Love. What do we expect? -Written by Krista Monson
Let’s face it. We love to be loved. We need to be loved. Many times we want to be loved in specific ways. Our hearts may be just a bit happier if we got a hug, or if someone we love sent us a nice text or phone call. Maybe a bad day would be brighter if we spent some time with a friend or someone close to us. When we do not experience love in a way we want or expect, we tend to feel more lonely, isolated, and even disappointed in the people close to us.
We all show love in different ways. There are different love languages. Five to be exact, according to Gary Chapman’s work. Five ways to show/speak love: Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Gifts, Acts of Service, and Quality Time. The 5 Love Languages highlight that there are specific ways people tend to give and receive love. Think of a bad day; perhaps one that you have had recently. What did you need to get better? How could someone have helped you feel better? What does that show about how you like to receive love? Now, reverse it. How do you like to show others love when they are experiencing a hard time?
1 Corinthians 13 shares that “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” We can get caught up in how we expect to be loved and miss seeing love around us. We also can feel burdened by the expectation we feel to show love and not experience love in return. Or some of us even neglect to let others help or show us love! 1 Corinthians is an invitation to release our expectations on love. To allow the unexpected and communicate to one another through love and compassion.
Time to Chat.
Which do you think is your top love language? What ways do you like to receive love? For example, I like hugs. Which way do you tend to give love? I am a helper, so I tend to give acts of service. Is it the same language of giving and receiving for you? Want to learn more about the 5 Love Languages and take a quiz to learn yours? Kids, teens, couples, and singles can all take a quiz here.
Take what you have learned about love languages and apply it through a random act of kindness this week! That’s unexpected! We need to learn and challenge ourselves to continually show love to others. A great way by doing this is random acts of kindness. Try using words of affirmation and leaving a kind note for someone in your family or a stranger. A post-it note or small note of encouragement can go a long way! Acts of service can be helping a neighbor clear their sidewalk of ice or picking up litter. There are multiple ways to show love! Choose one language and try to “beef up” your skills and show love all week.