Wednesday, July 13, 2011

#10 Love, Respect, and Compassion

Help family members show greater love and appreciation for each other.

          1. Write a note to each member of your family, telling each one why they are special to you and that you love them. Put each note where the person can easily find it during the day of the home evening, such as in a lunch pail, on a pillow, or in a pockt.
          2. Have a pencil and paper for each person.
           3. Make a chart titled “Love One Another"
           4.Printout 1, Printout 2, Printout 3, Printout 4
      Cut out all the hearts (printout 1 and 2), and lay them face down on the floor. Cut out the stem, words and grass (printouts 3 and 4) and tape on the wall. (The stem should be taped together with the circle on the top, The grass across the bottom underneath. Put the words on the top and bottom of the flower and grass)
Begin the lesson by asking the following questions:
                     • How would you feel if Jesus came to visit us in our home?
                     • Would we want to change the way we act toward each other?
Explain that the Savior would be unhappy if family members were not kind and loving to each other. He cares about each one of us and wants us to feel the love that he and Heavenly Father have for us. We cannot feel their love and support in our home when family members do not show love and kindness.
Find out if the family members discovered the notes that you wrote. Have each family member tell how he felt when he read his note.
                     • In what way did it affect your day?
Explain that when we express our love for one another, even in little things, both the receiver and the giver feel good inside.
Explain that when we show our love and appreciation for one another at home we also help bring a good spirit into the home. This is the kind of feeling our Heavenly Father and Jesus want us to have in our home. This is why we were commanded to love one another. A happy home is one that is filled with love, one that invites the Spirit of the Lord to be there. (See Galatians 5:13–14, Ephesians 5:25, 1 John 4:7.)
Tell the following story:
A Family Night
It was almost time for family home evening in the Reynolds home.
Jeanette was busy in the kitchen taking the last batch of hot cookies out of the oven. She had worked all afternoon to prepare refreshments. Father called all the children to come into the living room.
Debby, Jeanette’s little sister, ran down the stairs and grabbed a handful of cookies on her way through the kitchen. Jeanette angrily caught her blouse sleeve as she dashed past, and the sleeve ripped. Debby hollered, “Look what you did!”
“Well, if you had just asked first,” cried Jeanette. “It’s not my fault.”
Soon the two girls were arguing, and mother had to come into the kitchen to stop them. She became upset herself when she saw Debby’s torn blouse.
Finally father got everyone into the living room together. Debby sat down in one corner of the room, and Jeanette in the other. Even after the opening prayer, everyone in the family felt uncomfortable. The warm spirit they usually felt during their family nights was not there.
During the lesson mother brought some photo albums out and handed them to the children. “I thought you might enjoy looking through these old pictures tonight,” she said.
Everyone gathered together to see the pictures. The little children were especially excited to see themselves. They laughed and pointed whenever they found themselves in a picture. Mother held up a picture of Debby and Jeanette when they were little. “Remember when you two got into my oil paints?” she asked. The girls had to laugh when they saw themselves in the picture covered with red and blue paint.
Soon all the family was caught up in reminiscing. Even Jeanette and Debby talked about the fun times they had together on their camping trip.
The spirit had changed. Everyone in the family could feel the spirit of love in their home again. When they knelt together in prayer, they felt the Spirit of the Lord with them.
                     • What happened to the spirit in the Reynolds home when the children started arguing?
Have someone read Mosiah 4:14.
                     • How did this affect their family home evening at first?
                     • Why did the spirit change when everyone started sharing good thoughts and acting kindly to one another again?
                     • Why is it important that we try to be thoughtful and loving to each other in our home?
Explain to your family that, just as in the Reynolds’ home, when family members are kind and loving toward one another, the Lord’s Spirit can also be in their home. But when they argue or are angry with one another, the Spirit leaves.
Explain that it is easy to be polite and kind to friends and people we don’t have to live with, but it is not always easy to be kind and loving to those closest to us, our own family members. Sometimes a family member may say or do something that offends another family member, which may result in bad feelings. We can overcome those bad feelings and learn to be more loving toward one another if we really try. (See 1 Corinthians 13:4.)
Use the following story to show how expressing love helps us overcome negative feelings toward each other:
It Works
“I will not iron your shirt. Iron it yourself,” Sybil said to her brother Phillip, who was two years younger than she.
“No, you won’t iron mine, but you’d jump at a chance to iron a shirt for Tim Cruthers,” retorted Phil as he ran outside.
“It worries me, Sybil,” mother said, “to see you and Phillip treat each other the way you do.”
“Oh, he makes me so mad that I can’t stand him!”
“Would you be willing to try an experiment—just you—without his knowing anything about it?”
