Love — By Dayle Dickens
Love is a word we hear every day. A word we throw around in conversation after conversation, and sometimes I wonder if we even realize what we are talking about — if I even realize the weight of the word “love.” How often do we ponder how Jesus Christ made the ultimate sacrifice and died on the cross for each and every one of us? This act was love at its very essence. Love is the whole point of our existence. It can be easy to miss this sometimes, but when we are missing this we are missing the whole point of our life: to look more like Jesus … to look more like love in order to spend eternity with Him.
Recently I have become overly fascinated with love languages. There is a fun book you can read called, “The 5 Love Languages” (which I in fact have not read, so let me know if it is fun), but you can even skip the book (like me) and take a quiz to help you understand your love language. The 5 love languages are Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, and Physical Touch. How you best receive love could be different than how you best express love. For example, I express my love through Giving Gifts, specifically writing letters, but I best receive love through Quality Time.
I have recently been observing the ways people in my life express their love for God and others. As we grow older, meet new people, and our relationships with others change, it is important to be aware of how we can better love the people in our lives. Although the 5 Love Languages Quiz is a fun and good way to better understand others and ourselves by categorizing the ways we love, it is important to remember everyone loves in different, unique ways. It is important to remember God loves each of us in unique, different ways and to not fall into comparing ourselves to others.
I once heard this beautiful quote probably said by Father Mike Schmitz, “Love the way God created you to love — your way.” God uniquely created each and every one of us, and so the way we love others is going to reflect our uniqueness. How beautiful would it be if we all loved the way God created us to love? Essentially, if we all lived out the call we have been given to love everyone in our lives.
Sometimes it is the people closest to us in our lives who are the hardest to love. As we enter this season of Advent preparing for Christmas, this is so true for my life as I head home to be with family and friends for winter break … and maybe this is true for you, too. 1 Corinthians 13:4 reads, “Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” Love is patient. We all have those people in our lives who are simply harder for us to love. I encourage you to pray for patience. I encourage you to take a deep breath and ask for the wisdom and understanding we so desperately need in order to love the people in our lives who are the most difficult to love. Be patient with others, and be patient with yourself. We are all together on this journey to better love God and others.
Love the way God created you to love — your way.