In Galatians 5:22, we are given a list of the fruit of the spirit and the first one is love. I have realized that over and over again in the Bible we are commanded to love one another. My thought is that we are given that particular commandment so often because, while it is totally natural for us to love ourselves, it is often outside the realm of what we normally feel to love other people.
So how do my daughters know that I love them? Telling them is an obvious and relatively simple way. Moving beyond that, though, what actions can demonstrate my love for them?
Here are a few ideas that came to mind.
- Meeting their needs. Physical needs are easy enough to meet most of the time. Prepare them good, nutritious foods and make sure they have clean, appropriate clothing. The territory gets a bit more rocky when it comes to emotional needs. Here’s where those individual personalities come into play, where each child can be dealt with in different ways. By encouraging words and notes, instilling hope and confidence through my verbal and silent support, I can show them that I love them. Noticing when they seem to be having a rough day and doing some small thing to cheer them can mean a great deal.
- Giving them time. Yes, time – not the latest and greatest video game or most coveted toy or doll, but time. Time to listen to their stories, time to play Monopoly over and over, time to go for a bike ride, time to just be together.
- Pointing them to Christ. Where else can they learn about the true meaning of love but from God and His Word? Sharing my faith with them can lead them to an everlasting relationship with Him.
Today may I not only tell my children that I love them, but demonstrate it by the things that I do.
photo courtesy public domain pictures