I could probably sit here for years and list all the things I am not good at. Things that just don’t come naturally to me. Things like…
Mopping the floor
Riding anything motorized
…to name only a few.
I could also, probably sit here for about a day or two, and acknowledge that there are a few things I am good at. Things that come naturally to me and that I enjoy…
Eating things with peanut butter (that can count right?)
…to name a few.
Point being, at one point in my life I decided that I thought it best to only spend time, energy, and effort on the things on my “can” do list. That if I can do it, than I should do it and that anything I cannot do I should not do. It was a cute but erroneous philosophy. Mainly in terms of relationships.
It seems that the concept of Love Languages has become a fairly universal understanding. That generally there are five and that every one has a top two that make them feel full in the “I’m Loved” department. They are (as I understand it) Physical Touch, Words of Encouragement, Quality Time, Gifts, and Acts of Service.
I have always appreciated that they are called languages, quite simply because if you are trying to love someone who speaks a different love language than you do…well…then its like communicating to someone who speaks a different language. Hence the downfall of my “only do things I’m good at” philosophy.
I have, for years, fallen epically short on loving people who do not speak my language (which is Quality Time). I mean epically short. I just didn’t think I would be good at it so I just didn’t try enough. Verbal Words of Encouragement, Physical Touch, Gifts, Acts of Service…just far too null and void in my outpourings over the last few years. So this Christmas…I am trying. It is not easy, but I believe that it is the heartfelt trying that will hopefully bring out love.
Its an attempt out of self-centeredness. That all that I experience always has to be out of and through the lense of what is everything me. My brain has the tendency to whine and self focus and, especially when it comes to speaking a different language, the temptation to give up is real. But alas the God that I serve is a God who put aside all His grandiose magnificence. Put aside the fact that he could have stayed in Heaven for always with His Father, but instead decided to come to us. As a lowly, innocent little baby, so that we could fully live.
I have to confess, sometimes when I go down these roads I get crazy and wonder why I am trying? All these gifts? All this time? Running four kids through Target for the umpteenth time? Cooking a big dinner in an already messy house to eat dinner with loved ones? Is it all worth it? Should I just stick to the things that are comfortable? The things that come more naturally to me? So far, the fruit of the work has far outweighed the burden. Though it has not been easy, its been worth it.
Its been making me ask these questions…
Surely I know my husband’s love languages, have I been putting them above my own?
My kids, do I fully know what theirs are yet? Can I spend time to figure out what they are?
Do I take the time to know, to fully know, what makes the people I am with feel loved?
I am, as always a work in progress. Never fully arriving to one single place but always praying boldly that I will always be going somewhere. My prayer for this week is that despite the Christmas crazy, I am loving someone well.
I wonder, would you be willing to share…what makes you feel loved?? I love getting ideas.