Happy new month! OMG, I can’t believe July is over! We’re basically just counting down the days to Christmas now. That’s how it feels for me when July is over - August always whizzes past, September and October are pretty uneventful and you end up wishing the time away because you’re looking forward to the next holiday. See?
Anyway, I made a new friend in the week and was introduced to the most amazing app on the App Store - Love Nudge! If you’ve read The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, you’ll be pleased to know this app exists. If you’re not familiar with the 5 love languages, it’s a book by a Christian marriage counsellor who breaks down how we fall in love and also stay in love. This book is so important because it gives couples a simple way to understand each other. Gary came up with these love languages after studying the cases of marriage counselling he had and trying to simplify love acts. And when you read the book, it all seems too simple and gives you confidence that you can love and also be loved. It takes two to tango and unless both you and your partner choose to speak the same language, you may not get the full benefit. If you're a couple who chooses to follow the template set by Gary, then this app is for you! Even if you're not yet part of a couple, it's still worth exploring, and ready for when that time comes.
The basis of that app is that a couple downloads it onto each other's phones and gets to see and fill each other's love tanks. The gamification of the love languages brings a lot of fun to what might sometimes be really hard to focus on. For those of us who like to set clear goals and fill good about ticking things off your list, this is for you! Aside from that, it helps you keep track of the source of any frustration you might be taking out on your loved ones. It's amazing how destructive not feeling loved can be. Without realising or even understanding the root cause of our feelings, we end up firing off blindly and hurting those around us. This weekend, I took advantage of being alone and played around with the app, taking a few moments each day to consider how loved I felt and what I could do to fill my love tank. Yes, I know I said it would be better to do this as a couple but I really wanted to test this. Additionally, I wanted to see how spending time on my love language activities would impact me. My love languages are in the following order:
Acts of service
Words of affirmation
I have known about love languages for a few years now and my first love language has never changed. I wonder if it's because I'm an introvert and naturally love to spend time by myself so extending it to someone I love seems to be a natural act of love for me. I don't easily spend time with others and doing so normally drains me. For those I love, I receive social energy from quality time spent with them and this helps me to love others. And that's what I did this weekend. I very rarely get weekends completely to myself and so with all this time on my hands for me, myself, and I, I decided to run an experiment. By myself, I tackled some of the things I would normally need others around for. I returned an item to the store by myself and was lucky when no awkward questions were asked. I picked up an online order in-store and even attempted a firm approach when I noticed items from my order were missing. I didn't do a very good job of it because I ended up miscounting and got an extra packet of an item I thought was missing 😳. The pressure must have got to me but I was pleased, nonetheless. I walked around town on Saturday with nothing but my thoughts and Spotify for company. After a couple of hours when I was home, I was exhausted 😅 but incredibly pleased with myself. It had been a tough week and I had taken time to show love to myself. Not a selfish indulgent love that didn't bless others. This was a thoughtful love, recognising that it had been a tough week and rest was needed. It was recognising that I had responsibilities and with help and strength from God, I would complete my errands.
I don't mean to get all spiritual with this but it felt that way for me. I had time to think, talk to God and hear from God. I had the energy to feel good about myself and think positively. Think about how loved you feel right now. If your love tank is low, will you be filled with energy and positivity for anything without exerting an insane amount of energy? What if you asked God to help you fill your love tank? He is more than capable of directing you to do those things that will fill your love tank. He loves you and He wants you to be able to love others. You don't fill your love tank to love yourself. You do so to be able to pour out love onto others. When Jesus was asked about the most important commandment, He said this:
And you shall love the Lord with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself'. Mark 12:30 - 31
There is always intentionality in every word spoken by Jesus and in this case, loving your neighbours as yourself means that it's biblical to love yourself. If you have been looking for a reason to love yourself, does Jesus' commandment give you one?
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