A Little Love Goes A Long Way
Valentine’s Day has always been a special day for me. Every year my dad would get me flowers and have them delivered to me in class. Granted, they were carnations sold by NHS in our school, but I always looked forward to these with his heart shaped note attached. I treasured them until they were literally falling apart! I have never questioned how much my dad loves me, and partially because of little things like that. In fact, if you ask how I knew my dad loved me, probably most of my examples would be the smallest, simplest things. Like going on daddy/daughter dates, holding hands, getting breakfast at Burger King together, comforting hugs and words, or cuddling in our “thinking chair” (a giant chair that looks just like the one from Blue’s Clues, ironically). I took this same approach yesterday in my last-minute planning for Jason’s gift/card, as seen below. I printed off a pattern on some paper, made some flowers and hearts, and used my trimmings to write things I admire and love about him. I’m quite proud of my finished product, which looks much better in person.
So what does this have to do with a youth ministry blog? Well, lots to be honest. I could talk to you about making sure your students know that you love and value them. Or giving parents ideas of how they might be more intentional in this area (I found some great ideas here). I could even single out the married leaders or single leaders and address each of you. While each of those things are incredibly important, I want to take a broader point of view and talk about relationships in general.
Relationships cross a wide variety or types. There’s your relationship with God, with your parents, children, friends, siblings, spouse or significant other, co-workers, supervisors, fellow leaders, students, and the list goes on. Everyone you encounter has some type of relationship with or to you, even if it’s insignificant. In each of these relationships, it’s the little things that count. There are an innumerable amount of examples I could give you for each of these, but I’ll let you get creative and think of things yourselves.
The thing is, love should not be left only for holidays like Valentine’s Day and Christmas. Scripture is clear that it is our duty, calling, and the mark of a Christian that we love. And love isn’t haphazard or selfish in any ways. I’m still very much learning how to be selfless. When I get frustrated with those I love, I have to remind myself that love means I am all about that person, not about me. The same goes for God, your family, your friends, and your ministry. If we were truly sacrificial people, we wouldn’t care nearly as much that so-and-so said that and that person hurt you this way. Selflessness is caring less about how things affect you and more about how things affect others. And love isn’t a thing we do now and then, it needs to be characteristic of who we are as a person! For instance, God doesn’t just love, He is love. There is a big difference.
I want to leave you with this challenge. Find little things to do that make a big difference in your relationships. God does it all the time. Have you noticed? Anything and everything in this natural world is a glimmer of God telling you He loves you or communicating an aspect of Himself or our relationship with Him to you. And just like any man-made art, everyone will interpret it a little differently. So be more observant of the little things around you. Thank God for them and ask Him what He might want you to learn. One of the greatest lessons I ever learned was from single daffodil on a rainy day.
Take a hint from God and do little things for those you love – from making the bed, to making a creative gift/note (like the vase in the picture above), to taking out the trash, to leaving a note in their lunch bag or on facebook. There are literally countless little ways that go a long way to showing someone how much you care for them. My thing yesterday? Coming home to a clean house and a no-longer-squeaky door. Among many other things – it was Valentine’s Day after all! It only takes a few minutes and a little thought (or more if you’re learning how to make origami) to make someone’s day. Let’s become more intentional and selfless in our love so that it becomes part of our very nature!
Posted on February 15, 2012, in Christian Living, Leadership, Parenting and tagged Christianity, Church, Church Ministry, Family Ministry, intentional, little, love, Pastor, relationship, Religion, selfless, Student Ministry, valentine, Youth Ministry, Youth Pastor, Youth Work. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.