As you stand in the checkout line at the grocery store you will see many magazine covers talking about love. If you dare to look, you can see that most of them have little to do with Christian love and having a proper relationship between a husband and wife. But let’s see 8 ways to show love in a Christian family without words and worldly philosophy.
Have a Strong Relationship With God
The more you love God the more you will have a love for others around you. We have heard it said of some people that they are so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good. The truth is that if the person were honestly in love with God and His Word then they would have more love for their family and spouse.
The very first step to doing good and right by your family is to have a right relationship with God. They will see it in you. Your actions toward them will be godly and loving. Build a right relationship with the Lord and the rest of your family will know it.
When you and your spouse were dating you looked for ways to surprise them with things they would enjoy. Maybe you have been married for a while, but now you can’t figure out what to get your spouse for Christmas or birthdays. It usually isn’t because you are not getting any hints, but because you are not paying attention to the hints they are offering.
Spend time studying your spouse again and learn what they would like. It may be something as simple as 30 minutes with you walking around the block without the kids in tow. When you show that much attention to know what they want then you are showing a deep love and concern for them that they will appreciate.
Keep Your Promises
Have you ever promised something but could not follow through on it? It makes you feel awful when it happens the first time. But when it becomes a habit then those around you begin to lose trust in you. You may even be at a point where you do not notice that you are failing at your promises. But your spouse and your children notice it every time.
Obviously there are times when you are not able to keep your promises. When there are things outside of your control that keep you from fulfilling the obligation with your loved ones you should let them know the situation and how badly you are hurt because of it too. These exceptions should be truly special though. Don’t be the one sabotaging your own plans just to get yourself out of a promise to your family.
Respect Your Loved One When Around Other People
Show respect to your family when you are in public. Speak kindly to them and about them to others. You should do this at home too, but be especially careful as to how you treat your family when you are around other people. Embarrassing your child or spouse tears down their respect towards you.
One night my wife and I were visiting a church service where the guest speaker and his family did a musical concert. Almost every joke the man told between songs was critical towards his wife or children. He intended it to be funny, and much of it was, but while his family was smiling outwardly, I can imagine they were crying inside. Their private faults (poor cooking and physical problems) were being paraded in front of strangers every night. I was shocked when he asked us to turn to Ephesians 5 (a classic passage on family relationships). I did not walk out, but I should have. After the service the pastor invited my family to eat with him and the guest speaker. That public disrespect continued while we were in the restaurant that night.
As an outsider who spent a total of about 3 hours with this family I could see that there was tension and lack of love. I cannot imagine how their family has developed in the last decade since that church service.
Respect your spouse in front of others. This does not mean they are free of faults, but their faults should not become a matter of public record.
Fulfill Unexpressed Needs
Find ways to fulfill a need in your family. Some people are very vocal about what their needs are, but some will suffer in silence. Be sensitive and aware that someone in the family is hurting. We all know that when you ask a spouse or a child, “What’s wrong?” and the answer is, “nothing,” accompanied with a sigh, then something is almost always wrong. At times you may have to ask what is needed, but you should strive to be aware of what is going on in the lives of those around you without having to ask.
Hiding from his enemies King David casually mentioned he would love to have a drink from the well in Bethlehem. Three of his mighty men broke through the Philistine guard to bring back water for David. The king was so moved by their actions towards his desire and need that he could not even drink the water that these men risked their lives to bring him. I guess he did not feel worthy of the love this action showed. This story is in 2 Samuel 23:14-17.
Learn to Listen
Sometimes the biggest show of love is to just sit and listen. When a person is going through some type of emotional strain they most often are not looking for advice. They are looking for someone to simply listen and empathize with them. You don’t need to excuse wrong thinking and actions of the person, but take the time to listen first. Any corrective action or advice should be done after you have shown the person you care.
Have you witnessed an argument between a husband and wife in which it is obvious they are both talking but neither one is hearing what the other one has to say? You’ve probably never noticed it in your own tense moments because you are too busy defending your position. If you can simply sit back and listen to the other side and focus on what they have to say you may be amazed that they may be right. Even if you still don’t agree with them, you have shown them love by listening to what they have to say. Then you can intelligently give your perspective in light of their concerns.
It may not even be an argument that needs your attention. I remember in high school when I would buy the Dallas Morning News on Monday afternoon on my way home from school. I read all the stats and articles about the weekend football games to my mother while she prepared supper. She couldn’t care less about the Cowboys, but she loved me enough to listen as I gave my own personal commentary on Coach Landry’s team. Mom did much more for me than just listen to my ramblings about football, but I often remember those precious afternoons when I think about the great relationship I have with her today.
Give Them Time Alone
Have you ever needed to be alone? Your spouse may be a people person. They love to be around a crowd and meet new people. But they also may need some time alone. It could be that your wife would love to sit in a bathtub and read a book for an hour without hearing the kids banging on the bathroom door. Can you provide that? Maybe your husband would like to veg out and read a woodworking magazine without being asked to repair the dishwasher (for the 10th time today).
Give some space and time to them and you may find that your relationship is strengthened when you are together.
Connect When You Are Not With Them
Slipping a note into your spouse’s lunch bag that they will see when they are at work shows you cared enough to plan a little something special. Getting up in the middle of the night to call your loved one when they are traveling half-way around the world can show great love.
With email and text messaging today it is pretty simple to send a quick note that will reach a person wherever they are. Because of this, taking the time to hand write a note or send a card can be that much more special.
What do you do to show love without words?
I was challenged to come up with 8 ways to show love without words. Please leave a comment and share one or two ways you have shown love to or been shown love by other people.
King James Version Bible, (KJV)