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Loving Beyond Valentine’s Day

I used to be one of those women who demanded the special Valentine’s Day treatment. I absolutely hated it when I heard about all the conspiracy theories behind “this special day of love”. There was even a period that I would buy myself a gift “from hubby” then show off said gift and thank (an obviously very confused) hubby. As you can imagine, this did not go down well and definitely didn’t stick.

The truth is, over the last four years, I’ve come to see how meaningless this day really is (trying not to sound old here). No, I’m not taking the sour “it’s just a commercial holiday” stance. I am, however, taking the “we should be showing love every day” stance. Since becoming a mom, I’m understanding this even more. If our children learn through our behavior, shouldn’t we be reflecting on what we want to see in them? I know that I want my girls to aim for the love and happiness they observe growing up. So I thought I’d look at some ideas to show love every day.

What’s your love language?

According to the hugely popular The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman, we each have a language that we communicate love in. The challenge comes in with the differences. Imagine that you speak German and your spouse/partner speaks Mandarin. You could be saying the exact same words to each other, but that language barrier means that you’ll never understand each other. Discovering how to translate is the key.

love languages

Words:

Simple words of affirmation and encouragement can make a big difference

Time:

Spending some uninterrupted quality time with your loved ones can make a greater impact than you think

Gifts:

Sometimes a little something that says “I was thinking about you” can have great meaning. It doesn’t have to be a big, expensive gift that breaks the bank

Service:

Actions really CAN speak louder than words. In my book, doing something without being asked screams “I love you”

Touch:

Physical touch doesn’t only mean sexual. Contact as simple as a hand-hold or hug is enough to soften the hardest heart

Some Other Suggestions

When I talk about showing love, I don’t only mean to your family or spouse/partner. Take it a step further and show some love to anyone that you come into contact with. Does the Bible not tell us to do this? Here are a few ideas for you to do with your spouse/partner/family/friends:

  • Spend some time at the animal shelter
  • Make a few sandwiches to hand out to the homeless
  • Visit residents at a nursing home. For many of them, their families don’t visit anymore. Show them that they are not forgotten
  • Go for a walk – collect trash as you go
  • Bake cookies for public servants to thank them for their hard work

We are very clearly instructed to “love one another”…even if we don’t like them. So we should put in that little extra effort to spread the love. Expressing our love and gratitude to

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