From time to time in our relationships, including familial and platonic connections, we may begin to take the people in our lives for granted. In these cases, we can often choose to direct our focus from the continued work of building our union to the laxity of disconnection, even if on a subconscious level. When the stagnation begins to overtake a relationship it can be easily broken by the effort of speaking love to your partner, friend or family member. Like fresh air this can ultimately breath new life into your connections!
Encouragement You can practice encouragement in many ways, but there are two that I’ll focus on here: verbaland physical. Verbally telling someone how proud you are of them or how great of a cook they are can truly build a sense of love in a relationship. Physical encouragement comes in the form of support. When I first started my t-shirt company I felt truly encouraged because I had the support of my family and friends. My mom would encourage me to get my shirts in stores and she would tell anyone that fit the audience about my book. I had friends that took cards and placed them all over the city and my ex attended shows with me all over the US helping me sell items for hours and hours all in the name of support (and love of course). When you truly love someone you’re invested in them and their dreams because they are a part of who they are. I knew my family and friends loved me not only because they said how proud they were of me pursuing my goals, but because they put actions to the words. It didn’t have to be big, it could be as simple as sharing their current endeavor on social media. But also keep in mind that the encouragement should always come from a genuine place, not one of manipulation, flattery or wanting to impose your views on someone else’s efforts.
Respect Honoring that persons presence by speaking to them with tones and other verbal cues which reflect respect is a large part of speaking love into your connections. Always attempt to Express gratitude for the gift of who they are and their role in your life through your expressions and interactions.
Protection Speaking from a sense of guarding each others hearts in relationship and not just physically but showing that you are committed to keeping this person safe on all fronts is crucial to security. If that person knows that you will use their own words against them later on, they won’t want to share with you who they really are. Protection can consist of numerous concepts including protection of that persons character, heart and ultimately soul by pulling them closer to God consistently.
Silence Sometimes the best way to show love is by keeping your mouth shut or as one of my favorite preachers, Heather Lindsey, would say invoke he spirit of shut-up! This one is might be difficult for me as I always have something to say and often feel as if I’ll burst if it doesn’t eventually topple off my tongue. Practicing the self-control involved with quietly allowing someone to make their own mistakes without a big I told you so or not being spiteful and vindictive with your words can be difficult, but mastered. Taking the time to quietly mull things over before speaking or give them to God to work out can have a powerfully positive impact on your relationships.
Dependability Being a woman or man of your word, doing what you said you would or being where you said you would be are all large partsofbuildinf a string foundation in relationships. We all have that flaky friend that says they are going to be somewhere but never shows up, unfortunately there are plenty of times that I have been her! Once we come to expect someone to blow us off or not keep their word it often starts to place cracks in the foundation, your . James and Matthew tells us to let our yes be yes and our no be no and in other words, do what you say you’re going to do. Everyone falls short and within the expectation of dependability there has to be some grace shown simply for human frailty, no one can be perfect all of the time, but if it’s a consistent pattern it will make the person you’re in relationship with wonder about your integrity and seriousness.
Grace As I stated previously grace plays a large part in speaking love. By extending grace to our loved one we are allowing them to mess-up and not be constantly ridiculed or berated. They know that you are a safe place where they can come and feel free to be themselves.
Do you have any other ways you choose to express love in your relationships? Please feel free to share in the comments!