February is the month that gets designated as the “Love Month”. Valentine’s Day is the day that people give presents to their loved ones to reflect how much they care. Or, they write notes to convey why they love them so much. So, why just one day of the year? Why not all the time?
As I sit to write this entry I think about why some people don’t express to others how much they care about them more often. It can be hard for some and yet others do it all the time. I was challenged by a few of my devotions lately to find time to be with family and friends and to really communicate with them how I care for them. God calls us to Love one another. I love the verse in Romans 12:10 where it states: ”Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
Paul wrote this to the Church in Rome. What strikes me are the words devoted and honor. In a commentary by Matthew Henry he states:
“An affectionate love (Rom. 12:10): Be kindly affectioned one to another, with brotherly love, philostorgoi—it signifies not only love, but a readiness and inclination to love, the most genuine and free affection, kindness flowing out as from a spring. …This kind affection puts us on to express ourselves both in word and action with the greatest courtesy and obligingness that may be.—One to another. This may recommend the grace of love to us, that, as it is made our duty to love others, so it is as much their duty to love us. And what can be sweeter on this side of heaven than to love and be beloved? He that thus watereth shall be watered also himself.”
I am challenged and encouraged to demonstrate and “water” my love for my family, friends and even strangers.
I have compiled a list of ways to do just that and I, too, am going to try some. I challenge you make the most of these moments and try to express Love this month. If you have any great ideas you have done in the past (or are going to do soon) please comment below and share them. All comments are moderated before posting so if you want to comment but want to be anonymous please state that and I will post it that way.
Love this Month and always!
· Turn a regular day into an All-About-You day just for your mate
· Send a surprise gift to his/her workplace
· Always kiss goodbye and goodnight
· Boast about your mate and your relationship to mutual friends
· Arrange for a babysitter so you can have an unexpected date night
· Say how much you love each other even if you think it’s known
· Write a short fairy tale using you and your mate as the characters (Once upon a time…”)
· Cook your significant other’s’ favorite meal
· A handmade gift or card
· Buy their favorite snacks and drinks
· Go to a movie of their choice
· Put notes in places that only they will discover
· Hug them, kiss them, and say, "I love you" every day, no matter what. Kids thrive on it and it's a daily fix we all need no matter what our age!
· Spend time alone with each of your children. Go out to lunch, take a leisurely walk, or just hang out together letting them know you value them as individuals.
· Hide some secret love notes where your spouse and kids are sure to find them.
· Read "just one more book" even if it's late and you're tired. And don't forget to read to older children who already know how to read themselves. It's a great opportunity to snuggle.
· Tell them how wonderful it is being their parent and how much you like the way they're growing up.
· Let your children choose their own clothes. It shows you respect their decision-making ability. Besides, everyone will know you didn't dress them. You would never mix plaid and stripes!
· Stop washing the dishes and talking on the phone and really listen when they are talking to you.
· Slip little love notes, jokes, poems, and words of encouragement into your children's lunchboxes, backpacks, or next to their beds (if you leave before they wake up), just to let them know you're thinking about them all day long.
· Let your children overhear you complimenting them to someone else.
· Forget about yesterday. Start each day fresh. It's a new opportunity to have a better relationship with your children and to fall in love with them all over again.
· Mark family game nights on your calendar so the entire family can be together. Put a different family member's name under each date, and have that person choose which game will be played that evening.
Family Members and Friends
· Send a note of appreciation
· Buy a cup of coffee
· Drop off Groceries
· Drop off a meal
· Make a basket of their favorite snacks and put it on their porch with a note
· Send them a link to a music video you guys used to love.
· Post a picture of someone or something gorgeous on Facebook and tag it as a photo of them.
· Give them a book you’ve already read, and inscribe it with a meaningful message.
· Send them a text that reads, “Thought of you today, and it made me smile.” “I am thinking and praying for you today!”
· Write a letter to your partner’s parents, complimenting them on bringing up such a fine person.
· Write a note of thanks for the little things they might do to help you and your family.
· Buy their favorite Candy or a gift certificate for Dinner
· Make a Card.
· Find their favorite childhood movie or show and order in on DVD for them.
Random Acts of Kindness
Pay for the person behind you in a Drive-Thru
Take someones cart back to the door
Help unload groceries
Hold the door open
Some ideas from:
Bethany Kandel is the mother of two sons and the author of The Expert Parent: Everything You Need to Know From All the Experts in The Know (Pocket Books, 1997).