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I Feel Loved When…
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“Let’s try something different tonight,” my wife suggested after our family worship one evening. “I’ve been reading about how the way people feel loved is not always the same. What is special to one person may be quite ordinary to another. God made us all unique and sometimes what we think shows love to someone may not communicate care much at all.”

She went on: “I’d like each of us to take pen and paper and write down 10 things that other family members can do to help you feel loved.” My daughter smiled at the idea. My boys looked a little bewildered. But we all quietly started working. Occasionally there would be giggles or sighs of exasperation.

After about 20 minutes we took turns sharing our lists with each other. The diversity within our family was interesting to hear. Some of the suggestions were very practical: “Vacuum out the car on Friday” and “Plant flowers with me.” Some were touchy-feely: “Give me a shoulder massage” and “Hug me.” Several spoke of doing things together: “Go on walks in the woods” and “Go on a photo shoot with me.” And some dealt with relationships: “Listen interestedly in what I’m saying,” and “Spend time processing with me something I’m trying to understand.”


We typed the lists up and posted them on the fridge so that each of us could see how we could show love to other members of the family. My daughter, who plays the violin, wrote, “Take interest in my music.” So, one evening for family time we watched a documentary on Stradivarius violins. A few weeks later my 19-year-old son took his younger brother on a photo shoot to the mountains. A few months later we all went to a nursery and bought flowers with my wife and planted them with her. One evening one of the kids made banana muffins (something on my list!).

The Bible encourages, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7). Unselfish love toward others makes the atmosphere of our homes more like heaven. It softens hearts, improves communication, and teaches us to think about others. Love is like oil poured on the grind of everyday life.

How do your family or friends feel loved? Set aside your own preferences on feeling loved and think about it from their perspective. Maybe a foot massage isn’t a big deal for you, but would speak loads to your spouse. Perhaps shopping is high on your list, but receiving an encouraging note is more meaningful to a friend. It’s easy to think about what makes us feel loved, but it takes effort to put yourself the shoes of another. Which reminds me, it’s Friday and my wife feels loved when I vacuum out the car for her…

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By Curtis Rittenour. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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