Since Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, our family has been talking a lot about showing love to others.
I’ve been trying at least once a week to read out of the book of John with my little kids, usually on the nights when Peter and Brienne are at swim practice. It’s slow-going, honestly, because the book of John can be difficult for a 4 year old to understand. But there have been times when one of the kids answers a question and I think to myself, “Wow. They actually get it.”
Not too long ago, I read a passage then asked the littles why there were people in the Bible who didn’t like Jesus. Vivi’s response?
“Because he was bossing everybody around and acting like he was God.”
Anyway, I recently read a Bible story and then asked the kids to name ways we can show love to others. Here are some of their responses:
Hugs and kisses
Not hitting people
Typical 4- and 6-year old responses, right? But those responses got me thinking.
Because our world has been inundated with so much hate lately, I decided we should actually DO some things to show love to others. We came up with two different activities.
First, we made Valentine’s notes for the workers at Walmart.
Here’s the deal. At some grocery stores, the workers are super friendly. It is actually a pleasure to shop in those stores. Walmart isn’t one of them. Frankly, I avoid that place like the plague.
Maybe Walmart is a terrible company to work for. Or maybe the people in my town who work at Walmart are just typically grumpy people. I don’t know. It doesn’t really matter.
What does matter is that we decided to make a small difference in their lives. We delivered handmade hearts with gift cards to ChickFilA attached.
The workers were delightfully surprised and grateful to receive these treats, and the kids had a fun time delivering these little goodies and telling the workers “Thank you” for their hard work. As we were walking out of Walmart, Jonah said, “Mom, it made me feel good when I made those workers happy.”
And that’s what it’s all about.
Second, we decided to buy a couple bundles of flowers and hand them out randomly to shoppers exiting a local grocery store.
The kids really got into the spirit of this activity. They would run up to anybody who looked like they needed a little happiness, and give them a flower. It was fun to see the reactions of people! Some insisted they didn’t need a flower. But many people graciously accepted the flowers from the kids and we were able to put a smile on the faces of several men, women, and children.
I didn’t write all this to show you what a great mom I am. Because I’m not a great mom. In fact, right before we handed out those flowers, I fussed at my children for misbehaving.
The reason I wrote this post is to show you that it doesn’t take much time, energy, or money to brighten the day of a few people. And these activities are something any family can do. It took very little time to make cards and deliver them. I think we can all spare a few minutes out of our week to do something nice for other people in our lives.
So this Valentine’s Day, I want to encourage you to look for ways to incorporate some sort of activity into your family time – something that shows love or kindness to someone you wouldn’t otherwise even notice. Then write in to tell me about it. You won’t regret it!