In today's class we were asked two questions:
1.) How can we increase our love of our class members
2.) How can we express our love of our class members to them,
My answer for both of those questions are the same, by listening to their comments and testimonies as they are shared during class.
I have sat in Sunday School classes and observed as a teacher asks for comments, then completely disregard that comment in an attempt to motor through their prepared lesson plan. While I do believe that it is the teacher's responsibility to mediate classroom discussion and keep it focused on the outlined curriculum, hearing and validating the comments is a powerful skill.
As we really listen to and hear and understand what is being shared, we begin to develop a better understanding about the individuals we are teaching and consequently we increase in love for them. Additionally, listening and hearing and understanding individuals is a remarkable way to express love to each class member.
I know this to be a powerful tool because I recognize it in my personal relationship with God. As I feel that my prayers are being heard...really heard...I feel an increased measure of love from God. And, as I listen to Him....really listen...I know that I am actively expressing my love to Him.