I love to receive a smile. Don’t you?
Whether I’m walking through a store, standing in a line or idling at the traffic light, when someone shares a smile, I smile. Their effort has an effect. If I’m in a bad mood, troubled about something or sad, my smile isn’t all that big, but on the inside, the other person’s gesture blesses me.
And when one of my kids smiles at me, oh, it warms my heart! Likewise, our smile communicates to our child assurance, warmth, security, delight, welcome…love. Smiles send a message.
Throughout their day, our children receive all kinds of messages – in the yard playing with a friend, at school, on the bus, among peers at an event or on the computer. Our message to them matters; it carries influence to their heart.
Recently, I felt convicted as I left the grocery store: I smiled more at the strangers that I passed down the aisles, that I do with my family some days. What’s that about?
For me, I’ve concluded it’s about intentionality. No, I’m not going to be fake and put on a smile all the time, nor do I think that my smile has to necessarily be a big toothy grin. Smiling is a decision to give. To give someone I love what I think will bless them in the moment.
Saying good morning and good night. as they leave for work and return home. walking by them as they do their chores AND when they’re talking to me as I do mine. when they don’t feel like talking, but I do. when I ask them to do something for me. saying hello and good-bye. across the supper table. when I say thank you.