Quick, think back to all the goofy, puppy-love feelings you experienced the first time you fell in “love”. Whether you were 5 or 15 we all know the fluttering feeling in our stomach that happened when that someone special brushed our hand or looked our way.
Love can change form as we age. It feels, sounds, looks and even impacts us differently.
Valentine’s Day has come and gone but I hope we never stop thinking about how to show love to the people in our life.
We can read books about types of Love Languages and we know what it feels like to be loved, but sometimes it can be difficult to show love to the people we’re around the most.
One day I was truly fed up with my toddler and called my mom in desperation. I remember saying, “Mom, I don’t even LIKE him right now – he’s driving me crazy!” In her wisdom my mother reminded me that my son is around me more than he’s around anyone else in his life. He knew me better than I might know myself. My toddler could read my body language and understood when I was tired, hungry and at my wit’s end. He was so much smarter than I was giving him credit.
So I decided to focus on how I could love my boy even on days when I really didn’t like him.
No matter the age of our children or the size of our family our love can be communicated in an intentional and powerful way. To help us show love in a fresh, new way let’s spell it with words instead of just letters.
L is for LISTEN
Love truly listens. It listens first, speaks last. When love listens we are able to put technology away and focus on the people in front of us. When we listen we be become compassionate, patient and willing to accept the people in our family. When I listen I find out my kids see the world differently and have a perspective all their own. Listening keeps us from judging or making assumptions. It takes energy to listen, but it’s an investment that brings a return in relationships built on trust and respect.
O is for OPTIMISTIC
Optimism doesn’t mean I’m clueless. If I’m optimistic I have hope. I’m hopeful that new information, trying new things and the situation I’m facing will bring positive results. Sometimes it’s really hard to be optimistic in the light of trying to love the people in our life. Is there a family member, child, coworker causing you grief? Try being optimistic about who they are and how things could work out. It’s the whole “glass half full” mindset and when optimism (hope) is present we are able to truly love instead of just tolerate people.
V is for VARIETY
Here in Kansas, we enjoy changing weather, seasons and landscapes. Variety is obvious in nature and it should also be obvious in how and when we love. We don’t need to wait for Valentine’s Day or a special occasion. We need to show love when no one expects it and in fresh new ways! Need some ideas for the man in your life? Check out Kathy Lipp’s 4 Day Love Challenge.
E is for ENDURE
This is the toughest one for me. I can become impatient and short with people because I just don’t see why the solution to the problem hasn’t been discovered and implemented. The Lord is working on me. I’m learning to be compassionate and willing to endure with my children. The only condition to enduring is this – when we endure with people we cannot begin to enable them. If we promote the problem instead of helping people find the solution we’re creating victims and we’re securing their need for us to be in their life. Love never gives up, it endures – even if we don’t see the results until heaven.
HOW ABOUT YOU?
Do you have a strategy or scripture that helps you truly listen to the people you love?
Have you tried something new and held hope that it would work? When things get tough, how do you remain optimistic?
What cool, different way do you show love to your family? Share your variety with us so we can try your ideas!
Has someone in your life endured with you or have you endured with someone else and seen love conquer all?
I can’t wait to read your stories – thank you for taking time to share!