Our biggest resource, to finding love, is the Bible, God’s written word. Since all things were created by God to live in connection with God, and the Bible tells us “God is love”, He wants us to bask in His love and give it to others, but we need to follow the directions to get there. In my last two posts, “15 steps to improve your love life (start here)” and “15 steps to improve your love life (phase 2)”, I covered ten of the steps.
In this final post, we’ll finish the last five steps and see how the Bible puts them all together for us to see whenever we want.
The Steps (continued)
11. Shout out the great stuff to anyone who will listen.
Somehow we’ve adopted a safe sense of complaining about our lives. We complain about our spouse and what little they do to help us or the family. We complain about our children and how they drive us nuts when we go to the grocery store. We ridicule them in front of their peers. We tease our friends for a whole boat load of reasons. And all these things get done to us in return. As a result, we feel an underlying anger and resentment toward them and the cycle continues until someone doesn’t want to stick around to hear it anymore.
But what if….we chose to seek opportunities to praise our loved ones. Because of our love for them, we don’t cover over problems but search for blessings. They become the things we tell others about our spouse. As we share the pluses, we notice them more. Then, they feel our love through our words and our attitudes.
12. Be the needle for your rose bush.
Anyone with rose bushes knows the power of those needles to deter someone from chopping them up. I currently have some overgrown roses in my yard, and I do not look forward to cutting them back because the needles form a fantastic defense. With the people we love, we need to be their first line of defense. When someone puts them down, or hurts them, or attacks their opinion whether we agree or disagree, we need to be the ones to prevent the cut.
We all want that kind of person in our lives; someone we can trust to have our back when trouble comes. When we love our family or friends, the proof of our love comes when we have the opportunity to protect them and stand up for their cause.
13. Sit on the chair.
You probably think I’ve gone batty here, but let me explain. Every day we show how much we trust a builder we’ve never met. When we get up in the morning and sit at the table for breakfast, we assume the chair will hold us up. Don’t the people we spend out lives with deserve our appreciation and trust more than some unknown factory?
Real love involves sitting in our relationship chair and expecting it to hold us. It also means our precious loved ones should expect the same from us.
14. Hang onto the rope of hope.
The first time I went rock climbing, I knew nothing about it. A guide told me how to hook up my rope. He climbed ahead of me. A friend held the rope below, and the guide directed from above.
I began to climb with every intention of success, but half-way up my eyesight and muscles combined to convince me I could go no further. My guide yelled down that I should hold the rope and he’d lift me the necessary two inches to reach another hand hold.
I believed he could do it. So, I held onto the rope of hope as he yanked my body up. In our relationships, there always comes a time when we believe in them or not. To prove our belief, we literally grab the rope of hope and let them do the lifting. In the end, they get stronger and our trust increases if we willingly take the risk. Heads up though, the time will come when they’ll be clinging to that same rope and you’ll be the lifter.
15. Pack some gear, it’s gonna be a long ride and you’re sticking around.
Henry Ward Beecher said, “The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one often comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won’t.”
A good love life requires a strong will because a strong won’t shuts down love faster than a computer with a virus. Developing a sense of security and strength comes from a willingness to stick no matter what comes your way.
Many of us entered parenthood accidentally or we get married but plan on leaving if it doesn’t work well. Only when we decide the exit isn’t an option do we really begin to open ourselves up to all the possibility love has for us. When those around us know we plan on staying, they will show a new kind of commitment, as long as they are stickers too.
Every step mentioned in the past three posts comes tightly packed within a few Bible verses. When taken together they can overwhelm us with a sense of responsibility, and we become frustrated by our lack of skill.
But do you remember, the Bible declares, “God is love”. These verses contain a clear definition of exactly how He thinks of us and what He plans on doing for us. When we live in His strong arms of love, the possibility of us giving this love to others opens up because He guides us step by step and improves on what we thought we knew.
Here are the verses all put together:
“Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
If we trust in the One who made all this love stuff in the first place, we’ll discover our love life has improved in ways we never expected.
Which of the steps will you work on today?