Use Your Words. . . Tiny Tot Tuesday

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“Use your words.”

This is a phrase I often hear moms use with their children. As young children learn to speak, it’s often hard for them to find the right words from their limited vocabulary, and so they can easily get frustrated. With frustration, comes whining, crying and yes, even sometimes the occasional temper tantrum–from both child and parent! Learning to use our words helps communicate our thoughts and our heart, and although some might say love needs to be shown rather than said, I suppose I’ve always been a believer that it’s a combination of both.

Since it’s February and almost Valentine’s Day I’ve been thinking about love. When it comes to teaching our children about love, I mean really teaching them about love, using our words can be a huge asset.

This month in our children’s department at church we are teaching our children I Corinthians 13:4-8 which says,

“Love is patient; love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast.
It is not proud. It isn’t rude.
It’s not self seeking. It is not easily angered.
It keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.
Love never fails.”

Using this Scripture as a model, we can begin to use our words to teach our children about love.

For example:
1) You are going to the grocery store. You know there is a great probability that you will have to wait in line to check out and they/you will begin to get impatient, angry, you may want to say something that is just a little rude or you may find yourself a little jealous of the line next to you that is going a little faster.

You can begin to use your words before you ever enter the store, and so you can say, “Before we go into the store, let’s choose to show love. We are going to be patient if our line is slow. Let’s think of something kind we can say to the worker, because love is kind.”

2) Starting to get angry? (Not at me, at our imaginary trip to the store!) You can simply say, “Let’s look around what do we have to be thankful for. We don’t want to start getting angry, because love is not easily angered.” Then refocus that energy by counting candy bars or playing thumb wars or saying a little prayer for the people around you and yourselves.

3) When your child tells the truth about something–and not just when they have been in trouble–Rejoice!! Tell them you are rejoicing. Tell them why you are rejoicing. Because love rejoices with the truth, and truth is good and you want to honor that.

4) Your children are bickering (yes it will still happen) and tattling about current or past offenses. Have your child make a list of positive things about the person they are upset with to replace their “record of wrongs” list. Use your words to remind them that “love does not keep a record of wrongs.”

I’m sure you get the idea. There are so many ways that we can speak love into our children’s lives as it relates to how they treat others. Sometimes it just comes down to staying intentional and remembering to make the most of those teaching able moments.

Because aren’t you thankful that God is patient with us? I am so thankful that He is not easily angered and keeps no record of our wrongs. He is not a God who delights in evil, but rather He rejoices with the truth, and He protects us, is kind to us and He will endure beyond forever.

These are great words to use with our tiny tots.

Disclaimer–I was going to share some fun Valentine craft for you to do with your children, but decided to “use my words” instead. For great Valentine craft ideas, feel welcome to kindly check out Pinterest! I’m sure you’ll find something you love!

This Crazy Little Thing Called Love–Freaky Friday

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I haven’t done a freaky Friday post in quite awhile. Actually haven’t done any posting in awhile. I guess with the son’s wedding, holidays and, oh yeah, complete and utter exhaustion; I rightfully gave some things a rest in life. Blogging was one of them.

But now, slowly and surely, it’s coming back and today seemed like the perfect day to start again. . .

Why? Well, because it’s Friday and I was reading in Corinthians–Chapter 13: The “LOVE” Chapter. I am always a bit convicted when I read the words Paul penned there, because, well, because this kind of love, and our kind of love just don’t always match up. In fact, there are some pretty freaky differences. And so the Holy Spirit powered lightbulb in my brain went off that said, “You might want to write these things down so you don’t forget what I’m about to say to you.”

Ok, so maybe if I have talking lightbulbs in my head I still need a bit more rest. Either that, or this is actually a pretty good post for a Freaky Friday.

Anyhow, while reading, I did what I usually do when reading these verses and sort of charted out what the Bible says love is and love isn’t.

For example:

Love is:
Patient
Kind
Content
Humble
Considerate
Other Centered
Calm

Love isn’t:
Impatient
Unkind
Envious
Boastful
Rude
Self Seeking
Easily Angered

and . . . Love keeps no records of wrongs
(which just doesn’t seem to fit in either category so it gets its own spot)

I thought about leaving that last one out. It doesn’t really fit in the chart anyway. I sort of figured that I’m doing pretty well in most of the other areas, and honestly, I am not a grudge holder. Sometimes I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I have a terrible memory of any kind. After all, you can’t hold a grudge when you don’t even remember what happened, y’know what I mean?

I wrote it down anyway. Then I went back over the list.

And in reading through it again, God helped me to realize that there is one person, (and this is funny, it’s a person I don’t even really know), that I have allowed to get under my skin. I’m not sure why. Well, yes I am. Because I haven’t chosen to love them, or think loving thoughts about them or consider the things they have surely done well, right and good. I have chosen to keep a record of how I believe they wronged me, and have chosen to dwell on those thoughts instead.

Of course this person, whom I will probably never see again in my whole life, has NO IDEA that I am upset with them or that I have a list of things about them that I believe they did that hurt me. But I know–well, at least I do now. And so now I must choose.

I must choose to get a little freaky and throw my mental list away. Gone, goodbye, adios, in the trash it must go. Because if I don’t choose to do that, well, then. . . seriously, well, then, I know that I have gained nothing, and am nothing but a big clanging cymbal in what should be God’s perfect symphony of love.

So today, I’m giving it to God, and I will do my best not to take it back. Because this crazy little thing called love changes me, changes us, and can change the world, when we choose to live it out in the completely unworldly way God intended us to do.

Maybe you need to get a little “freaky” this Friday. If so, take the time to sit down and choose to allow God to continue to mold and shape you to be more like Him. Because this crazy little thing called love isn’t a little thing at all.