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Last week I told you a long and rambling story of how love languages came to the forefront of my ever cluttered mind. In that vein, I’m doing a blog series on the 5 love languages as described by Dr. Gary Chapman.
I remember reading his book and thinking that it wasn’t a 100% accurate theory, but I was inspired by thought behind it and the good doctor’s intent. It encouraged me to pay even closer attention to those I love and try to love them in a way that made them feel loved. Many times we love people how we want to be loved. We do things for other people that we want done for ourselves. Thinking they want and need what we want and need. Unfortunately, it’s not always the case.
I always appreciate it when people offer to help me or are willing to do things for me. I have been on my own for a long time, and am used to doing things for myself consistently. Therefore, I’m not always great at accepting help. I have to put serious effort into allowing others to help me. It is important because this may be their way of showing me they care, and if I continually reject their offers of assistance, they may feel rejected or unloved.
I believe love is a verb. An action. Not an emotion. I believe love is a choice. A decision to be kind and patient, even when we are angry. To deliberately, and purposefully put your selfishness on a shelf and focus on someone else’s need.
There are many kinds of love. A parent’s love for a child. A sibling’s love for another sibling. A friend’s love for a friend. A general concern for other humans in the world. Passionate love of those in a coupledom. The English word for love just isn’t sufficient to describe all the ways we can feel and show love.
Keeping the many kinds of love in your mind, think about acts of service as a language in each of those kinds of love. How we can choose to love each of those in our spheres by choosing to serve them?
Dr. Chapman defines those who give and receive love as an act of service as: “For these people, actions speak louder than words.”
So if a person in your sphere is speaks in the “acts of service” language, how can you show them love?
For general human kind…holding a door, paying for coffee or a meal for the person in line behind you, allowing a mother with a stroller to enter the elevator before you, cleaning the snow off the car for your roommate or neighbor, offering to babysit for a sibling or a neighbor so they can run errands or have a break…and the like. Showing up on time when you say you will, as actions speak louder than words.
For spouses…taking the trash out without being asked, cooking dinner or cleaning up after dinner, and sharing in other household tasks. Being willing to do the things they would normally do, but are too busy to do that day.
For parents towards teens…modeling serving behavior by teaching them how to give of themselves inside and outside of the family, driving to their games, meets, concerts, and other activities without compliant, and attending the events they participate in even if you have zero interest in said event. Many of the things you do for your teens are acts of service.
For kids towards your parents…offering to do household chores without being asked, and actually doing them, or doing any other similar type task without attitude. Being willing to obey rules, I would think, also falls under acts of service too.
For parents towards small kiddos… This is rather evident because you need to serve the small ones otherwise they would not live to be a year old. Diaper changes and feedings, and pretty much every single thing you need to do for them. But as they grow they will want to “help” you. Part of it may be quality time, wanting to be with you, but it also may be them wanting to do things for you to show you that they love you. Allow them to show you they love you with an act of service, and always remember to thank them.
Funny story…When I was small, maybe 5 years old, I wanted to help NaNa in her garden. So she put me in a section that needed to be weeded and told me what to do. So I “helped” her by pulling up every single plant in the vicinity. I was very thorough and pulled up the vegetable plants too. NaNa realized what I was doing, and said “Ah! No. Stop!” I was really upset because I wanted to help her. She smiled at me and said, “I have a new job for you Jill-o Maguillo.” And she put me in the potato plants and showed me how to kill potato bugs by cutting them in half with my fingernails. Then she went back and replanted all the veggie plants I had dug up.
This pic was taken around the time the story took place, spring 1980. This is NaNa, me, and my little sister, Bettie-Jo.
I remember this experience and how NaNa handled it vividly. After we were done and washing up, she thanked me for helping her and for all my hard work. Despite the time she lost weeding her 1 full acre garden, because she had to replant a section due to my thoroughness in plant pulling. So even though I made a mistake, I didn’t feel like I failed. I felt like I helped NaNa, and she appreciated my help.
I know a few people who have serious servant hearts, and are always looking for ways to help other people. Sometimes they get burned out or feel like people take advantage of their generosity. So please say thank you, and acknowledge their actions.
There obviously needs to be some boundaries in all relationships, so if this is your language, don’t allow people to run over you and take advantage. Healthy relationships have give and take.
Be on the look out to do something nice for those in your sphere. Not for a reward, but just to show them they matter to you. Pay attention to people who do things for you, and remember to say thank you and that you appreciate it. Try to reciprocate by helping them in an area that they may need assistance. If someone finds joy in serving you, dollars to donuts, they’d feel loved if you did something for them as well.
