I have a board on Pinterest titled “Living Love” and when you first see the title you might think that this board is all about love…well, romantic love, anyway. But you would be wrong. This board isn’t about romance or dating or marriage. I have another board for that titled “Romantic at Heart.”
“Living Love” is not about romantic love. Rather the board is about practical ways that you can live Christ’s love every single day. It is about being doers of the Word and not simply hearers. I chose the name “Living Love” because it is about more than doing random acts of kindness. It is about living out the love that Christ has for us and that includes random acts of kindness, building community, being a missionary where you are at, and being generous.
For most of the world, all they know about Christianity is what they see in us, and unfortunately, most of they see today is ugliness and hatred thanks to churches that try to “hate” people into believing. We aren’t called to hate. We are called to love, and while love should be lived all year long, the Advent and winter seasons are times when it is really brought home to us how much love is needed in this world.
So what are some ways that you can live love this Advent season?
Here are some great ways to give:
- Buy toys and donate them to your local women’s shelter or children’s group care home.
- Toys for Tots
- The Salvation Army
- World Vision
- Donate your unused gift cards to Spreading Joy
- Samaritan’s Purse
- Sole Hope
- Donate food to the local homeless shelter. Donate toys for the children who live in those circumstances.
Open your home and your hearts to others. Invite some friends that you know are single and don’t have family in the area for Christmas dinner. Host a Christmas party for your small group. Throw an Operation Christmas Child shoe box packing party (although I recommend doing this in October or early November). Host a Sole Hope shoe cutting party. Have a Christmas open house for your neighbors or a cookie exchange party for your co-workers. Invite some of your children’s friends and their families over for a cookie decorating party. There are numerous ways to open your home during the holiday season and all year round.
Volunteering is another great way to live love. The Salvation Army, your local homeless shelter, preschools, Meals on Wheels, and your local senior center are some wonderful places to volunteer. Research your community and find out where volunteers are needed.
- Random Acts of Kindness
- Shovel the sidewalk for an elderly neighbor or a single mom
- Clean the snow off the neighbors’ cars
- Offer to babysit while a single parent does their Christmas shopping
- Bake cookies for local police officers or firemen
- Buy a cup of hot chocolate or coffee for the Salvation Army volunteers
- Bring bagels or donuts to the office for breakfast for your co-workers
- Take a meal to someone who is shut-in or a new mom
Living love isn’t easy. It takes being intentional and being present so that you can see the opportunities to others. It also means opening your heart, being vulnerable, taking a risk and facing fears of rejection, but the interesting thing about it is that the more you give, the more you receive so that in the end the benefits of living love definitely outweigh the costs.