I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Thursday, February 14, 2013

5 Ways to Show Your Love

Photo Credit
Lisa Jordan

One of my favorite quotes is, “Treat your friends like family and your family like friends.”

Writers are told to “show, not tell” in their manuscripts. I believe the same holds true for our lives. After all, actions speak louder than words, right?

Many people will be showing their love to others today with flowers, chocolates, jewelry and other gifts. But what about those other days of the year when romance or love may not be in the air? Those days when the alarm didn’t go off, the kids are sick or maybe worse. How do you show love then?

Showing love is putting your words in action.

Think about the people in your lives. To whom do you want to show your love? Your parents? Your siblings? Your spouse? Your children? Your friends?

Sometimes it’s easier said than done to show others how much you care. If you’re struggling with ideas, consider these suggestions:
·         Speak to your loved one’s love language. If your spouse’s love language is physical touch, then offer to give him a massage or give him a hug for no reason. If your sister’s love language is Acts of Service, then bring her dinner and do her dishes.
·         Show your appreciation. How do you say thank you? Maybe give a bouquet of flowers on a very mundane Tuesday instead of waiting for the one day of the year when flowers are marked up in the name of love.
·         Swallow your pride. Being right isn’t always the right way to strengthen a relationship. Be the first to apologize and mean it. Learn to forgive easily and forget quickly. Holding grudges widens the distance in a relationship.
·         Do the unexpected. Surprise your loved one with an unexpected act of service. Offer to make dinner, do the dishes or fold last week’s laundry still sitting on the couch.
·         Take an interest in their hobbies. My husband is a professional fly tyer and outdoorsman. Some of our best times are on the water, floating a line across the surface. I’m not the kind of woman who is one with nature, especially in snake-infested grasses that skirt the streams where we fish. But putting my fears aside while pulling on my hip waders gives us time to connect away from the house and our daily responsibilities. He appreciates my interest in his hobby so much that he bought me a pink fishing vest. Yes, pink.

Showing your loved ones how much you care takes time and energy, but the effort you put forth will strengthen your relationships. And that’s worth it on so many levels.

Your Turn: How do you treat your family like friends and your friends like family? What other suggestions could you add to my list?

~*~

Married over 20 years, Lisa Jordan knows a thing or two about romance. She and her real-life hero husband  have two college-aged sons. By day, she is an early childhood educator. By night, Lisa is an award-winning author for Love Inspired, writing contemporary Christian romances that promise hope and happily ever after. In her free time, she enjoys good books, romantic comedies, crafting with friends and feeding her NCIS addiction. To learn more about her, visit her at www.lisajordanboooks.com.

16 comments:

  1. One way to treat your family like friends is to cut them some slack. We are usually so much harder on our families than we are on our friends. Great post, Lisa!

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    1. Oh, I'm sooo guilty on that count--especially my kids. I have to make sure my standards for them are realistic, in general as well as in the moment. Great addition, Pat.

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    2. Pat, this is such a great suggestion. Why are we willing to show grace to our friends, but not always with our families?

      And Jeanne, I love what you said about ensuring standards are realistic.

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  2. A pink fishing vest? Yes! If they make them, maybe he can buy you pink waders, too. I'm sure fish would like them more. Good for you for making this list and living it! Thanks, Lisa.

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    1. I'm sure Hubby will roll his eyes when I mention the pink waders, but I'll be sure to bring it up!! :D He'll remind me the goal is to blend in so the fish don't see us.

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  3. Oh, I love the pink vest!

    I'm a firm believer in discovering your spouse's and kids' love languages, then practice them as much as possible.

    Lisa, your suggestions combined suggest this, but if I were adding to your list, I'd say love is spelled T-I-M-E. We play a lot of board games and I watch movies out of my genre to spend time with my family of boys. I love how you put aside your preferences and go fishing with your husband.

    I loved how your closing comments sums it all up: "Showing your loved ones how much you care takes time and energy, but the effort you put forth will strengthen your relationships. And that’s worth it on so many levels."

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    1. Roxanne, T-I-M-E should have been at the top of my list, but I forgot to include it. Thanks so much for sharing it. :)

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  4. Lisa, I love your post. And your practical ways of showing love, even when it's not in an area of strength/interest for you is so important. I'm learning to do this with my boys, and my honey. I'm challenged to see how to creatively spend more time outside the house with my beloved. Thanks for these great ways of showing love!

    My husband's love language is acts of service. Me making his lunch for work is very important to him. So, I try to do this, and to find other ways to serve him. As for my boys, they both love cuddles, so I'm trying to purpose to stop what I'm doing when they need a few minutes of "cuddle time." Keeping them as one of my top priorities is one way I'm working to show them love consistently. I agree with Roxanne--love in my house is definitely spelled: T-I-M-E.

    Happy Valentine's Day!

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    1. Jeanne, I love how you're embracing your hubby's and boys' love languages. We can show our love in simple ways. Words and hugs are so super important, no matter how old they get.

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  5. Great post Lisa! I love your last idea. I found the best time to talk to my husband was when he was working in his garage. After the kids would go to sleep, I'd go out and start asking him questions about what he was working on. He isn't one to carry on long conversations, but getting him to talk about stuff he knew created a natural segway into topics we needed to discuss without the confrontation that would normally occur otherwise.

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    1. Jennie, I remember you telling me that's how you learned so much about cars. I love that. Such a great way to strengthen the marital bonds.

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  6. Love this, Lisa. Sometimes just showing our support for them in tough times goes a long way too. I think it's good just to let our family know we are on their side!

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    1. Teri, your family is a testament to being so supportive during the tough times! Thank you for adding such a great suggestion to the list.

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  7. Love this! It's good to be reminded....

    My son's love language is acts of service. He loves it when I cook his favorite meals.

    My husband's is touch. He loves big hugs!

    My love language is gifts, I don't get many of those. So, I am the one who has to be patient and wait for the big occasions. My husband is getting better at bringing me flowers for no reason than to fill my love tank.

    I think he realizes that he needs to be more involved in my running hobby, so he announced that he would run a half marathon with me next year. That means 6 mos of training together. We'll see how it goes!

    Have a great week!

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    1. Ruth, that's so sweet about your hubby. Not only are the two of you strengthening your relationship, but you're being physically active and strengthening your hearts too...both literally and figuratively. :)

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