It’s not enough to want to love. We must put love into action to be a true blessing to those in our life. And this often calls for us to practice the disciplines of love.
While some languages of love seem pretty natural for us, others take more effort. And more often than not, our wife, kids, and friends all express and receive love in ways different than our own.
Learning to love well is not simply doing more of what resonates with us. Of course, we can continue loving in these ways. But we must also grow in expressing love in ways others can receive as well.
And because this is not as natural for us, we must often discipline ourselves to follow through consistently.
For example, artist and athletes practice the disciplines of their craft to get better. They submit to various routines and drills that push them out of their current comfort zone.
They stagnate when they simply do what they’ve always done. And there’s enough humility to also realize that growth in some areas is not merely spontaneous. They just can’t wait on things to be different. They must do something different in order to grow.
Disciplines are their path to growth. And the same is true for us in our practice of love.
To love well we must often submit to practices of love outside of our current wheelhouse.
For instance, we might have to discipline ourselves to write notes and speak words of affirmation, or to proactively take care of chores and offer other acts of service.
These things might not come naturally for us and we must submit to the discipline of doing them to grow in this expression of our love.
On a daily, weekly, monthly basis – we commit to engaging in behaviors of love meaningful to the other.
We will likely never get around to it when we wait on our natural desires to motivate us.
We must humbly submit to the particular disciplines of love needed for our love to become palpable in the lives of others.
Don’t grow lazy in your practice of love. Discipline yourself to repeatedly engage in those behaviors that are out of your comfort zone but that resonate deeply in the heart of the other.