There is a lot of pink today. Hearts everywhere. Cupid. A bouquet of roses will cost double today. Restaurants have lines out the door of couples waiting to be seated in twos. Children get excited about heart shaped candy and little cards to give to one another. February 14th.
When I thought about posting today, I was dizzy. What can I say about love that is original? What can I say about the infamous love day that doesn't just clammer around like another heart-shaped candy stuck in your teeth?
For kicks and giggles, I Googled "love." 2,820,000,000 hits. Where do I start?
This day isn't just about being "in" love, it's about showing love. That's why we hear nothing but marketing for gifts, gifts, and more gifts for the ones we love. I laughed when a friend put on her facebook status, "Dear husband, please do not listen to the commercials that are on the radio right now. I do not want a Vermont teddy bear, a Snuggie, or a rose bouquet from 1-800-flrs-4-u." Apparently these are the tangible ways our culture shows love.
For me, it always comes back to "how can we really show love to another person?" If it isn't with a Snuggie, then what is it?
I surely don't know 2 billion things about love (I don't think Google really does either). But what is at the top of my list if we did a search on what I know? A brilliant book that kept coming to mind is one that talks about showing love. I read it early on in my marriage and it shed so much light on how to show and receive love. It's a concept by Gary Chapman called The 5 Love Languages. And it is my top pick for Valentine's Day.
The book explains the 5 love languages and then helps the reader understand how to express their feelings. Expressing love isn't the same for each person. I borrowed this content from their website.
- Words of Affirmation
Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.
- Quality Time
In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.
- Receiving Gifts
Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures.
- Acts of Service
Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.
- Physical Touch
This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.
There are many ways to show love. It's not just about this special day. Although I hope we all give some thought about how our loved ones might enjoy receiving love today. Every day is an opportunity to show love. I enjoyed this book and hope you do to!
How do you show love?