I’ve heard it in satire, comedy, prose and pundits. I’ve heard it in frustration and in celebration. How do you say these words; For the Love of God? Love, according to the Divine Creator and Sustainer of all life put it this way. God is Love.
I hear them and think that I am so grateful that the Divine actually loves me, and He knows everything about me, including my hidden motives and selfishness. I can’t imagine a life without love. I am awash in a storm of calamity apart from love.
I love the fact that Jenny loves me, and next to the Divine, she knows me best. I have no doubt that I drive her bat-crazy, and yet she loves me. The better news is that I love her. The Divine gave me the gift of Jenny almost 10 years ago. She had experienced a heart-breaking divorce during the same time I was experiencing the agonizing death of my wife.
Both devastated, both determined to not marry again, and both settled into a new routine of single parenting. And then, right in the middle of experiencing coffee and dinner, love. Our first “date” was an Atlanta Hawks game with another couple. Out of the 14,000 other fans at Philips Arena, they chose us for the “Kiss Cam.” What the heck? So, to keep the angry mob from booing, I went in for the kiss. I just wanted to be a blessing!
We’ve learned a great deal about blending family traditions, holidays and family challenges. We’ve learned that this is not for the faint of heart. But we have learned enough about love to know that when Paul wrote, “but love never fails,” he had been inspired by the author of love and He (the Divine) is the only source to build your relationships on.
Since this is Valentine’s Month, here is a tip for all of you in love, looking for love, and broken-hearted by love. Hopefully not in all the wrong places. (Shameless Song Lyrics)
We all have 99 problems. #100 does not need to be overwhelming your loved ones with gripes, as the lead story when they walk through the door. Every day has its ‘roses’ and its ‘thorns’. Try leading with the roses! Also throw in something you learned or how, perhaps, you felt brave and pushed yourself outside your comfort zone. In other words, share the joy of being home and the positive experiences you’ve had today instead of leading with “I’m exhausted, and “can you believe that jerk” statements.
Imagine if every day your spouse arrived home they shared something positive. And you did as well. Instead of fearing a cold front arriving at 6:45 pm every weekday, you knew a treat was coming. Imagine your wife or husband walking in sharing what they appreciate about you. Imagine your friends leading with uplifting news events.
Of course, you don’t need to be Captain Positive all the time and eliminate work talk and a bit of unloading. Sharing problems can be therapeutic and help us work through them. But, how you start a conversation often determines what is to follow. Let me urge you to not consistently poison the well of conversation by sharing a laundry list of all the things terrible in your day, right away.
For the next week, I challenge you to tell your spouse one positive thing, no matter how small, that happened to you during the day when you first see them. As a bonus, make it something you appreciate about them.
One of the greatest gifts you can give those close to you, that costs zero dollars, is appreciation. How do you want to show up? Think about this next time you place your hand on the door handle before walking in the door. What experience do you want to create?
The little things really do add up to the big things.
Love is always birthed out of value. When you convey value, you are conveying love. On this Monday – Get your value and your love pointed in the right direction and watch your marriage/relationship blossom into an orchard of loving graciousness.