”Do everything in love”
1 Corinthians 16:14
Over the next few weeks, we are going to be talking about the 5 love languages, what they are, how you can speak them, and also how you figure out what yours is and how to figure out what someone else’s is.
A few years ago, Jenna and I were going through a rough patch in our marriage.
I was traveling ALL the time (over 50%) and we were having a tough time connecting on pretty much any level.
One day while I was on a work trip, I dropped by a bookstore. As I walked in, I did not really know what I was doing there. But I felt compelled to be there.
As I walked around I was guided to the relationships section of the store and started thumbing through the books.
That’s when I found the 5 love languages for men, and shortly after the 5 love languages.
As I read the back of the books I got goosebumps up and down my arms.
Could this book be what we need to fix the issues that we are going through right now? could it be a solution to at least some of our issues?
I grabbed both books and walked up to the counter and bought them.
Boy was I excited to give Jenna her copy.
The truth was that I was WAY more excited to give it to her than she was to receive it.
I didn’t realize it, but this was a way of me telling her that I thought there was an issue in our relationship. She had been doing her best to keep it all bottled up and was stuffing the cork down in the bottle every chance she got. (I can’t blame her. I had really left her to be the mom and dad of 4 kids, all with different activities while I was off working. What a rough and thankless job!)
We both set our books aside for a few months. Then one day I opened mine, sat down in the living room and started reading it.
She was a little perverted that I would read the book out in the living room. I mean what would someone think if they walked in and noticed it? They might think that our life was not as put together as we wanted everyone to believe it was. And I felt the same way, but I was determined to improve our relationship.
As I read the book I took action. I started figuring out what her love language was, then I started speaking it more and more.
The more I spoke it, the better our relationship got.
Then after a while I noticed that she had a bookmark in the book I bought her.
My heart leaped with joy! She was reading it now too.
Needless to say, our relationship improved, it didn’t happen overnight and we both had to admit things that we needed and wanted to change. But we took the necessary actions to make it happen.
Let’s talk about what we learned as we read Dr Chapman’s book.
Gary Chapman is the author of the 5 love languages, and he says that there are 5 different languages.
- Physical Touch
- Acts of Service
- Quality Time
- Words of Affirmation
Over the next few weeks, we are going to dive deeper into each language, how to speak it, and how to tell if it is your language or someone else’s language.
For today I really want to emphasize one point.
You have to take action if you want change.
We can study scripture and grow our information bank as much as we want. But if we never take action then we will never really see change.
The thing about my story is that we both needed to take action in order to improve our relationship. But one of us had to be first.
Allow yourself to be the first one to take action in everything you do.
God loves people who take action. Look back on the story of Joseph, Daniel, Moses, Noah, Job, Solomon, Paul, John, Esther.
Heck the whole bible is full of action takers.
Take a few moments this week to ponder your relationships, not just intimate ones. It could be work, family, customers, strangers, or the waitress at the restaurant.
Think about how you could improve those relationships and where they are already GREAT.
Ponder on what action you could take to improve your interactions with others.
Lord, today we come to you with full love tanks, ok maybe they aren’t full yet, but we have the hope of filling our love tanks in the very near future with your help. God, we are thankful that you have given us so much confidence and knowledge so that we can start working on filling others’ tanks as we learn more about 5 love languages over the next few weeks.
God, we pray that you bless our mission. Our individual missions as well as God First’s mission. We pray to help us to serve others, help us to be present when we can, and help us to come to you more. God, we are so grateful that you gave us an open-door policy, and that you always answer when we come to you. God, you give us so much more than we could ever imagine and so much more than we deserve.
God today we want to simply say thank you!
In your precious son’s name.
A Little More
As I looked back on this devotional, I noticed that this one was pretty much a story about Jenna and I and how much this book changed not only our relationships but also our whole lives.
It changed the way how I deal with EVERYONE, and how we raise our kids, and even how we fill their love tanks. (we’ll learn more about that in the near future.)
That is why I wanted to share this story with you.
Recently with our business, Eclipse DOT and DOT Docs (shameless pug) we have been hosting 5-day challenges (where we talk about the basics of DOT and human interaction), webinars (where we talk about how our program makes it super easy to be in compliance with federal regulations), and in-person trainings.
What I found out was that I LOVE telling stories and connecting with people.
After our first ever challenge, where we only had 5 people show up on line, it felt great. I got emails back from them answering the questions that I asked and submitting their assignments back so we could give them feedback.
Now I told you this so that I could tell you another short story.
A few months before we started those, I attended a marketing conference that was something like I had never attended before and it changed the way I look at business.
You might not believe this but by nature, I am fairly introverted (stop laughing, it’s true.) I do great as being a part of the big crowd. Now put me on the stage in front of everyone teaching them and I don’t care how big the group is I can do it.
Put me in the middle of the crowd and I struggle to find my place and talk to people.
While I was at this conference God introduced me to several different people. It was amazing to talk to them.
By the end of the conference, I was reverting back to being a little more comfortable talking to anyone that I met.
But it took me telling myself, Who cares if I say Hi and they don’t respond? Their loss, not mine!
That was the key. I had to stop worrying about what they were thinking.
And as soon as I did that, God opened the doors for some pretty amazing things to happen.
He had me give advice to Amanda Holmes who is re-writing her dad’s (Chet Holmes) book, The Ultimate Sales Machine just hours before she submitted her draft to others to get their advice on it.
He led me to give more advice to people who were struggling to grow their business to the next level and scale up to being more than just a solopreneur (single person working for the cause).
He led me to have an amazing conversation with a complete stranger (a mom who was having issues with her kids and I could see that she was distraught) to help her know that she wasn’t alone and her kids were actually behaving really well.
All of this is possible when we trust that God knows what he is doing when he introduces new opportunities to us and we take action.
Back to where I started.
If I hadn’t had conversations with several different people throughout that week I would have never thought to do a 5 day challenge, or start running webinars weekly. But that was exactly what our businesses and I personally needed to feel like we are making a HUGE difference.
The key that I had to learn was to listen when he speaks to me.
It’s not always easy, and believe me, I still fail. CONSTANTLY.
My hope is that this will encourage you to say hi to complete strangers as you walk down the aisle at the grocery store. Be the person who God NEEDS you to be, when he needs you to be that person.
Will you pray with us?
Mankind throughout the world throughout our current situation
All Law enforcement and emergency response personnel
For all military personal serving our country and their families
Those in Leadership positions throughout the world