Monday, February 14, 2011

This Valentine's Day, Show Your Kids Love In Action

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My Valentine and me!
It was our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple. Consumed with my last semester of college, I had not remembered to buy my husband a gift! I would be late for class if I tried to fix a special breakfast (not that I could cook at that time LOL), so I quickly penned a note which I left on the kitchen table. In twenty-three years of marriage, it is one of the best gifts I have ever given him. I promised to make every day a Valentine’s Day, so that he would know he was loved all year long. In keeping that promise, I have learned that while love the emotion can be a roller coaster ride, love the action will keep a relationship on track.

In truth, the picture of love that our children see expressed in our marriages is the one that will reign as the standard for all their lives. Every male-female relationship they see will measure up to that standard, go beyond it, or drop far behind. Likewise, the active love we give our children is stored in their hearts and minds, wrapped in their memories. Love can be expressed in words, thoughts, prayers, and affection, but mostly, real love is
embodied by servant action and selfless attitude. The Bible offers several practical ways to show love.

Put others first. Real love means thinking of others before yourself. Does your child see you putting your husband’s needs and desires above your own? This can be as simple as saving him the last piece of pie or handing over the remote.
Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves (Philippians 2:3).

Brew full-strength love. The way you think affects the way you love. Concentrate on thoughts that produce and amplify loving feelings toward your spouse, and avoid thoughts that focus on the fusses, feuds, and failures the two of you have experienced. Remember that your thoughts often spill out of your mouth, thus affecting everyone around you.
Above all, keep your love for one another at full strength, since love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8).

Copy Christ’s love. The Bible reveals that Jesus didn’t “feel” like it when the time came for Him to be crucified. In the simplest of terms, Jesus chose the action of love when the emotion of love was being threatened by His humanity. He commands us to do the same.
This is My commandment: that you love one another just as I have loved you (John 15:12).

If childhood is a series of choices, we parents must know that we can guide our children to right actions and attitudes. We are here to set an example, chart a course, and eventually, take a backseat. If we choose loving actions in every relationship, even when loving emotions are absent, our kids will learn to do the same.

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