Tuesday, November 26, 2013

How to be Loved

On Sunday of last week my kids participated in the Primary program, probably the best Sunday of the year.  The kids take over Sacrament meeting and share what they have learned through song and testimony. This is the only year that all of my children will be in it together. Next year, Raef and Zach are off to Young Men's.  

The program was touching, spiritual, uplifting, and very profound.  I cannot believe how much of an impact it had on me.  It especially struck me even more after I was able to do a session at the temple a few days ago when we were in St. George for RJ's farewell.  RJ is going to serve in the Ft. Collins, Colorado mission and leaves next week.

Anyways, as I was listening to the Primary program, a little girl who was probably 6 or 7 had the line, "I love Jesus because..." and then she had to come up with her own thought.  She said, "I love Jesus because He loves me."


Why do I love Jesus? Well, I love Him because He loves me.  How do I know that He loves me? He lived for me. He died for me. He showed me the way. He did it all for me and I know that even if I was the only person to ever walk this earth, He still would have died for me.  Why do I love Jesus? Why do I love anyone?  Well, really it is because they love me. I love people who show me love. I try to love people that don't show me love, but that is not very easy. But the people that I truly, deeply love and care for are the ones who love me.

What does this mean?  It means that I need to love my children, my husband, my family, my friends. I need to love them by doing things that show love.  It is not in the words I say, but in my actions. My actions show my love.  My kindness and care, my thoughtfulness and availability, my attention: these things show love. And when I do that, when I make love a verb and do my very best and try my best to be like the Master, then I will be loved in return with a profound and eternal lovel.

When I went to the temple, I could see this example clearly set by the Creator of us all. Even when we are recalcitrant, disobedient, unlovable, God sees us for who we really are. He looks on us with kind eyes and an understanding heart...even when we are at our very worst. He still loves us.  Oh, that I can be that way more with my children. I want to see my children the way that God sees me and just love them because they are. 

Then if someone ever asks one of them, "I love my Mom because...", they will be able to confidently fill in that blank and say, "I love my Mom because she loves me!"

They will never doubt the love that I have for them. It will only get bigger and stronger.
"There is no division nor subtraction in the heart-arithmetic of a good mother. There is only addition and multiplication."
-Bess Streeter Aldrich

From the mouth of babes, how grateful I am to be reminded of this simple, yet powerful truth. Love, and you will be loved in return.

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