Hi lovelies. Last week I had the privilege of speaking on a panel with 4 other women, all of us from different stages in life, and each one representing one of the Five Love Languages*, at a women's event at my church. I was so excited to be a part of that night and to start to dive a little deeper into what my love language looked like for me at this time in my life.
It wasn't hard for me to decide which one I wanted to represent, since my love language is 'physical touch' by a landslide. I also realized that having that love language in this stage of life (young and single) presented a lot of questions in my mind that I wasn't always sure how to answer. Questions such as, "how do I feel loved when physical touch isn't something I'm receiving on a constant and daily basis?", "what does this look like for my family and friendships?" and "how does God speak my love language?" I thought these were some pretty good questions. Ones I believe I have wrestled with (sometimes subconsciously) and other people can identify with as well.
It wasn't until the actual night of the panel that I had a little bit of a realization. After saying something along of the lines of, "how do I get this need met or fulfilled in a season of singleness?", the words had hardly finished leaving my mouth when I realized where my heart was truly at. And it was confirmed when one of the other panel members wisely spoke up, saying that learning about our love languages isn't just for us, but a tool we can use with everyone in our life to learn how to better love them.
In preparation for the panel, and since the topic was on my mind, I had started asking some of my friends what their love languages are and how they feel most loved. And I know the truth that marriage doesn't exist to meet my needs so I can be happy and feel loved. But it was still a wake up call to remember that my focus needs to be on others, and how I can best be loving them. It also reflected the state of my heart lately, and how I have been focused on needs I would love to have met in my life, rather than being concerned with the people around me, and whether their emotional needs are being met.
The best cure for self-centeredness (though it is not always easy) is to begin by cultivating a heart of gratitude. When you start to see how overflowing your life is with blessings, there's not a lot of room left for desiring more things. Another cure is to start asking how you can be a blessing to others. When our hearts are focused on the needs of others, suddenly our needs and desires don't seem so big. Best of all, when your heart is weak and you can hardly muster the strength to find gratitude or lend a helping hand, there's the beautiful truth that God does speak our love languages. Because as He uniquely designed us in His image, He is more than able to fill our deepest desires. So for me that looks like Jesus wrapping His arms around me when I'm sad, or me crawling up into His lap when I want to tell Him about my day, or laying still and small in the palm of His hand when the world around me is too much to bear. He also speaks words of affirmation into us, and blesses us when we stop and spend time with Him, and the examples could go on and on.
I am thankful that we are not called to only look out for our own good, because what a sad and selfish world that would be. I want to be better at giving than receiving, and because of a God that loves endlessly and tirelessly, I want to be someone who learns what it's like to love others well.
From my heart,
*if you have never heard of the 5 love languages, or want to learn what yours might be, check out the site (and books) here.