Do you enjoy giving people little or big tokens of your love & appreciation? Take time to notice and find the ‘perfect’ gift for others? Does it make your day when someone gives you something you really wanted? Or are you tickled pink when someone gives you a little something when you get together? Then your main love language may be Gifts of Love.
We all give and receive love in different ways. Gary Chapman identified the 5 main love languages most people have in his book 5 Love Languages. This month, I’m taking a deeper dive into each language and exploring ways you can fill yourself up with love (with God) that are meaningful and fulfilling to you. It will also help you strengthen your relationship with God as well as with others as you learn to speak their language. This article focuses on Gifts of Love.
Gifts of Love From Others
My mother-in-law was a very ‘gifty’ person. My husband, children & I could always count on receiving a ‘little something’ she picked up almost every time we saw her. She also raved over the gifts people gave her. It could’ve been something that only cost a quarter at a rummage sale, but she loved to give and receive things.
My husband’s family lives in southern Minnesota. It was a treat to get together & these little gifts really meant the world to our son & daughter. At my mother-in-law’s funeral, our son spoke of how special he & our daughter felt when Grandma (who worked at McDonald’s) would always have a McDonald’s toy and a package of Skittles for each of them every time we visited. It drove me bonkers, until I figured out that’s how she expressed her love.
Earlier this week, we celebrated Valentine’s Day. No doubt, many people went out & bought or made gifts for others. Flowers, chocolates or other candy, a gift card for a massage, jewelry, and a whole host of other things. I also imagine kids at school made Valentine’s Boxes, exchanged little gifts of cards & candies during a Valentine’s Day Party. All to express love and strengthen our connections with others.
Gifts of Love From God
God also gives us gifts to express his love. He’s given each of us the gift of life and a body, a Temple of his Holy Spirit, to live in throughout this life that he chooses to share with us. He gives us food to eat, water to drink, a roof over our head. Literally everything we own is a gift from God-but we are asked to manage it all. He gave us the 10 Commandments, that he carved with his own hand for us to follow so we could experience his abundant love, peace & joy.
To whom much is given, much is expected.Luke 12:48
God also chose to give us the gift of Jesus, who showed us the Father’s true nature, love. As true human and true God, Jesus showed us how to love and how to live in love. Jesus then gave us the ultimate gift by taking on our sins upon himself and dying so he could break open the gates. All so we can have eternal life–and live in God’s love forever.
The Holy Spirit, also bestows his own gifts. These gifts include gifts of Wisdom, Knowledge, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Piety, Fear (awe & respect) of the Lord among others. I like to think of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit as gifts as well. When we are close to God, he blesses us with Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Generosity, Faithfulness, Gentleness & Self-Control.
Showing Yourself Love with Gifts
How can you show yourself love through gifts? You don’t necessarily need to spend money or a lot of it to give yourself a gift of love. But finding something you can give yourself, any act of self love, can be considered a gift of love. Here are a few examples that come to mind:
- Wrap yourself a coupon for a hot bath or 30 minutes to spend however you like
- Purchase real, whole food to eat (instead of going out to eat or eating ultra-processed foods)
- Sitting down to a nourishing meal with awareness that it is a gift from God as well as a gift to yourself & your body
- Purchase something that will help you move your body how you want to (yoga mat, tennis shoes, gloves/mittens to walk when it’s colder) it doesn’t have to be expensive, but something you need to do it
- Purchase a journal and/or pen you like so you can use journaling to achieve your Pray. Eat. Move. goals
- Purchase or pick a bouquet of flowers (real or artificial) to grace your table (could even be dandelions & violets that will be abundant in a couple months)
- Notice and appreciate how God provides for you, the gifts he showers you with
- Eat your meals on your pretty dishes
- Treat yourself to a special cup of coffee or tea
- Contrary to popular belief, people aren’t mind readers. Communicate with others what you would like for your birthday, Christmas, etc. or at least give them really big hints “I really love sunflowers and feel so special when I receive them as a gift.”
- You could also start the conversation by asking others what they would like. Most people will reciprocate & ask you the same thing.
I admit, this list was a challenge for me to come up with. Gifts are not my main love language, but I’ve learned to honor and accept love from others who do show love this way. Remembering it’s the thought that counts. If Gifts of Love are your main love language, I invite you to share how you can show yourself (or others) love through gifts in the comments. I’d love to learn more on what kind of gifts mean a lot to you.
Ash Wednesday is Coming Up on March 2nd!
Are you looking to give yourself a meaningful gift this lent that only takes 15 minutes a day? Something that will allow you to walk with Jesus, renew & cultivate fertile ground in the garden of your heart for new life in Christ? Check out my Free Lenten Journey with Jesus. It’s set up with weekly themes, daily journaling prompts and limited availability to different scripture-based guided meditations to guide you throughout this season of renewal.
The Complete Journey has all this plus 11 more guided meditations as well as unlimited lifetime access to the entire program and downloadable versions of the meditations. As an added bonus, the Complete Lenten Journey with Jesus is also over 20% off through March 6th, 2022!
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