“A gift given in secret soothes anger, and a bribe concealed in the cloak pacifies great wrath.” (Proverbs 21:14 NIV)
Gifts are not my oldest daughter's love language. It's not that she doesn't like to get them or to give them; they're just not what speaks love most fluently to her, and they're not how she speaks love most fluently to other people. But she does like encouragement, and she is touched by small gestures that demonstrate love, so I try to surprise her once in a while with small gifts that speak those things…gifts that can soothe the rough moments of life a little.
I once put a note in her lunch to which I had affixed a Rolo candy; the note read, “I Rolo-y love you.” I knew it had spoken her language when she found it and texted me immediately: “I loved my Rolo-y note. It made my day!” Another time, when she was coming home from college for the weekend, I put a chocolate on her pillow, hotel-style. I wasn’t home when she found it, but again, I knew it had spoken love in her language when she texted me a picture of it as soon as she found it and told me, “You are the cutest.” (Which, as any mom knows, is pretty much as good as it gets in the mom-compliment department.)
I’m not suggesting that we bribe our children with gifts or that we try to cover over anger by giving them things. But, done wisely, when we give gifts to our children, we reflect the heart of God, the Giver of every good and perfect gift. And truly, that is “Rolo-y” worth doing.