** This is a beautiful article that I got to share with my friends over at the Well Studio which is a community of faith for dreamers + doers. You can find this article on their site as well at The Well Studio
February is the month of love in many people’s minds. Yes, Valentine’s Day happens to fall within this month which makes us think about love, there are pink hearts and adorable coffee mugs all throughout Target, and the candy aisles are stocked full with specialty chocolates, but there are so many every day stories about love that happen all around us every day that don’t require all of these “things” that are placed in our lives to represent love. These everyday stories may be from the past, the present, or even from something you anticipate happening in the future.
So where can you find some of the best everyday love stories out there? The Bible holds so many stories about the amazing love that has occurred throughout history. For instance, think about Naomi and Ruth. This may not be the traditional love story you think of, but love shows up in all shapes and sizes in life and I love this special story about the power of love shown between a mother and daughter-in-law. Naomi had chosen to move far away from Moab back to her homeland of Bethlehem after her husband died. She wanted her daughters-in-law who had both suffered extreme grief of losing their husbands as well to go back to their families and not be alone. Instead of going back to her family, Ruth showed an unbelievable and unselfish love and commitment to her mother-in-law by choosing to go with her to Bethlehem instead.
Ruth demonstrated her deep commitment, love, and kindness to Naomi in these heartfelt words, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” (Ruth 1:16-17)
Love is a part of who we are and what we experience just the way God intended it as he created each of us. Love is the one feeling and emotion that is contagious. When you love others well, really well without judgement or expectation of something in return, they will then receive that love openly and in most instances pass that same type of love on. Love has a ripple effect. Love can change the world in many small ways that can in turn have huge impacts throughout all the countries of the world no matter what language they speak. Love is a universal language that each of us can understand and embrace.
So how do you show more love and kindness? How do you love others well and good and create change in this world? Some simple yet effective things you can start today are:
- Give someone a hug.
- Tell your child you believe in them and to never stop dreaming.
- Flash your special smile at someone – I guarantee they will smile back!
- Tell your spouse or friend or sibling that you are proud of them.
- Send a card in the mail to your grandma or grandpa.
- Forgive others just like Christ has forgiven us.
- Plan a special family game night.
- Give a compliment to the person at the checkout counter at the grocery store.
- Buy a cup of coffee for the person behind you in line.
- Live in the present – the here and now – with those that you hold closest to your heart.
- Send a text to a friend letting them know how important they are and share something you love about them.
- Say I love you and truly mean it. Over and over again. Don’t withhold it for a special occasion because that time might not come before they are gone.
Taking the time to love well opens the gates to living a full life! Love our Lord and Savior with all your heart, love others as much as you can, and love yourself more than you think you are capable of and this will lead to a life well lived. Fully love well in order to live well.
Ruth & Naomi share a beautiful story about love in the Bible, but we all have our very own greatest love story of all found in the Bible. The love God has for each of us, by sending His one and only Son to save us all so that we can be united with Him one day in Heaven.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)