There are many ways to show people that you love them. Gary Smalley has written a book (The 5 Love Languages) that covers what he considers to be the five basic ways that people feel that they are loved:
Words of Affirmation
Acts of Service
In any relationship, all of these things have their place, but nothing quite compares to spending time with someone one-on-one.
Face-Time is Immeasurable
In our tech-filled culture, updating our peeps with a quick text, a Facebook post, or a tweet, is pretty much the norm. From what I’ve observed in my own home, you’d think Snapchat and Instagram are the only ways to communicate with your best friend– or bae (best awesome ever).
But for relationships that are truly important, there is no substitute for hanging out together. As much as possible! For someone who is hurting and in need of comfort, nothing says love more than having your friend sit down with you, offering words of encouragement and a hug, if needed.
Sometimes, though, it’s not possible to be together. My husband travels overseas quite a bit, and with the different time zones, it’s a challenge to schedule calls so we can talk with one another. We love FaceTime! Everyone crowds around the camera as he shows us his room and what it looks like outside his window. But the best part is seeing him! Seeing the light in his eyes when he sees us!
When my kids were very young and they wanted something (even now to some degree), they would approach me to sort of “check me out,” to make sure I was “in a good mood.” They could tell instantly by the expression on my face. If my eyes were bright and I gave them a smile, they came right up and felt confident to ask whatever they wanted. But if I was pre-occupied or looking cross, they would go away and come back at another time.
In the same way, when they were in trouble and my face showed disappointment, they often melted into tears without my saying a word.
The Book of Esther tells the story of a young Jewish girl who marries a powerful king. She hears about a plot to destroy her people. Esther decides to approach her husband with this news and ask him to rescue them. This was incredibly risky for her. No one approached the King uninvited. The wrong look from him, and it was over for her. In this story, the king was pleased to have Esther approach him; and in turn, he did as she asked. Her people were saved.
The power we have over those around us, simply by the expression on our faces, is almost immeasurable. It should cause us to think twice about the face we show to those we love. I don’t know about you, but …I want my face to say, You are welcome with me. I want to be with you!
The Favor of the Lord
While living on the Earth, we can’t see God face-to-face. If we belong to Him, however, His face is towards us.
But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love. (Psalm 33:18 NIV)
The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right; his ears are open to their cries for help. (Psalm 34:15)
Unlike Esther, we don’t have to fear approaching the throne of our King. He eagerly waits for us to come to Him and ask for His help. He is eager to give it!
So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. (Hebrews 4:14-16)
One day we will see God face-to-face.
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. (1 Corinthians 13:12)
In the meantime, I pray this blessing on you!
May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)
This is the fourth in a 4-part series on Deepening Relationships.