So last post was more about the why’s. Why I should love and respect the people in my family. This post will focus on the how’s. How can I love and respect my siblings (parents too!) in ways that I am not now? Here’s a list I made of 7 things we can do everyday to show God’s love.
- SMILE! I cannot stress the importance of smiles. They’re contagious, and good for you. When you look at your little brother or sister while they’re telling you a story, put a smile on your face. Make them feel like the adventure they’re telling you about is the most exciting thing you’ve ever heard.
- Give them hugs and kisses. I know, I know. Hugging your pre-teen brother on a regular basis isn’t something you may be particularly comfortable with, but physical affection is important. It’s easy with little kiddos, especially if you’re blessed with a particularly hug-y one like I am. But I still don’t give my little siblings near to enough physical affection, especially the older ones. I’m sure my teen and pre-teen siblings would be grateful for an encouraging pat on the back, a good night hug, or even just a hand on their shoulder! My younger siblings are always open to cuddles and kisses, and I try to be as well.
- Do things with them. Invite them to help you make a meal, or do laundry. Say yes when they want to play with you. Maybe start a Bible study or prayer time with them.
- Speak encouragingly to them. Ok, this is where I think I fail the most. Why is it so hard to just say nice things to the people you love? I have no idea why, but it’s not cool. Did your brother make a particularly yummy chocolate smoothie for breakfast? Tell him so! Once you get past that weird barrier on your mouth, you’ll realize how powerful a nice, encouraging few sentences can be.
- Listen to them. Let them vent to you. Let them tell you their (super long) stories. Let them ask you for advice. They care about what you think, they need you to listen.
- Pray for them. Another one I fail at all the time. Sometimes I get so caught up being frustrated with my siblings that praying for them does not even enter my mind. Isn’t it awful? It’s so simple, and so easy. God is always listening, He’s always there, and He always wants us to bring our troubles to Him.
- Tell them you love them. It’s as simple as that! Just say “I love you”, and really mean it.
So, what do you think of my list? What are some things you’d add? Do you struggle with any of these things in particular?