“So much of what we know of love we learn at home.” Unknown
My children (ages 7 and 4) have entered a new realm of their sibling relationship – they bicker and compare all the time.
It’s exhausting to referee their squabbles every day but I’m learning to take advantage of these teachable moments and turn their arguments into lessons of love.
As a mother, and the heart of the home, I have the privilege of guiding my children to discover what it means to love well – first, within the safety and security of their family environment and then out in the great, big, diverse world we live in.
Buck Denver learns a big lesson about loving well through his big adventure in the new movie Galaxy Buck: Mission to Sector 9. Buck wants to do big things for God but he discovers that when we drift within the current of God’s love, walking out his plan for us, he charts our course on an adventure that is better than anything we could dream up on our own. Buck meets a friend, the hermit, who shares with him the Rule of Love – when God puts someone in your path who needs help, help them.
Here’s a peek at the movie:
Buck Denver learns that more important than any big thing we could ever do for God is our willingness to love others with his big love. We’ll be learning our whole life long what this looks like but when in doubt, we can always use the Rule of Love.
Put others first. When God puts someone in your path that you can help, help them.
It’s so simple, yet so important. I’m still discovering what this looks like in my own life but as I learn, I hope to model for and teach my children to live the Rule of Love.
One of my favorite quotes is by a woman who knew about doing life by the Rule of Love:
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can all do small things with great love.” Mother Teresa
Despite a culture that celebrates all things large, I want to teach my children that sometimes the greatest impact we have is in the everyday, small, life-giving, kingdom-building ways we love well.
How do we teach our children the Rule of Love?
- Remind them to put others first. This may very well be a daily act. As we train our kids in the habit of love, they will develop hearts of love that eventually choose to think of others before themselves.
- Use scripture and Bible stories. Showing our kids what the Bible says about loving others will help them understand how following the Rule of Love honors not only the people we love but also God. Start with Philippians 2:3, Romans 12:10 and Mark 9:33-35.
- Model what it looks like to put others first. Our children are always watching to see if we mean what we say. When they observe us putting the needs of others before our own, it makes the Rule of Love a part of our family culture and eventually can become a natural habit.
How do we live out the Rule of Love as a family?
- Begin at home. So much of what we know of love we learn at home. We can guide our children to practice the Rule of Love with those closest to them. If kids can master the art of putting their siblings first, they are bound to learn the importance of making friends and neighbors a priority.
- Look for ways to serve and bless others together. When we stop to help and love others in the midst of our busy lives, we are living the Rule of Love and making it a part of our family culture.
- Celebrate each other. Each time we observe the Rule of Love in action we have the opportunity to celebrate love and reinforce the importance of putting others first.
We took a break the other day during a very busy weekend family movie night. The kids couldn’t agree on which one to watch and began fighting about the decision. I called for a pause as I thought about how to resolve their conflict when my girl announced, “We can watch what he wants to watch. I’m fine with any movie.”
I was so thankful to avert the drama but I was more thrilled to watch my seven year old choose to put her brother’s desire before her own. She saw the opportunity to make peace by putting others first and she took it. It was a huge win in our house (one that doesn’t happen too often, yet) and I enjoyed celebrating her later.
We all share a deep desire to do something big with our lives. We may not have a map for our life’s grand adventure but we can start by taking the next, right step – living the Rule of Love.
Jessica Wolstenholm is co-founder of Grace for Moms. After 15 years in the music and publishing industries, Jessica came home to be with her two small children. Although the transition from the corporate world to the playground has been an adjustment, she is learning every day to access the grace available to us through Christ as she navigates the full time job of motherhood. She is the co-author of The Pregnancy Companion: A Faith-Filled Guide for Your Journey to Motherhood and The Baby Companion: A Faith-Filled Guide for Your Journey Through Baby’s First Year. Jessica lives in Nolensville, TN with her husband, Dave and two miracle babies, Hope (5) and Joshua (2).