It was a normal “at home” Saturday..you know washing clothes and cleaning up the house. I took the kids clothes basket upstairs to put their clothes away when I encountered the disaster affectionately know as “Cailee’s Room.” Everything was everywhere but nothing was where it was suppose to be. This time it frustrated me more than usual because I had just spent an entire week, not even a month before, re-decorating her entire room (re-painting, re-arranging, re-decorating, etc). As I tried to calmly begin cleaning, Cailee appeared – unaffected by said disaster – and did nothing to help. Well girls, this did not sit well with me and well, I lost my cool. After “dumping” the basket of clothes on her floor and “sharing my heart” about how she sure had a funny way of showing how much she loved me, I left. As I sat downstairs, upset with myself for acting out…I heard her crying. Heart broken. Her heart. My heart. God’s heart. What now?
Gary Chapman has a series of books entitled “The Five Love Languages.” There is one for couples, for teens, for singles, for children and many more the last time I checked. I have only read the first one with my husband, Justin, many years ago but it remains a strong presence in our marriage today. Basically, the author describes 5 love languages – physical touch, quality time, words of affirmation, gifts and acts of service. And then he encourages you to figure out the love language of your spouse – so that you can pour into them the language that speaks to their heart and fill up their “love tank.” Guess what? Everyone has a love language….and as I made my way back upstairs to talk with my broken-hearted daughter, I would soon come to realize that I did not even know hers.
With tears streaming down her face, we began to talk about what makes us tick individually. I soon realized my mistake…I was trying to pour out love to her, but I was using my love languages. Although we are related, we are very different and we speak different “languages.” I thrive on quality time and gifts. Jodie thrives on words of affirmation and quality time. My husband thrives on physical touch and words of affirmation, and my sweet Cailee…..well she just wanted me to give her a hug and play dolls – aka physical touch and quality time. And so with God reaching down an hitting me over the head with a brick, I spent the rest of the day being “one of the girls.” We played dolls, ate popcorn and peanuts, and then had a dance party. And the next week. Cailee’s love tank was so full that she never required one word from me to clean her room.
Donna and Cailee at her most recent dance competition! Quality time for the win
Scripture says this:
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
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 13:1-8a
Love is not love until it is interpreted as it is intended.
Love is not love until the person receiving it comprehends it.
Love is not love until it learns how to love.
Girls, I challenge you this week to learn, really learn, what love language the important people in your life speak….I promise when you do it will change your life forever!