“Tell me what it is first.”
Mother challenged her, “No matter what Phil does or says, you do and say only those things that show your love for him. See what happens. I’ll be an interested observer.”
“Oh, that would be hard. I’m not sure I could do it. Do you think he’d change? It would be good to have a brother who was a friend. You know, Marianne and her brother have the best relationship with each other. Maybe she can give me some pointers. I’ll think about it, mother.”
On her way to school next morning, Sybil stopped at Marianne’s house so they could walk together as usual. Marianne was carrying a heavy load of posters. As they came out, Phil passed by. Sybil called out to him, “Oh, Phil, please carry my books so I can help Marianne with these posters.”
“Yes, I will, just like you ironed my shirt.”
“I’m sorry about that. I’ll iron it tonight.”
But Phil showed no signs of having heard her.
Having missed lunch that day to prepare for a test, Sybil was very hungry when she got home. She made herself a sandwich. Just as she was about to take a bite, Phil came in and said, “Hey, Syb, make one of those for me.”
She opened her mouth to say, “Yes, just like you carried my books,” but instead she said, “Here take this one. I’ll make myself another.”
Phil looked shocked. He grabbed the sandwich and ran.
A few days later, mother said to Sybil, “I think it’s beginning to work, though Phil is still suspicious of your motives.”
Sybil shook her head, “I think I feel a little better toward him. But it’s even harder than I thought it would be. Once I slipped back into the old way and really let him have it.”
“It will take a while for him to feel that you are sincere. But, in the meantime, I must say it is more peaceful around here.”
About a week later, Sybil excitedly said to mother, “It works! You know I was doing the dishes alone. It was Margaret’s turn, but she had a cold so father sent her to bed. And, would you believe it, Phil came out and said he’d dry them. We had the best talk. I really do love him.”
                     • Why did Sybil and Phil change their attitudes toward each other?
Point out that it only took one of them to show love to change the situation.
                     • Why is it important that we express our love for one another? (By serving and helping one another, we will help our love for each other to grow.)
Have your family look up and read the following scriptures:
“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God” (1 John 4:7).
“Charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.
“Wherefore … pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love.” (Moroni 7:47–48.)
Explain to your family that they can turn to Heavenly Father when they need help learning to love one another. If they will pray with all their heart, they will be filled with his love and their ability to love others will grow.
Remind your family that Jesus’ love is unconditional. That means he loves us no matter what we do and say. Explain to your family that if they are to truly love one another as Jesus commanded them, they need to love each other in this same way. Have a family member read John 13:34.
                     • How would we act if we loved each other the way Jesus loves us?
Discuss with your family things they could do to overcome bad feelings or to help the feeling of love grow in your home. Read the examples below, and add those of your own:
                     1. Sincerely pray for help to get rid of angry, impatient, or hurt feelings.
                     2. Look through family photo albums, and talk about the things that the children did when they were little or that the family experienced together. Husbands and wives could look through wedding pictures or honeymoon photos.
                     3. Challenge family members to experiment as Sybil did, showing nothing but love for a week no matter how any other member of the family acts.
Love One Another Chart
Show your family the chart entitled “Love One Another.” Explain that each time they see a family member showing love to someone in the family, they are to color in one of the rays around the heart. They are also to write that person’s name down on the chart. Each family member could have his name on the chart several times.

Put the chart up in a place where all the family members can easily see, read, and color it, such as on the refrigerator or a bulletin board.

Challenge each family member to show love in your home throughout the coming week so that all the rays of the heart will be filled in before your next home evening. Challenge them to feel the spirit of love in your home.
Flower game
Take turns choosing hearts until all the hearts are gone. As you pick one, read the behavior and discuss it. If it does not bring "love at home", then discard it. If it does, tap it to the flower stem. In the end you will have a beautiful flower made from heart shaped petals that indicates what things you can do to increase love at home. Closed by singing "Love At Home." Keep the flower up for a while to have a reminder of what needs to be done to have Love At Home! -  Cassandra Spaeth

In the book “Strengthening Our Families” edited by David C. Dollahite, on chapter 12 pg. 167 it says, “Love is portrayed as solemn responsibility, sacred duty, practice to be taught, principle of family establishment, and aspect of family leadership.”  Love is an action.  It is something we do.  Our love will grow and become stronger as we serve one another in our families.  Jesus taught us to love one another as he has loved us.  I know that when my children are serving each other there is more love and peace in our home.
“Lesson Seventeen: Love at Home,” Family Home Evening Resource Book, (1997),74

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