Love Languages

I made a list of ways to show my husband love with words. If you’ve ever read about the different things people seem to need in order to feel loved, then maybe you’ll remember that words is one of those things that everyone needs, but that some really crave.

Of course, as opposites attract, words are the hardest for me to give. They maybe matter least to me. The praise of others rolls off my back if I find fault in what I have done. I’ve mentioned I’m a perfectionist and gifted fault finder, which means words of criticism come easier than words of affirmation.

So, I worked at it. I made a list. I wrote a poem. I made a video. I designed a t-shirt. I bought cards and a couple children’s books.

My husband liked them, but then he told me he didn’t need those things. His love language changed, seriously changed to match mine, the kind I gave easily, without thinking. It was a gift from God to my husband and to me. Now when I say words of affirmation, he treasures them deeply, knowing I didn’t “work” at producing them.

I have thought my kids had one love language, such as touch for my cuddle bugs, but then as they grew it seemed to change. But maybe now my approach has changed, I think I’ll just love them and ask God to translate the message.

Post-log: I realized I forgot to add a picture to the post. I thought of this one. It’s our car. I realized that I did love my husband with words without even thinking about it. He had mentioned one day that he wanted an “I love my wife” bumper sticker. I made the set and gave it to him for Christmas.

Life In Christ – Christ in Me

For My Victory

I was so encouraged reading and learning that I was like a sheep being led to the slaughter, that it was for my victory. Of course, none of us really want the trials and tribulations of “being led to the slaughter,” but any true follower of Christ wants to die to self and become like Jesus. God, in His loving way, the only way He knows, leads us to the slaughter, to the dying of self.

I had been discouraged often over recent years, feeling like I was not as full of faith as I used to be, not as godly as in my hard-core days of waking up long before the sun to do hours of quiet time. But it dawned on me that this was my victory. There are more victories to come, but God had led me to the slaughter for my good and for His glory, not for my destruction, not to harm me. I had the victory.

I probably needed pride and self-righteousness stripped away. Feeling not as “good” as before is my victory, and I don’t have to feel bad and condemn myself for it. I get to rejoice in it!

I know I’m a perfectionist and gifted at finding fault, so I have always been really conscious of trying to not demand perfection from my kids or to push them to perfection. I just need to offer the same grace to myself.

Are you hardest on yourself too?

Sister Post on Life in Christ – Christ in Me

Making Good Habits and Goals

I heard a New Year’s sermon that used Daniel and his habit of praying three times a day to say that we should develop good habits. It didn’t talk about the Spirit giving us the fruit of self-control to make these new habits possible. It just talked about disciplining yourself. I’m all for discipline, and the discipline of getting up and reading your Bible and praying is important in a Christian’s life, but this was about changing your eating habits, your exercise habits, etc., the typical New Year’s resolution type stuff. And he said you could do it with a little determination, a little discipline. And people do. There are plenty of people who have turned around their habits for the better. But it came off as a self-help talk, dare I say, a self-salvation talk. While I work to be disciplined in my eating because I don’t want to be ruled by addiction or the lusts of the flesh, I’m also careful to not give in to the latest health food crazes nor go crazy trying to follow all the advice to “save” myself, “heal” myself through my effort. Christ alone is my Savior. I want to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, not the gospel of healthy living.

How do we teach our kids to make good choices, to be disciplined, to be self-reliant, but to not rely on self or strive to “save” themselves? Do you work with your kids to help them write out goals and list habits that would help them reach their goals? Where are the lines between good habits and striving to be “perfect” outside of Christ? A key must be the motivation of knowing Christ loved you first and all you are choosing to do is out of showing love in return.

Sister Post on Life in Christ – Christ in Me