First of all, I believe it is important for us to be clear; the "others" Jesus is talking about includes everyone. In His account of the Good Samaritan, Jesus said our "neighbor" is anyone in need, not just those in our own small group of friends. Jesus wants us to be people who love all others. Throughout Scripture we see where God told those who followed and loved Him, He wanted them to show His love to the widows, orphans, immigrants and people in need. This is still true today. When we follow His clear direction to love others, this means we love all others. Period.
We need to be people who love. Period. We need to model this for our grandchildren and help them learn to be people who do the same. Period. So, what are some practical ways for us to do this? Consider the following . . .
- Start with helping your grandchildren learn to be people who pray for others. Praying for someone is one of the most loving things you are able to do for them - yes, it truly is, because when you pray for someone, you are asking the God of the universe to step into their life and show His great love. Have them choose a family member or friend each week and then pray for them together. You are able to do this with your grandchildren no matter their age or location and it is a great way to help them learn to be people who pray.
- Help them learn to be people who give - a wonderful way to begin this is by helping them learn to give those items which are gently used, but outgrown to local pantries/closets. Clothes, toys and books are all able to be given to someone in need.
- Involve them in projects to raise money to give to ministries which help others - whether your local church has such projects or I personally love World Vision's Gift Catalog - $30 will buy three ducks for a family in need and ducks provide eggs, ducklings, feathers, fertilizer - all which are able to provide food and money for those families . . . and $30 is not a lot of money to save/raise! A VERY child-friendly project! Lemonade and/or cookie sales, car washes, lawn mowing, art sales, etc - all very doable ways for children to raise money to show love to someone in need.
- Don't forget encouraging your grandchildren to show love to their siblings - in big and small ways.
- Help them learn to pray for children at school who may not be kind to them - help them learn to be a friend to someone who really needs a friend . . . even if it is difficult to do so.