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Too many times we tell our children that it is important to love our neighbors and yet we don’t give them a visual on how this is actually done. As a mom I know I am far to busy trying to care for my family’s needs that often times I forget that not only do we need to teach our children this principle but that we need to show them this principle in action. Also a lot of times we think that our children are just to small to go around ministering to others.
The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31
We have done a few things with our children with the sole purpose being that they would learn to love their neighbor. To allow them to understand that we are all different and yet we are all loved by God. I often remind our children that we are the hands and feet of God. After all if I do not teach them this then who will. Yet, my efforts have never really taken that much effort. We have donated toys, money and clothes. However, we have not taken the time to actually give of ourselves to showing love to others that we do not know.
Our most recent adventure brought this momma totally out her comfort zone. Now I am sure that it is probably assumed that I am a extremely friendly person. After all I make videos, write about my life and even share pictures on my instagram. However the fact of the matter is I am an extremely reserved person and placed in these situations can often cause me to go into a full grown panic attack. (Now you see why I fought with God about this very ministry). However, my wonderful friend (who happens to also be my little guys Wednesday night teacher) approached me about a wonderful idea that would involve teaching my children about loving their neighbor. The mission: Go to out local fast food restaurant, approach families and simply buy them a simple, small treat – with no strings attached. I admit it …… I was scared. My children however were overjoyed. With my friend and I staying with them the whole time, my kids rose to the occasion- asking customers what they would like to have, running to the register to get the item and then delivering it with a huge smile. Those who received these treats were shocked, my kids were learning a valuable lesson and my momma heart was running overflowing with pride. My babies were so happy to give and receive nothing. To them the smile on other’s faces were more than enough.
Later that night I thought on the night’s events. As I told my husband all about our adventure my heart was somewhat saddened. You see in that moment that I realized how jaded I had become in my giving and my love for others. To many times I see situations in which I could step in and be a blessing but I allow fear to quickly stomp out that notion. Or I allow others to waiver my decision. Other times I have simply not helped because I thought that someone else would. Finally I had realized that I had allowed all the negativity of the world change my views on loving my neighbors.
Friends- We have allowed the world to change our views on what our purpose and goals as Christians should be. We have developed this someone else will do it mentality that – no one is doing anything for anyone. This is just sad and wrong. Not to mention that it is not promoting the love of God to those who would otherwise would not receive it.
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Now I am not saying that we should not be careful when preforming random acts of kindness. I am however saying that is 3 and 4 yr old children can do it then we should certainly be able to handle the responsibility.
So What Can We Do To Show Love For Our Neighbors:
- Donate your time to a soup kitchen.
- Carry bags filled with materials that homeless people may need to pass out.
- Cook and pass out meals.
- Offer to allow that overwhelmed mom to cut in front of you at the grocery store.
- Simply listen to others at the Doctors office and offer to pray with them as you wait.
- Smile and make eye contact with others.
- Visit a local nursing home with your children – even if you don’t know someone in there.
- Walk around your neighborhood and pray for the family’s as you pass their houses.
- Invite a stranger to your Church.
The possibilities are endless as to what we can do to show love to our neighbors. However, we must be willing to step out of our comfort zones just a bit. Not only will we be doing what God has commanded of us but we will also become a living example to our children.
I would love to know some ways that you are showing love to your neighbors. Please feel free to share your ideas below in the comments. Also what is it that keeps you from stepping out of your comfort zone to give freely of yourself?
Until Next Time Just Keep Soaring 4 Him,
Christian Homemakers in Training where we dive into homemaking, motherhood, marriage and group devotions. After all, we all need a safe place to grow together, right?