Jesus tells us to die to self, Christmas is a great time to start
A few years back I read Gary Chapman’s “Five Love Languages” for single people. Chapman states that there are five languages in which we communicate love; acts of service, words of affirmation, physical touch, quality time, and receiving gifts. The idea is to learn what your language is, and what the language of your partner, children, friends, co-workers or whoever you are in a relationship with, is so that you can better show love to each other.
For example, my language is quality time. Nothing tells me that I am loved more than someone wanting to spend time with me. When I was in a relationship with someone whose language was words of affirmation, I made more of an effort to give compliments and tell him how much he meant to me, despite the fact that this was hard for me.
In Chapman’s book he provides a test to determine your language, but he also helps you evaluate yourself to determine it. One thing he states is to look at what is on your wish list for Christmas or birthdays. The Christmas before I read the book I had asked my then-boyfriend to take me on an adventure. I didn’t care where we went as long as it was an all-day excursion with him in the woods.
I have also caught myself saying “If you just go on this trip with me, that can be my birthday (or Christmas) present.”
I am not a fan of Valentine’s Day because I find it hokey and would much rather have “just because” flowers or candy than “because I am supposed to.” But the best Valentine’s Day I ever spent was driving around the back roads with my guy in the snow. I would much rather have that quality time, than diamonds or flowers. Chocolate, well that’s another story. Just kidding.
My favorite holidays are centered around the ones where my whole family gets together. I love getting together and shooting off fireworks on Fourth of July, or eating way to much on Thanksgiving, or opening presents on Christmas. When I receive gifts, it is not so much the monetary sacrifice, but the fact that they were thinking of me when the picked it out.
See what I really want for Christmas is free. I just want quality time with my family and those I love. What loved one in your life could use a little extra display of love?
I believe the holiday season is a time of self sacrifice and love. For me it is time to especially remember God, who came to earth to sacrifice Himself for me. It is time with my family and friends that I do not have much of an opportunity to see. It is also a time to reflect on the past year and look toward the future.
In the Bible Jesus tells us to die to self, and the Christmas season is always a reminder to me of that. Jesus came to die for us. We sacrifice spending money on ourselves to spend it on others. We sacrifice time from our hobbies to spend time with loved ones.
Maybe some of your loved ones, simply want quality time. Or maybe a loved one might say to you, “What I really want for Christmas is to have a yard clean of leave.” If that person’s language is acts of service, raking the leaves will mean the world to them.
Or maybe just saying “I love you,” to someone will mean the world to them. This sounds so simple, but for someone like me it can be really be hard.
Receiving gifts, is one many people struggle with. Chapman explains it’s not materialist, but physical representations of love. Some people, myself include, feel awkward when receiving a gift. You feel you need to pay them back someway. But if that is someone’s language, I have learned to simply accept it and appreciate the effort.
I am also not a touchy-feely person at all. My mother however is. So the other day when I asked her to make me a sandwich and she asked for a kisses in return, I kissed her forehead to communicate to her that I appreciate her.
It doesn’t cost anything to show people you love them. Lets all show a little extra love this Christmas.