I can remember a night I needed to sit down with my kids. I wanted to address their misbehavior that I noticed throughout the day. I was praying about writing down a list of house rules. As I thought on it, the list of all the things they should not do seemed to keep growing and growing. It became overwhelming even to me as their parent. In the end I decided to focus instead on what they should be doing. I decided to do an activity with the kids. I began by writing down one question on a large piece of cardboard. I wrote, “Is it showing love?”
In the bible, Jesus tells His disciples to love God and love others. The bible also says that God is Love. It should be our goal then to love because by doing so we reflect the God we serve. We should live to love Him, to know Him, and to share the fullness of His love with others.
I explained to my young children, “If you are ‘not nice’ it means you are not showing love. When we are not showing love that means we are not showing Jesus. We are disobeying his teaching. We do not truly love Jesus if we do not love others.” Then together we made two lists. We wrote down ways of “showing love” and ways of “not showing love”.
It may sound simple and perhaps almost too basic, but it really opened our eyes to the way we should be treating each other. I am still reflecting on it and really trying to examine myself. Just how well am I obeying my calling to love? It is a great question for all of us to ask and the answer to that question is what matters most.
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ -Matthew 22:34-39 (NIV)