Can I just say that I’m Valentine’s Day challenged? I’m not a DIY craft person, and I wasn’t organized enough to make cards to mail to my family. I live overseas, so cards are hard to buy, and I don’t even have red food coloring to make red pancakes for a Valentine’s breakfast.
However,I do want to love on the people in my life. Two weeks ago, I read a blog post about evaluating our days not in terms of how productive we are, but in terms of how we are loving people. Author Holley Gerth wrote, “Life is not about how you start or how you finish. It’s about how you love along the way.”
Getting Things Done or Loving People?
That struck a chord with me because I can get so busy zooming through life that I forget to love on the people around me. During a home school break, I’m sometimes too busy looking at the next assignment to listen to my kids. Or I race to the next thing after dinner rather than listen intently to my husband talk. I race down the stairs of our building rather than stopping to smile and chat with a neighbor.
But really, I don’t want to just get more stuff done. I want my life to make a difference. And the best way to make a difference and change lives is to love people.
Ephesians 5:1, 2 says, “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us…”
God’s love has marked me. I’m a dearly loved child. No matter how much I mess up, or snap or scold or hurry through life, God’s love for me never changes. Christ loved me enough to give his life for me, and He calls me to follow His example: “Walk in the way of love.” The best way I can leave God’s mark on the people around me is to love them, even when they mess up, snap at me, or hurry by me.
What does love look like in real life? Here are 10 ways to love on your people:
1. Listen intently to your children.
2. Look your husband in the eyes when he comes through the door, and give him a big kiss.
3. Give someone a hug!
4. Write a note to someone who needs encouragement.
5. Don’t interrupt when your girlfriend is telling you about her week.
6. Write your children notes and list 5 qualities you see in them.
7. Mention to your husband something you appreciate about him.
8. Just let it go when a friend or family member offends you.
9. Smile and stand aside when someone’s pushing in front of you in line at the supermarket.
10. Call your mom or dad to say, “I love you.”
So now I’ve got three days left to plan Valentine’s Day treats for my family. I’m all for flowers and chocolate, but everyday love looks different, doesn’t it? Do you have special treats planned? What does everyday love look like to you?