Anyone who has children knows that sometimes it is difficult to “feel the love” so to speak in the home. When children are vying for attention, fighting over toys, and generally creating havoc, how can we as parents help them to truly feel love for one another, especially Christ-like love? Here are some suggestions.
Eliminate the negative
Have you ever tried putting water into a full cup? The water that is in the cup stays in the cup and the new water just runs over the top. That is exactly what will happen if you try to add good habits into a cup full of bad ones. The bad habits will stay and the good ones will linger on top for a while, but with bad habits already taking up the room, they will eventually push the good habits back out. If you want to create a home where Christ-like love abounds, get rid of negative thoughts and feelings, and make room for God’s spirit to dwell with you.
Invite God’s spirit in
If you want your home to be filled with Christ-like love, and you want your family members to show that love to one another, then it is important to invite God’s spirit into your home. Pray with your family each morning that God’s spirit will dwell in your home and in your hearts. Pray to him each night and thank him for being with you throughout your day. Make God a part of all of your comings and goings so that he may always live in your heart and in the hearts of your children.
Focus on the positive
When family members make an honest effort to focus on each other’s strengths, there will be a greater outpouring of love in your home. Encourage your children to praise one another and make sure that you are focusing on the positive too. In doing this, you are creating an atmosphere where Heavenly Father’s spirit can feel right at home and help you in your desire to show Christ-like love.
Serve one another
Service is one of the greatest acts of Christ-like love because it is selfless. It is a person’s ability to show love for another without expecting anything in return. It is love for love’s sake. When we wanted to increase Christ-like love in our home, we began through service. We have a large clear jar that sits on our piano, and every time a family member does an act of service, they get to put a glass rock into the jar. When the jar is full, we get to go out and do an activity as a family, such as the zoo, the drive-in, or a nice restaurant. Our children are constantly doing service for one another and often forget to put rocks in the jar because they love serving. They love the way it makes them feel. The service in our home has increased the Christ-like love, and as a bonus, we are working together toward something fun.
Christ was the ultimate example when it came to forgiveness. When he hung upon the cross, of those who crucified him, he said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” If the Savior can fully forgive those who crucified and hated him, shouldn’t we be able to fully forgive those who we live with and love? When we learn to forgive one another for our individual mistakes, which we all make, we will come to know and understand what true Christ-like love is and it will fill every room in our house.
Christ-like love begins in a home when Christ becomes the center of it. When family members learn to serve as he serves, say what he says and forgive as he forgives, they will be able to love as Christ loves and become as he is.