Point to ponder while you wander… Jesus said that He came to serve, not to be served. We should all be willing to serve others. He also said, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’ friends.” John 15:13 NLT
Tonight I had a conversation with an intelligent and kind man who wanted to talk about theology, religion, and the rules. I think he was genuinely curious…and not bad mouthing God.
But I am simply the wrong person for that kind of intellectual based conversation. Not my strong suit. Because it is such a heart thing for me…that I cannot always explain so someone’s head can understand. I hope that in the coversation that I represented my Jesus well. But I’m not sure I did.
I just love Jesus. And Jesus loves me. He’s my guy. He saved my life when I didn’t believe I was worth anything…including life. I thought I was a mistake who wasn’t even eligible for the promises of God. But now…I know He knew I was worth dying for…so He gave His life. So I live for Him.
Do I screw up? Yep. Daily. But He still loves me. He still roots for me. He still thinks I’m worth it. And He feels the same way about you.
Religion sucks. Because it puts you in a box to be like everyone else.
Jesus doesn’t fit in a box. He walks on water and calms storms. He touches lepers and heals them. He teaches women and calls them to change the world. He loves first. He flips over tables when people cheat or rob in the name of God. He is not a passive wussy. But He is love. He gives peace that passes all understanding. He loves first. Yes, I said this twice because it is worth repeating.
He loves you no matter who you are or are not, and no matter what you have done.
He is the love of my life. My heart. And generally that is such a private and personal relationship that I don’t talk much about it.
But today I felt like I needed to. So I did. The end.
Point to ponder while you wander…Jesus is not a wussy. He’s a life giver who flips tables, loves the unlovely, and believes in those the world thinks are beeath them.
”As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 9:5
When Jesus took His place at the right hand of God, you took His place as the light of the world.
Point to ponder while you wander…. Shine on light of the world!
This little light of mine…I’m gonna let it shine. This little light of mine…I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine.
We were created to be in partnership with Jesus, so when we try to be Lone Rangers we get drained, stressed, weary, and depressed. But…
“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 NLT
I’ve been really struggling the past few months. I have been asking Jesus about it recently but because I feel so overwhelmingly sad I haven’t been able to hear Him clearly. I know He’s speaking but I can’t hear what He is speaking. This morning I went on Bible Gateway to look something up and Isaiah 40:31 was the verse of the day.
I heard very clearly that I’ve become weary because I’m trying to get through this without Him. And I can’t. Not if I ever want to heal completely.
I’ve been trying to survive on the fumes of my own strength, when He’s got a new fresh supply of strength for me that will allow me to thrive even in grief.
I don’t know how people can get through loss and hard times without Jesus. I am eternally grateful for the new strength He provides when my own runs out.
Point to ponder while you wander…“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30 NLT
“For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” Luke 19:10 NLT
Jesus came here expressly to search out the lost. The original word in Greek is apollymi. It means that which is ruined, lost, or that which is set to be destroyed.
Why? Why leave your throne in Paradise to seek out those that are ruined, lost, or those who are destined for destruction?
Save is sozo in Greek. It means to save, heal, and deliver. He loves all of you, body, soul (mind, will and emotions), and spirit.
Salvation. He saves your spirit when you chose to receive His as your Savior. It’s immediate and permanent. No longer destined for destruction are you!
Healing. Physical healing. Emotional healing. Both rights of God’s kids, because of Jesus.
Deliverance. Mainly this is about the mind and mindsets, but can also free the will to make better choices.
Jesus came to completely eradicate any trace of bondage, sickness, and hopelessness from humanity.
Point to ponder while you wander…”For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17 NLT
This morning I was praying about what encouragement to send out today and I heard Romans 8:10. This is the verse:
“Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God.” Romans 8:10
Jesus came to give us life. Not so that we could just exist or barely make it, but so that we would really live full and abundant lives!! In other words, life is for living!!!
“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].” John 10:10 AMP
We are spirit. We have a soul (mind, will and emotions). And we live in an earthly body. That body will die. Because, here on earth, death is inevitable.
But death here is not the end.
We are spirit. Spirit doesn’t die like the body. So when we leave this world it’s not the end of life, but the beginning of eternity with Jesus.
“For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21 NIV
So live this first life fully, but there’s no reason to fear death. To leave here means we will be with our Savior, Jesus.
Point to ponder while you wander. . . We were given freedom so that we could be free. (Galatians 5:1) We were loved first, so that we can love. (1 John 4:19) And we were given life to live!! (John 10:10) #hope #lovewon #lifeisforliving