February is considered the month of love. It is a time for Valentine’s Day and remembering love. It is emphasizing the importance of love in our lives. The world would suggest we focus on the cards and chocolates or that we would be better in a romantic relationship. Let me share with you four ways to love someone well whether it is a spouse, family member, friend or someone you are trying to minister to.
l – listen
Many people experience love by what they are told and what they are shown. Sometimes the best way to demonstrate this is by saying nothing. I know this sounds unusual, but James tells us in his letter, “My dearly loved brothers, understand this: Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger” (1:19). When you are approaching the relationship, whether with a spouse, family member, friend or someone you are trying to minister to, approach it as if you are their audience. It is not them being your audience for them to listen to everything you have to say. Let them be the speaker and you really listen to them so that you can hear their heart.
o – observe
Become a student of the person you love. Sometimes we are more infatuated with the idea of being in love or even are in love with the ideals of love rather than loving the person of our affection for who they are. You cannot love someone well unless you actually know them. Get to know their nuances, their strengths and their weakness. It is then you begin to love people for who they really are with all their faults and their strengths.
v – value
To express love to someone means you express value. You show them that they matter and that is what love really does. 1 Corinthians 13 says that love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love does not seeks its own. It values the beloved more than it values itself. Love’s goal is to be more centered on valuing the other person than ourselves. Phil 2:3, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” The other person is more important than we are.
e – encourage
It literally means to grant courage – to give someone courage, to equip them, to buoy them, to bolster them through your words. It means to help them to be all that they are meant to be. It does not mean to chip away and make them exactly how you want them to be. It means you grant them the courage to trust God with all they are so they can become who he intends them to be.
What are some practical ways that you can L.O.V.E. someone in your life well?