Last week we talked about "tolerance" and our hopes that our children will see that we truly LOVE them because they are a joy and a blessing. That is the first step in teaching them to be beyond tolerant.
We can also be proactive and intentional in providing opportunities to share God's love....and that He isn't merely a "tolerant" god but, rather, the God of Love. Maybe it looks like this in a child...helping open doors for strangers or carrying groceries for that mom in the parking lot who has her hands full, making cards for shut-ins, raking a neighbors yard or helping to weed. It's teaching them to be honest (like when you are given back too much money at the register), to engage those they come into contact with (yeah, there are times you SHOULD talk to strangers!...ask them how they are doing today; sometimes it opens the door for the gospel), smile at people, be a reflection of The Light.
Behind the "public eye", "being intentional" might be praying for people that it's "hard to love" and also those who the child feels needs extra prayers or working on their own character issues. Perhaps you have boys who need to work on their arrogance and boasting or rudeness (see 1 Corinthians 13:4, 5) or girls who need to learn to rejoice when others rejoice (instead of being envious?).
The point is to be proactive in this teaching. I think that failure to do so will make them like everyone else in society....merely tolerant.
What are some verses that come to your mind that we can teach our kids to "live out"? Do you have any suggestions for practical, daily applications of showing LOVE to friends, family, strangers?
Get that comment role going! ;-)