“Love your neighbor as yourself.” Mark 12:31
A traveler was walking along a road when robbers suddenly attacked him. They tore his clothes, beat him, and left him to die. Eventually a priest walked down the same road, but when he saw the man, he passed on the other side. Later, a local man came upon the scene, but he, too, passed on the other side. Finally, a stranger from another land walked down the road, noticed the beaten man, and rushed to his aid. He bandaged the man’s wounds, helped him onto his own donkey, and transported him to an inn to take care of him. The next day he paid the innkeeper to look after the man.
You are no doubt familiar with this story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30–37). Have your children heard it, too? Jesus told the par-able to show us who our neighbors are—everyone around us—and how we should lovingly respond to their needs. Does the elderly woman on the corner need help with her yard? Does your teen know a classmate who needs a friend? Opportunities to serve are all around us.
As you teach your children to love their neighbors as themselves, you might ask: Are they learning to understand and empathize with others’ feelings? Do they resist the urge to be selfish and demanding? Are they learning to share? We’re never closer to God than when we seek to love one another.
Lord, when You walked this earth, You always taught from real-life situations. Help us by Your own Spirit to teach our children about Your great love in the midst of the hassles and challenges and opportunities of our busy lives. Amen.