“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” – John 15:12 (NIV)
Candace had spent the day running errands for her son’s birthday party the next day. The day had been rainy and cold. When she arrived home, she realized she’d forgotten the balloons and cake at her local grocery store.
She sighed and turned to go back out when her husband stopped her. He handed her a mug of her favorite coffee. “You’ve been on your feet all day. Let me take care of this, and you relax. I’ve already put dinner in the oven.”
Candace smiled and accepted the warm mug gratefully. As she watched her husband grab the umbrella and head back out, she couldn’t help but reflect on their early years as a married couple. She’d been frustrated that her husband said nothing more than the occasional, “I love you.” She longed for words of affirmation.
When she shared the concern with an elderly woman at her church, the woman smiled. She explained that Candace’s husband was probably showing love differently.
Candace finally realized her husband liked to show her he cared by doing things for her, like taking out the garbage or making dinner for her. Once she understood this, Candace was able to hear him say, “I love you” in the way he washed her car, mowed the lawn, and helped with the grocery shopping.
God, help me to hear the different ways my friends and family show me that they love me. Teach me how to return their affection in the way they need me to. In Jesus’ name, Amen.