Obviously love starts out as an emotion. When you hold a little baby for the first time, you can’t help but love them so much. When you and that special someone have feelings for each other, there is just no holding back the love.
But those feelings fade over time. Ask anyone who’s raised a child through the teenage years and they’ll agree that there were days when that kid was the most unlovable person on the planet. You sometimes have to choose to love them, possibly against their will. And ask anyone who has stuck with a spouse for more than a couple of decades and you’ll find two people who have overlooked the small stuff and chosen love.
I mention this because it seems to me that we as a society have made a choice that love should always be a fun emotion. It’s not. Love is a commitment.
And so thinking about that and these fatherless (or motherless) kids in your community who don’t understand love at all, it’s important to understand what you’re really teaching them.
You’re showing them that you made the choice to love them and be there, even when they sometimes might not want you there. You chose love and came anyway. On those days where you really could have stood to skip lunch and work through on an important deadline, you chose love and you came to see them anyways. You chose them, and you chose love.
You are changing the world, one kid at a time, with love.