This is the first in a six-week challenge series related to speaking life – improving our environment through the thoughts we foster and the words we express.
When you hear the word LOVE, what comes to mind? Is it an image of a teenage couple walking down a sidewalk holding hands? Maybe it is a mother looking into her newborn child’s eyes?
Or maybe, if you’re like me, your mind quickly races to the section in the movie, “The Princess Bride” where the clergyman says “Love … True … Love” (it’s a good movie — I recommend it if you haven’t seen it).
I make it a point to always tell my family that I love them before we hang up the phone or leave. My goal is to make sure there is no doubt that I experience this phenomenon called “love” in regard to them. However, what is love? That’s a deep question — there’ve been many songs written expressing this same question — however, the answer remains elusive.
I don’t claim to have all the answers to the question of love. If in doubt, just ask my wife — she’ll be able to confirm this easily. However, I believe there are different kinds of love. For instance:
- I love cheesecake
- I love it when the Oklahoma Sooners win their football games (Boomer Sooner — We’re required to say that 😉
- I love my friends
- I love my family
Each of these is a different type of love.
One of the best ways to define each type of love is to examine how we demonstrate it
One of the best ways to define each type of love is to examine how we express or demonstrate the particular type of love toward the object. For instance, in the example of cheesecake, I express my love of cheesecake by evaluating the qualities of the cheesecake to assess whether one is better than another and then, upon selecting the choice on, savoring each bite. (Ok, now I want some cheesecake) — hopefully this illustrates one way in which we express a type of “love” and how there can be different types of love.
So, tying this new awareness of love’s types and expression into the purpose of this article, how do we speak life by speaking love? Well, one way is certainly to do what I described previously and tell the people you love how much they mean to you. However, words without action ring hollow — so, how do we provide action to our words? This is the hard part — more important than telling the people how we feel about them, we must show them through our actions and interactions. Such expressions could be as simple as putting aside technology while they are speaking and focusing directly on them and the conversation (therapists refer to this as “being present” or “active listening”). It’s amazing how effective a simple task such as this can be at demonstrating love. That’s just one example of how we can Speak Life – Speak Love. What other examples can you come up with?
We’ve discussed speaking love through our words and actions for those we love but how do we share the spirt of love to others?
It may be something as simple as holding the door for someone or paying for the vehicle behind you at the drive-thru
Exactly the same way — through being aware of someone’s needs and accommodating them. It may be something as simple as holding the door for someone or paying for the vehicle behind you at the drive-thru. There are so many opportunities and the great thing is small examples such as this can be extremely impacting. I still remember the person who bought my lunch at the fast food drive-thru over a year ago! What a tremendous message we can spread for just a few bucks!
So now we come to the challenge for this week. Your mission, should you choose to accept it (and I hope you do) is to find two people each day of this week (one you love deeply — family, friend, etc. and one you want to share love with through a kind deed or expression) and express that love — whether it be a kind word, a helpful deed, or just being present for the individual.
I encourage you to share your experience with this challenge in the comments below. What ideas did you come up with to express love? What was the response of the recipient? How did the exercise of “speaking love” effect you? I will be adopting this challenge as well and will be providing my updates in the comments below as well. I look forward to reading about your experiences this week.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
– 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
#Encourage #Elevate #Empower #TurningPositive #Speak Life