The Loving Jar

Lately I've been feeling a certain lack of love between the siblings here. This has manifested itself in little things, like shoving past each other on the stairs, taking the last of something for one's self instead of asking if someone else would like it, not holding the door for others. This is not to mention the big ways we don't love each other, like calling names and teasing. We've had sins of omission and commission, plenty to go around.

So I decided to give a little incentive for showing love to each other. I filled a jar with marbles from the five-and-dime store (the Loving Reserves in the picture above). Each time I catch one of the children being loving to a sibling, he or she can move a marble over to the Loving Jar. When we fill the Loving Jar, we will reward ourselves with...something. Not yet sure what that will be. A trip for ice cream? A museum outing?

It has been sweet to watch the kids be "caught" at loving. Even Lucy got to move a marble over. A few mornings ago, she was snuggling with Theo and said, out of the blue, "Theo, I'm sorry I called you a weirdo yesterday." Theo forgave her. The Lord at work in the conscience of a three-year-old.

What works for you? How can we lead our children to love each other? The family is our main practice arena for loving! We need all the help we can get. I need to remember that the Lord is willing and able.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
I John 4:7

But Thou, O Lord, art a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth.
Psalm 89:15


  1. what's wrong with me? this post made me tear up! :) lucy asking forgiveness for calling theo a weirdo was pretty darn cute. what a great idea, kit! i'm not sure i'd be able to move that many marbles if my roommates and i were doing this. :)

  2. What a great idea! We have been in an unloving rut around here (kids and parents alike) and I have been trying to figure out how to address things. This is great food for thought!


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