We are called to love others. There are so many songs, t-shirts, bumper sticks, you name it that tell us “all we need is love” and “love one another.” But, how do we actually DO that? If we don’t love intentionally, it’s easy to miss the mark.
Jesus tells us in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” I wanted to see how literal Jesus was being when He said this, so I went to the Hebrew text. In the original Hebrew writing, to “lay down” means “to lay off or aside, to wear or carry no longer.” Let that sink in for a moment. Loving our friends the way Jesus calls us to, means to no longer carry our lives, no longer place our lives first but to set them aside so that the lives of our friends take center stage.
It is VITAL to find ways to love our friends selflessly and consistently!
I asked some of my best friends for their thoughts too and compiled 5 tangible ways to love those around you. I’m so grateful for amazing friends the Lord brought into my life and am amazed at how well they love and teach me to love better!
Here are top 5 ways tangible, intentional ways to love others:
Show up. It’s pretty simple but super overlooked. If your friend is moving, show up. Having a bad day? Call them.
Love in the way those around you NEED to be loved. If don’t know which of the 5 Love Languages your friends and family (AND YOURSELF) are, Google it and take the quiz to find out! For example, Corey’s love language is Acts of Service. In order to love him best, I know not to buy him gifts (even though I love doing that). Something simple like making him a meal will cause him to feel more loved than even a super nice gift would. It’s important to know those things!
Be honest. AKA, don’t let your friend go the whole day with spinach in her teeth.
Hug someone. Super tight!
SEND CARDS!!! One of my favorite ways to show and receive love is through written words of affirmation that can be kept forever!
Hallmark cards are great for any reason you can think of — encouraging a friend after a bad day, celebrating them for reaching a new milestone in their life — a simple Bible verse they need in the season of life they are in — everyday things that you might not think about sending a card for.
One of my favorite things to do is buy Hallmark cards and leave them for Corey to read! His 2nd Love Language is Words of Affirmation :)
If you don’t have a drawer or box with everyday cards, I’d highly encourage you to have those on hand! That’s one thing I will continue to have no matter where I live!
What are some tangible things you do to love people in your life?
YOU ARE LOVED. (Just a few words of affirmation from me :) )