Love is… Showing

8-19-18

Hearing someone say “I love you” is powerful, and being able to say it back is just as amazing whether it’s romantic love or not. But it takes more than just saying the words to share love. Let’s wrap up this series with five ways you can show someone you love them. (If you missed any of the posts, click to check out seeing, believing, and supporting.)

1. Time

We’re all busy. When I was a teenager, life was hectic, but it seems like it’s getting faster every single day. None of us have as much time as we want, so one of the most precious gifts you can give someone is spending time with them.

Maybe you are in a romantic relationship. Those take a lot of time investment. It can be hard to balance school, work, family, friends, time for yourself, and time with your significant other. Whether you are dating or married, it’s so important to get to know one another. You’re never really all the way there, because we’re all always changing and growing. So if you think you know that person now, but you don’t invest the time to keep knowing them, a year from now you may realize that you’re out of sync.

The same is true for any relationship. There are people I was friends with in high school and college who it would feel weird to call today and have a chat. Not because anything bad happened, but because life happened. We got married. I have a job. They have kids. And now we exist in different spaces. Sometimes that’s just how life is. But when there are people we want to stay friends with, we need to be intentional about it.

2. Encouragement

There’s plenty of negativity in the world. The last thing we need to do to those we love is to be critical all the time. Constructive criticism is good and has a place, but we should be careful not to tear each other down.

It’s hard to share your deepest fears and dreams with everyone. For me, I talk about things like this to a very few friends. So it means a lot when they ask how I’m doing with one of them. Let’s make sure that for the people we are close enough with to know these things that we are being supportive.

Ointment and perfume delight the heart, And the sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel. – Proverbs 27:9

3. Listening

Sometimes we just need someone to talk to. Maybe it’s about advice for what to do in a dilemma, or maybe it’s just to be a sounding board when we’ve had a bad day. Maybe it’s that we have such exciting news we just have to share it with someone. Let’s make sure that the people we love feel comfortable enough with how we’ll react that they will talk to us.

4. Grace Giving

People mess up. I do, you do, and we all will again. It’s not the most pleasant thought, but it’s one that we need to accept. When we do, we’re much better off. Because when we can accept ahead of time that people are going to disappoint us, maybe we won’t put them on a pedestal and set them up for failure in our own opinions.

We’re also going to make mistakes and let other people down. When we do, let’s let them show the same grace to us that we (hopefully) share with them. Right after a disagreement or argument is an awkward time in a relationship, but we can either tough through it and come out on the other side stronger or abandon it. Personally, I don’t like losing people.

…bearing with one another, and forgiving one another… – Colossians 3:13

5. Hoping

One of the nastier tricks of being human is that the more we’re around something that bothers us, sometimes the more it annoys us. Maybe we notice something, a bad habit or a negative trait, in the person we love that kind of irks us.

And then we keep noticing it.

And it just won’t go away.

Until that’s all we can focus on. Encouragement in the form of constructive criticism is definitely an option. But sometimes, we need to bear with each other. We can hope for, or confidently expect, that our loved one will continue to grow as a person. Because nobody is perfect, and we’re supposed to get better with time. That’s not always easy to give, but sometimes what our friends need is for us to trust in the best version of themselves they can be for them to have the courage to try to get there.

Of course there are a lot more ways to show someone that you love them. What are some of your favorite ways to show and be shown love? Let me know!

May the Lord bless and keep you,

Heather

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