much God loves me, breathe a prayer, and allow God’s love to shine through me. Will it be easy? Maybe not, but with God’s help I’m going to try. I’m starting with my family and letting it spread from there.
Is your love showing? How can you let it show? Loving God and loving people is the most important things we will ever do. Let’s make sure we put showing love at the top of our daily priority list because nothing else really matters.
When my heart is full of so many cares and concerns, remind me to walk slow. Remind me God, that loving you and loving people is what really matters. When I’m tempted to walk away instead of stopping to speak an encouraging word, when I find it hard to love someone because they require extra grace, when loving is not easy; help me to remember how much you love me and to extend your love and grace to others. Amen
HELPING OUR KIDS LEARN COMPASSION
* Be the example of compassion yourself. Show compassion to your child and others. Your kids will catch it.
* Talk about showing compassion and ways of showing compassion. When your child hurts someone else whether purposely or not, encourage your child to show compassion. Encourage him/her to say to the friend, “Sorry you got hurt.” If your child purposely hurts someone else, draw attention to how the other person is feeling. “Look! Sammy is crying. How do you think he feels? He is sad because he got hurt.” Encourage your child to follow his empathy up with an apology and a hug. (Or elbow bump if you are following social distancing.)
* Pray for other children that your child might be struggling with. Your child does not have to play with someone who isn’t nice to him/her, someone who is bullying; but he/she can pray for that person and can try to treat the bully with respect. Try to understand why the other person is treating your child so poorly and do talk with the parent or teacher if you can. Do let your child know he/she can stay away from a child that is bullying.
* Empathy is really being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand his/her feelings. Believe in your child. Believe they have the ability to show empathy and chances are they will. Praise your child when he/she shows empathy.
* Compassion starts with learning simple manners that help us cooperate kindly with others. Saying “Please”, “Thank you!”, and “I’m sorry.” are good ways to begin showing kindness which is really the basis for compassion.
* Help someone else. That’s what compassion is all about loving and helping others. Being aware of others and their needs, not just yourself. Do something with your child that shows compassion. It can be something as simple as helping a neighbor, baking cookies for a friend or writing a note to someone who needs a friend – include a picture from your child.
* If you are not sure what to do, think of what you would want someone to do for you if you were in his/her situation, then do it. Chances are you will be right on the mark.
Things To Do With Your Child
SHARE A STORY – Jesus Teaches What’s Important – Mark 12:28-31
One day when Jesus was teaching, one of the teachers asked Jesus, “Which is the most important commandment of all? A commandment is something very important that God tells us to do. What do you think Jesus told the teacher? (Give your child a chance to answer. May wish to ask what he/she thinks is important.)
Jesus gave a very good answer. Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, (Put hands on heart.) all your soul, all your mind, (Point to forehead.) and all your strength. (Show muscles.) And love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Jesus said we should love God and love people. That is the most important thing we will ever do.
What do you think it means to love God and love others? (Give your child a chance to respond.) Loving God means that we talk to Him, listen to what the Bible says and obey Him. Loving God means that we love His son, Jesus too. Loving people means that we love our families, our friends and people around the world. How can we show love? We can show love by sharing, giving and praying for others. Can you think of some other ways of loving God and people? (Welcoming Jesus to be our friend forever. Asking God to forgive us and help us live for Him… Helping others. Encourage your child to come up with his/her own answers.)
Jesus wants us to love God and love others with everything we are. That’s a tough assignment, but with God’s help, you can do it. You can love others because God loves you always and forever.
Simple Word Definitions
Heart – Feelings
Soul – The part of you that you cannot see that makes you, you (your personality)
Mind – what we think with
Strength – muscles, what we can do with our bodies
Thank you for loving me. Help me to love you and love others with all my heart. Amen
MEMORIZE Ps. 119:105 NIrV – (Hold hands open.)
Your Word – (Hold hands open as above.)
Is like a lamp – (Clap hands.)
That shows me the way. – (Walk in place.)
THE MAIN IDEA IS ….
TO KNOW: The Bible tells me what’s important.
TO TALK ABOUT: Learning from Jesus.
TO ASK: What did Jesus say? Love God and love people.
AND TO DO WITH YOUR CHILD: Love God, pray and share by using the below fun ideas.
FUN IDEAS FOR THIS WEEK ….
* In preparation for Valentine’s day, decorate with hearts. Hide some hearts with little notes on them for your child to find.
* What is one loving thing you can do for your family this week? Fix a favorite meal, bake cookies or do something fun together such as play a game. Put your heads together with your child and then do the loving thing that you and your child pick. Of course, a hug and simple, “I love you!” is always nice too.