Sometimes, if we just keep it simple, we remember. We repeat. We sing it. We pray it. We think about it, and we let it roll around in our brains and on our tongues. We are reminded and we are quick to remind others.
A few times recently, the kids were fighting constantly – and nothing seemed to work. Separating them, sitting them down, sending them to their room – was all just a temporary solution to a louder BUT SHE!! and WELL, HE!!! rebuttal.
One day I walked into the kitchen and I wrote two words on a sheet of paper and I put them on the refrigerator. CHOOSE LOVE. I sat them all down and I told them with urgency (because those two words are mostly for me too) that we must choose love.
Before any unkind word is spoken, Choose Love.
Before any harsh word is yelled, Choose Love.
Before any feelings are hurt, Choose Love.
Be intentional and be reminded in our words and actions to simply Choose Love.
It started out with reminders. Now instead of them running to tell me that “someone” wasn’t sharing, they looked into the eyes of “someone” and said Choose Love. When they did run to me with the latest complaint, or injury – I would hold my tongue thinking Choose Love, and cup their chin gently in my hand and say Choose Love.
It hasn’t been perfect but it has been perfectly better. The best was when our four year old prayed at bedtime, “help us to choose love”.
Two simple words to ponder, and to remind us of what we are called to do:
John 13:34 A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
1 Corinthians 13:13 And now these three remain, faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.