In the first year of my marriage, I took my wife camping. As we sat by our campsite preparing our dinner we watched a large family reunion going on. The reason we were watching is because they were difficult to avoid. I have never seen a family so loud in my life. I wish I could say it was loud in a good way. They were arguing and screaming at one another. At one point, a middle-aged brother shouted at his sister, “Get out of my face! Get out of my face! Get out of my face!” She shouted something we couldn’t hear and then he responded, “No, your kids are worthless!” It was ugly and rude. If you are going to learn to love, you must first learn to love your family.If you are going to learn to love, you must first learn to love your family.
Have you ever dreaded times with your family? Join the club. Many family gatherings are void of love as we all bring baggage into our families. But if your desire is for those times to be filled with love, cheer, and good times then take the initiative by loving your family well. Here are 15 ways you can do so.
1. Be patient.
“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” – Leo Tolstoy, author
2. Be kind.
“Work hard, be kind, and amazing things will happen.” – Conan O’Brien, late night talk show host
3. Do not be jealous.
“The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves.” – William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania
4. Do not be boastful.
“When boasting ends, there dignity begins.” – Owen D. Young, American industrialist and businessman
5. Do not be proud.
“All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.” – Sophocles, philosopher
6. Do not be rude.
“Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.” – Eric Hoffer, author
7. Do not look out for your interest only.
“The only difference between a hero and the villain is that the villain chooses to use that power in a way that is selfish and hurts other people.” – Chadwick Boseman, actor
8. Do not get angry with them easily.
“For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, author
9. Do not keep score of their wrongs.
“A life lived without forgiveness is a prison.” – William Arthur Ward, author
10. Do not be happy when bad things happen to them.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr., human rights activist
11. Be full of joy.
“If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment.” – Carlos Santana, musician
12. Protect them.
Power is no blessing in itself, except when it is used to protect the innocent.” – Jonathan Swift, 17th Century Anglo-Irish satirist
13. Trust them.
“You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you don’t trust enough.” – Frank Crane, minister
14. Have hope for them.
“Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.” – Samuel Smiles, author
15. Never give up on them.
“No man should bring children into the world who is unwilling to persevere to the end in their nature and education.” – Plato, philosopher
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Why do you think it’s important to love your family well?”