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

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

Choosing Trouble

My “word” for the new year is full. It’s my heart’s desire to be full of faith, full of joy, full of life, full of love, full of hope. I certainly have hope that my son will be healed. No one wants to see their child suffer, struggle, in pain. At the same time, we know that struggle produces strength, strength of character.

I read interviews with CEOs and other wildly successful people with dyslexia. They all attributed their success to it. It pushed them to get creative, to push boundaries, to be different and carve their own path. And every single one of them said they wouldn’t wish dyslexia on anyone and wanted desperately for their children to not struggle in the same way.

In this life we will have troubles. That’s what Jesus said. So, it’s true. We can’t keep our kids from struggle. We can’t keep our kids from getting hurt. We certainly shouldn’t keep them from breaking a sweat, but it’s so easy to want to jump in and help out when things are hard.

I don’t think I do the best job of pushing my kids to do hard things. I let them choose to not try new things. I let them do half the assignment. I help finish the chore to my satisfaction. But maybe knowing that God chooses trouble for us, knowing the good that He’s bringing out of it, can help me know that letting my kids struggle through the trouble spots is a good thing, when they are surrounded and spurred on by a loving cheering section.

I say to that same teen all the time, “I know you’ll figure it out. You always do.” It’s easy not to jump in and help him because I don’t really understand what he’s working on. But maybe I need to adopt the same attitude with the others. How do you keep from jumping in? How do you encourage grit and the pushing through when it’s hard?

(image: not my kids, public domain)