The power of love is really amazing. I see it in my own family and in the world around us. We all react better when we are faced with something in love rather than anger, blame or hatred. Criticism seems kinder and easier to take in, problems seem smaller and more surmountable. I have had several moments this week to witness the power of love and how it changes the situation, and how it changes people.
How to Handle the Bully
Usually, when I pick Conner up in the car line he is chatty and excited to share his day with me. Yesterday was different. He was quiet and reserved. In a nutshell, he said that another child said something mean to him in front of several other kids. He was embarrassed and his feelings were hurt. We had similar issues with this same child at the end of the year last year. My initial reaction was anger. I wanted to call the teacher. Have a conference with the other boys parents. I wanted him to be in trouble. But how does that help Conner? It doesn’t. Instead, I decided to help my son learn about the power of love. We discussed that often people demean others because they are missing something in their own lives like confidence, kindness or love. I reminded Conner how proud we are that he treats other kids with kindness and respect. Then we talked about how he could handle a similar situation in the future. Lastly, I challenged Conner to say one kind thing to the other child every day for 30 days, knowing that this may change the other boys heart, but as importantly, it will change my son’s.
The New Concept of Love
We have friends who were unable to have kids on their own. After many years of prayer, they have decided to adopt a 13 year old girl from the foster system. Her story before included family in drugs, abuse and her caring for her siblings as a young child. Everything she has known has been survival. Now, she has parents taking an interest in her and being a part of her life. They are providing her an opportunity to do things she has never done before like swimming and hiking. When there are issues they sit down and talk about it. She now has parents who are loving her unconditionally, every minute of every day. They see the beauty and potential hidden beneath her surface. They know that love will be they key to the lock that is holding her hostage. And she is responding. Apologizing when she was short with her mom, and thanking her for talking things out instead of screaming at her. She is trying new things, even when it might be uncomfortable. There is power in love.
In a world that is troubled, and often disappoints, I know that how we act and react speaks to the core of our character. As we move forward at my house, we will continue to believe that love has power. That love always wins. And that love starts with the man in the mirror. Love is in action not words. It is not until we change ourselves, that love is able to change the world.