Give your parents a hug. Even if you are not the “huggy” type, your parents will enjoy the affection. Mrs. White1 suggests that you “bring all the rays of sunshine, of love, and of affection into the home circle. Your father and mother will appreciate these little attentions you can give.”2
Don’t talk back. If you are in the habit of talking back and arguing with your parents, this one will be tough. You will have to take a deep breath and offer a quick prayer whenever you want to talk back. Even if you feel that something is unfair or untrue, talking back immediately isn’t the way to go. Later when everyone is calm may be a better time to explain your side. Mrs. White reminds us that: “if you are children of Jesus, you will honor your parents; you will not only do what they tell you but will watch for opportunities to help them.”3
Do your chores cheerfully.Even more than a century ago there were those who didn’t like doing chores. Mrs. White wrote about children who “go about their home duties as though they were disagreeable tasks, and their faces plainly show the disagreeable.” Of course, she knew that when doing chores unhappily, “you will be miserable yourselves and will make all about you miserable.”4 Doing your chores with a smile is one of the best ways of saying, “I love you.”
Check your tone. Often it’s not so much what you say but how you say it that can make all the difference. It you speak in an irritated, aggressive way, it won’t sound like love because “love . . . subdues the voice.”5
Say something encouraging. In practicing love at home, don’t forget your brothers or sisters. They are sometimes the best people to practice love on. Give them what Mrs. White calls “sweet perfume,”6 which are words of encouragement, and see how it “perfumes” your home.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
1 All quotes are taken from Ellen G. White, The Adventist Home, Nashville, Southern Publishing Association, 1952.
2 Page 295.
3 Page 295, 296.
4 Page 300.
5 Page 426.
6 Page 427.
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