“We love one another, treating others with kindness, gentleness and respect.”
This is such a hard one! Or maybe it is just for my family…
We seem to be so polite, gentle, patient and respectful to others outside our family. My kids make me look like a brilliant mom among others. They are so kind and creative with little kids, and they are polite and mature with adults.
Don’t get me wrong: this is not an act.
My kids are genuinely giving and selflessly interact with little children, even when they’d rather be doing something else. They understand the struggle of parents with little ones (maybe after watching me crash and burn so many times!) and will go out of their way to give parents a chance to have time away with their spouses, time talking with other adults, or just a few hours of quiet time by themselves.
Just last night we got a call for a babysitting job. The couple wanted to go to a movie and needed a little time together. At first, all of the kids said, “no,” because they each were doing something. However, my youngest quickly called the couple back to let them know that she’d do it. When I asked why, she said that they probably needed time together and that she could do what she was doing some other time.
And as for adults, I never fear when my kids interact with someone older than them. For the record, this wasn’t always the case, but as they’ve matured, they’ve become great communicators and comfortably sit in their place of honoring authority (some more comfortably than others).
However, catch us on a bad (or even normal) day in our home, and it seems that we reserve the impatient, cranky, sarcastic, and short-tempered actions for each other.
There is rarely a day that I am not saying to one of my kids, “Did you treat your brother/sister with gentleness, kindness and respect?”
We ask the questions:
What are some ways to say “I love you” without speaking any words?
If love was glue, who/what would be stuck to you?
What are the most loving things you’ve ever done?
If acts of love were money, would you be rich or poor?
How has God expressed His love for us?
What does God’s love for us motivate us to do?
How can you lay down your life for your friends/family?
What grievances/offenses in your family must be forgiven?
How we treat others reveals whether or not we truly love them. You don’t love because you “feel” loving, but because you choose to act in a loving way. Think about loving on those around you today!