We all have our personal ways of communicating and receiving love. And sometimes what’s obvious to us is not so obvious to others. We must often teach others how to love us well.
Of course, it’s nice when others just seem to get us and know exactly how to care in our time of need. Perhaps they thought of things that never crossed our minds, but proved to be just what our hearts needed.
But love is a language that must be learned, and even more so to know the particular dialect of our hearts. And we set ourselves up for much disappointment when we expect others just to know.
For instance, we might wonder why our wife doesn’t affirm the things important to us or why our friends don’t check-in with us when we’re going through a hard season. And it would be easy to assume that they don’t really care. But it’s more likely they simply don’t know how to care in ways meaningful to us.
And we add to our sense of disconnection when we shut our hearts down because they didn’t live up to the unspoken expectations we placed on them.
A better approach is teaching them how to love us. And while admittedly this is difficult to do in our time of need, it’s worth the effort when the alternative is a heart of bitterness.
“It really makes me feel loved and cared for when others do ________ for me.”
To be sure, this is simply a request and not a demand. Nor is the focus on blaming the other for what they’ve not done. Rather it’s merely sharing with them the things important to our hearts.
And, more often than not, people want to love us well and will do their best to learn our language of love. We must be willing to do our part to teach them.
In the end, let others grow in their practice of love by teaching them the things important to your heart. This fosters a deeper connection between each other and keeps your heart from growing bitter.