February is known as the love month. Valentine’s Day will be here in a few days and the word love will be the focus in a variety of ways. Thousands of Valentine cards will be purchased for all ages showing love to others. Love is universal and much has been written about love for one another. One of the most important writings in the Bible is to “Love One Another.” The strongest love is that of our Heavenly Father who loves us unconditionally. We are to show love for our mate, our children, our parents, our friends, those we do not know and, yes, we are to show love for our country. The connection of love for those we know, those we meet, those we do not agree with and those who make our lives uncomfortable can make us better human beings. In our world today, it is more important than ever to show and share our love with others. Love can heal the heart and love can make a huge difference in the lives of others.
I have written several articles about the word love and how we can show love to others. Dr. Gary Chapman has written a book titled “The Five Love Languages” which can help one understand love and know the best way to show it to those we love. In order to show love, one must know what the experience of love is. Love is described as strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties. Love is a warm attachment, enthusiasm or devotion. Love is unselfish, loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another. If we put these words together, we get something very special – a love that happens every day of the year. We are living in a world where love is needed every-where we look. Have we become so uncaring to those around us that we no longer feel the compassion for another human being? Have we seen so much violence in the world, on television, in the movies and in our streets that we no longer know how to feel love? Have we become so independent that we no longer feel it is important to communicate with others? What has happened to the most important rule that we are asked to live by? We were taught to love one another. We need to focus on loving our families, friends, community members, and to share warm feelings with folks we do not know but wish to communicate with. Unfortunately, we are becoming a non-communicational society where it is more important to text on a phone than to have personal and audible conversations. Do we really learn love, patience, concern, compassion, feelings and friendship through the words on a text or do we need to communicate personally with another face to face?
Dr. Chapman talks about the five languages of love and how to use them with your family and those you are close to. The first language of love is affirmation. There are those who need to be shown love through compliments and words of encouragement. Some folks are more likely to be motivated to reciprocate with words of affirmation. The second language of love is quality time of being together. Togetherness is a focused attention on the person you are with. We can make a person feel special if we show them that we enjoy being with them and doing activities together. Togetherness is a focused attention on the person we are with. We can make a person feel special if we show them that we enjoy being with them and doing activities together. The third language of love is receiving gifts. Gifts do not need to be expensive or even given every day. When we get a card, a flower or something special we feel appreciated and loved. The fourth language of love is the act of service. Acts of service can be done for a spouse, a child, a neighbor, or someone who has no one to love them. Couples need to make a list of special acts they would like for their spouses to do for them. Each spouse may pick out one or two acts of service on the list and plan to do them for each other. The fifth language of love is physical touch. Physical touch can make or break a relationship. It can communicate hate or love. Everyone loves to be hugged. A hug communicates warmth and security. A kiss on the cheek and a hug from Mom or Dad makes everything better. During times of sadness at the loss of a love one, hugs are the comfort one needs to make the sadness bearable. Parents who have several children need to find out which of the languages of love is needed for each child. This communication can make your relationships with your children much better.
Communication is a very important part of love. Love is a choice, Love makes a difference. The Bible tells us to love our enemies. Do good to those who hate you, mock you, criticize you or those who make you feel unworthy. This rule is very hard to communicate at times when our feelings are hurt; and the communication is damaged. When we communicate our feelings with another, it gives us a chance to make the situations better. If we never communicate our feelings, we might ruin a relationship that could be very special in our lives.
One very important part of love is….do you love yourself? If you do not love yourself and do not feel good about yourself, how can you love others? Each person is unique and deserves to be loved. Love yourself and then share that love with others. Love is a gift that is freely given. Love is a priceless gift received. Find your language of love and pass it on.
There is a special love that everyone can share. It is Agape love. Agape love is contagious, uncomplicated, simple and far reaching into the world. Agape love is straight from the heart. Agape love is the wish to make others feel better. Agape love is providing services to those in need. Agape love is working with those who are in need of compassion when they are angry and do not feel any love at all. Each person is unique and needs to be loved. One by one we can be examples of love. By using our uniqueness, we can make love work in our lives and in the lives of those we touch.
Joyce Meyers has written a book called the “Love Revolution”. She tells us that major changes can be made when we show how to be an example of love to others. First, we must love ourselves and realize that God loves us and expects us to show his love through the ways we treat others. The Golden Rule of loving others as we wish to be loved is a great place to start. Sometimes it is hard to know that we are special so we feel we cannot make a difference. We are not perfect; but we can use God’s examples of love and go out into the world and pray that we can show God’s love through our actions. We need to begin our love revolution within our family. Let us tell our family members how special they are and how much joy they bring into our lives. If one of our family members is having a rough time, we need to be supportive and loving. Look over the five languages of love and see which one you feel your family member would respond to. One can also use the five languages of love with various situations encountered with those we associate with. Don’t forget to smile when you are using one of the languages of love. A smile tends to make it easier to show your love to others.
Our love revolution can begin anytime but since Valentine’s Day is a special day for love, make a list of ways to show love this Valentine’s Day. You can send cards, you can make phone calls, you can visit, you can provide a service to a shut-in or a person who needs a little help. Don’t forget to show your spouse how important he or she is in your life. Make some special cookies and let the children help you decorate them. The time you spend with those you love shows them how much you care. Don’t forget that you are special to your family and to others around you. Don’t forget to smile at the person who is looking at you from the mirror. You deserve that smile and you can pass it along anytime you want to. “Happy Valentine’s Day”
I leave you with these thoughts as you get ready for Valentine’s Day.
“Spread love everywhere you go; spread love in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a neighbor…. let no one ever come to you without leaving better or happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.” - Mother Teresa
“Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.” - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr
“It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing.” - Mother Teresa
“Just for You” – Woman’s World - You sparkle in so many ways! Your hair, makeup and wardrobe don’t make you shine: You do! True beauty comes from the dreams that drive you, the hope that guides you and the caring you share. True beauty is the kind nothing can erase-not time, not stress, not even a bad hair day or two. True beauty is the love and light others see in you! - Jan 21, 2019