When I made out My Homeschool To Do List in 1994, I wrote out objectives that I believed were most important in our homeschool. I thought ahead to the skills and character traits I wanted our children to have when they became adults. One of those goals was “Be interesting.”
I was thinking last week about phone calls with one of our daughters. She is interesting — and I mean that as a high compliment. As I typed it just now, I realized that sometimes when people say, “She (or he) is interesting,” what they really mean is “weird.” Our daughter is not weird — at all. She has broad interests. She is a great conversationalist. Her stories are fun. Her sense of humor has kept us laughing since she was very young. I could go on and on singing her praises.
However, interesting isn’t the trait I thought of the other day when I thought about our phone calls. The trait I thought about is that our daughter is interested. She is interested in the person she is talking to, interested in their interests, and interested in what that other person has to say.
People can’t really be very interesting if they are not first interested. If a person’s interests are very limited, he or she isn’t going to be interesting to other people.
More importantly, I am convinced that being interested in other people and in their interests is a key to showing love to others. Listening, caring, and empathizing tell other people that they matter. Giving precious time and attention to other people affirms their worth. Showing genuine interest is one of the best ways to say, “I love you.”
Being with your children gives you daily opportunities to show your love for them by listening, caring, empathizing, and being interested in all their big and little concerns. Knowing that your mama loves you and cares about all of your cares is a gift that no one else can give your children but you alone.
Teaching them how to do that for other people will bless your children and many, many other people for years to come. Many people — even those who know that God loves them — are longing for someone to let them know how very much they matter.
. . . do not merely look out
for your own personal interests,
but also for the interests of others.
Above all, keep fervent
in your love for one another,
because love covers a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8
One of them, a lawyer,
asked Him a question, testing Him,
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
And He said to him,
“‘You shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart, and with all your soul,
and with all your mind.’
This is the great and foremost commandment.
The second is like it,
‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
On these two commandments
depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”