Within our souls, the fundamental framework for love has already been established. Let’s dive in.
Whether a warm embrace, a light touch, or a loving word, most people crave affection of some kind. In a romantic relationship, we must give our partner affection or the rose petals of romance will start to wilt. We prove our love for our children not in word, but in deed—not with gifts, but with the time we spend together.
Unfortunately, it is in our human nature to take people for granted. Be cognizant of this dangerous trap by reminding loved ones how privileged we feel to have them in our lives. When we tell our partner, children, friends, and family how much we care for and appreciate them, we strengthen the bonds of these amazing relationships. Appreciation and gratitude reciprocate love.
Each of us has our own unique wants, needs, hopes, and desires, including many we may not all agree on, and that’s totally cool. We won’t agree with everyone on everything, and it’s important to respect differences. Provided goals align with ethical morals and values, we should encourage each other to feel safe and secure within protected boundaries.
Healthy relationships depend on seeing and understanding things from the other person’s point of view, compromising, and demonstrating respect for other people’s feelings. Compromise brings people closer, enhancing feelings of empathy, trust, and respect.
Consideration & Thoughtfulness
Learn about people’s hopes, dreams, preferences, and opinions. The better we know someone, the more we can be considerate and thoughtful. Let’s periodically ask ourselves: “What can I do to help someone I love?”
Unforgiveness is corrosive; it eats us from within. It is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. We all get on each other’s nerves and make mistakes. Along with our strengths, our flaws make us human; we are GOING TO let people down; people are GOING TO let us down. To keep love strong, forgiveness is critically important. Especially with children, one healthy practice is to start over each day—don’t penalize them today for the sins of yesterday.
Ask for forgiveness. Sometimes we unconsciously harbor resentment for sins past—both against ourselves and others. Forgiveness, however, does not mean we should be a pushover. If a pattern of mistreatment starts to emerge, it is imperative that whoever feels slighted or wronged discuss with the “culprit” how the “sin” makes them feel so loved ones can work together towards eradicating hurtful behaviors.
Love is understanding and accepting people for who they are—completely. Gentleness is neither yelling nor being emotionally harsh—for any reason.
Anticipate the needs of others and go out of our way to be there for them.
Let’s listen to others with more than just our ears; listen with our hearts and truly understand what they are feeling. Let people know that we are there for them and that we truly care. This isn’t to suggest we should try to solve people’s problems for them—but—pay attention to what someone is going through and see things through their eyes.
If we want others to respect us, we must respect them. Tend to each other’s needs and feelings not only with words but more importantly, with actions. If someone needs a good night’s sleep, don’t try to talk to them all night. If someone needs to talk, make time to truly listen to what they have to say. If we realize that something we are doing is irritating someone, stop antagonizing them.
Sacrifice & Selflessness
Love is seeking the greatest good for someone else. Sacrificing our own needs and concerns for the needs and concerns of others is the personification of love.
Self-respect is crucial to building and maintaining healthy relationships. Without self-respect, we may unknowingly invite a downward cycle of, “Hey, I don’t respect myself, why should anyone else respect me?”
Honesty, openness, and trustworthiness safeguard the safety and security that our loved ones feel when they think of us. Be willing to share what’s going on, no matter how ugly; lies and deception kill relationships. If we hide things from friends and family, or if people don’t believe us, we undermine the foundation of trust so crucially important for the healthy expression of love.
“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 13:4-8 NIV
In this heartfelt celebration of love, Newbery Medal-winning author Matt de la Peña and bestselling illustrator Loren Long depict the many ways we experience this universal bond, which carries us from the day we are born throughout the years of our childhood and beyond. With a lyrical text that’s soothing and inspiring, this tender tale is a needed comfort and a new classic that will resonate with readers of every age.
This warmly-told story teaches us that love really does grow everywhere, in all shapes and sizes to make a brighter world.
This book is about love. What it is and what it isn’t. It is about you—and about everybody who has ever reached out to touch the heart of another. Among many other lessons of the heart, love is open arms. If you close your arms about love you will find that you are left holding only yourself.
My heart is a window. My heart is a slide. My heart can be closed… or opened up wide. Some days your heart is a fence to keep the world out. But some days it is wide open to the love that surrounds you. With lyrical text and breathtaking art, My Heart empowers all readers to listen to the guide within in this ode to love and self-acceptance.
Fall in love with this endearing and adorable picture book that illustrates how a little bit of heart goes a long way to making the world a better place.
His name is recognized the world over. But how many of us fully understand what He was like as a person? Honest, powerful, humble, full of mercy and light―Jesus was love personified, the full potential of what we were intended to be. Anyone who wants to grow in his or her relationship with God and other people will profit from this book.
PLEASE NOTE: As an Amazon Associate, Mothers Truly Matter earns from qualifying purchases. The information in this post should not be construed as providing specific psychiatric, psychological, or medical advice, but rather to offer readers information to better understand the lives and health of themselves and their children. It is not intended to provide an alternative to professional treatment or to replace the services of a physician, psychiatrist, or psychotherapist.