We teach our children so much! How to tie their shoes, colors and numbers, how to cook, and how to talk–these are just a few of the ways we expose them to new things and encourage them to help others and themselves. But…are we showing one of the most important things of all? How to love? We have been instructed to love our neighbors as ourselves, so how are we doing that?
Teaching your children to love others leads to multiple benefits, not just for others as your child contributes to their wellbeing, but also for your child, as they learn to care for those around them. Love is a universal language and a gift that each of us can give. It costs us nothing to love another, but it means the world when someone loves us. Of course, like many other things, love sometimes needs to be taught.
How should you teach your child to love?
First, set an example. Show love daily to your child and to others. Love is more than just a verbal expression or a physical act like hugging. It is also an opportunity to nourish the souls of others.
Provide opportunities for your child to show love. Draw pictures together and mail them to a family member. Help a neighbor weed their garden or bake them a surprise. Hold the door open for a stranger or surprise someone with flowers. Call someone just to say hello. The Bible has many verses about love. Write some of them down and share them with others.
Acts such as these demonstrate how love can be shown in multiple ways. Just like any other thing we do, the more we love, the easier it gets and the more we give to others.