1. How To Love: Your Family
I liked this quote because every child should be loved. Every single one. But some…are not loved. And they grow up to become adults who have to relearn how to love.
That adult could be you. It could be someone you know. It could be family.
So, how do we love family?
Sometimes you are around your family for so long, you can’t even think of how to love them. Why? Because “you just do…”
I was in Target this morning picking up a few extra things for Christmas, and there were a few parents in there trying to figure out what their kids liked these days. I can totally understand this, because on a day-to-day basis…I know what my kids want! They want food, shelter, and the loving security of home. I know that’s a broad stroke, but that is what makes them happy on a deep level.
On a smaller level? Legos and Sofia the First.
To break this question down, though, think about what you can give your family with your Time, Talent and Treasure.
Time: Spend quality time with family. This could be talking with your son, and listening to what is on his mind, while he unloads the dishwasher. It could be listening to your daughter before she goes to bed. It could be cuddling with someone on the couch. It could be taking a walk with them. Time doesn’t have to be pre-planned…it just has to be honest to goodness time.
Talent: Right now my kids are eating lemon poppy-seed muffins I just baked in the oven. This is something I can do for them to make their day happier. I also use my talents of homemaking, planning and teaching to love them. Although, this week they are being loved by me by getting a Christmas break… 😉
Treasure: Treasure is something special. It is the extra hug, it is the special smile, it the extra time you spent with them. Treasure is unique to each person, which is why it is a treasure.
2. How To Love: Your Friends
Friends are just a step below family…but even they have very special needs.
Sometimes friends need to know you are thinking about them…text them!
Friends like to laugh with you…so send them something that made you laugh!
Friends love eating with you…bring dinner over!
Friends love spending time with you…a bottle of wine and lively conversation is all you need.
Even friends with a hard outer shell need to know they are loved.
Stormtroopers are really hopeless romantics, underneath.
3. How To Love: People You Don’t Know
I saw this the other day, and I am totally hooked.
I am planning on doing this with my kids for New Years’ Day!
How my son wanted to spend the $120 he saved this year.
4. How To Love: People You Disagree With…Or Even Worse, Hate
I found this image, and it just cracked me up.
Haters are the worst. I hate haters. You hate this group? And that group? And that entire brand of people? Holy cow, that’s a lot of hate for one little person. But, I laugh at myself because I am convicted of not only loving the loveless…but I also am convicted to love the haters. (yuck)
Loving your enemies is really hard.
Sometimes enemies are actually genuinely dangerous, and you shouldn’t be around them. Sometimes they are people in your past. Sometimes they are people in your present.
Most of the time, though, they are people we disagree with.
If I was to start down the rabbit trail of learning how to love my enemies, I’d start with that. Love people you disagree with, and see how that goes first.
Life is so much nicer once you learn how to love people 🙂 (true story, bro.)
5. How To Love: God
Love is important to God.
We misunderstand how to love on a daily basis…but God knows. He also knows us, and He knows we are trying to learn how to love. For a lot of us, it takes time. But that is time well spent, learning how to love like God.
1 Corinthians 13 (ESV)
The Way of Love
13 “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends….13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
“Over and over again in the Bible, God commands us to love each other, and you can’t command an emotion. If I told you right now, “Be sad!” you couldn’t be sad on cue. Just like an actor, you can fake it, but you’re not wired for your emotions to change on command.
If love were just an emotion, then God couldn’t command it. But love is something youdo. It can produce emotion, but love is an action.
The Bible says, “Let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions” (1 John 3:18 NLT). We can talk a good act: “I love people.” But do we really love them? Our love is revealed in how we act toward them.”
The greatest commandment is to love each other.
So, let’s do that 🙂