You are here

8. Love I

source : www.winwellness.org

8

My Love Journey

Love—I

 

 

 

PowerPoint© Slide 1

“MY LOVE JOURNEY”

Love ―Part I

 

 

You can’t see it, but you can feel the powerful magic moment. This transformational beauty is found in relationships, in a newborn baby, in the first kiss, an unexpected gift, a healing touch. It fills the heart with ecstatic joy and makes us willing to endure the difficult and do the impossible. It is utterly sublime and draws hearts together. It is the strongest motivational force in the universe. Great poets have romanticized it, God has expressed it in its fullness, and we have sensed its tug at our heartstrings. What is it? Yes! That all-important factor is love—God’s precious gift to us.

 

Rob learns to love

Rob had sensed love’s tug, but there was unfinished business from the past that was blocking love from totally blossoming in his life. One day he had to face this. At the end of a college adult education class, Rob’s professor gave a surprising assignment: “Go tell someone special that you love them. This should be a person to whom you have either never said this before or haven’t said it for a long time.” As Rob headed home, he began to wish he had never enrolled in the class.

 

His conscience started pricking him. He knew exactly who needed to hear his words, “I love you.” Five years earlier, Rob and his father had had a heated and unresolved disagreement. Now they did their best to avoid seeing each other, unless they both needed to be at some important family gathering, and even then they hardly spoke.

 

By the time Rob arrived home, he was certain as to whom he was going to express his love. Now, all excited about his assignment, he woke up his sleeping wife, who squealed with delight and hugged him. Her response unleashed his emotions and he cried. It was the first time she had seen him so moved. The next morning, still excited, he called his dad. “May I come over after work? There is something I want tell you.” “Now what?” his dad replied. “It won’t take long,” Rob assured his father.

 

Right after work, Rob stood nervously on his father’s porch. Ringing the bell, he prayed that his dad and not his mom would actually open the door. When his father finally appeared, he didn’t waste any time. “Dad, I love you. That is all I want to say. I love you.”

 

In class later that week, Rob reported an incredible transformation. His father’s eyes softened and filled with tears. He reached out and gave Rob a warm hug, saying, “Son, I love you too. I have just had a hard time saying it to you.” They hugged again, and Rob felt emotional healing taking place. It was as though his soul was being cleansed. It felt good.

 

Two days later, Rob’s father had a heart attack and was admitted to the hospital. Rob told the class, “If I had waited a couple of days, I might never have had the chance to make things right with him. Now, whether he lives or dies, we have reconciled our past differences. I told him I loved him and will always have the memory of hearing him say, ‘I love you too, son.’ ” Then he gave a message to the class: “Take time to say or do what you need to. Do it now! Tomorrow might be too late.”[1]

 

Someone in your life needs to hear those three words: “I love you.” They may be difficult to say. There may be tense and hostile feelings between you and someone close to you. Some people have prickly personalities, and you may worry about how they’ll react to an expression of love or appreciation. But no matter how people might behave, say it. Both expressing and receiving love can be tremendously healing. Love is a decision, and Rob decided to show love to his father. What he experienced was the magic moment of giving and receiving love.

 

PowerPoint© Slide 2

Research on Love

 

 

Love has healing properties

Psychiatrist Thomas P. Malone believes that our greatest human need is to be loved. He says that almost every emotional problem stems from a dearth of love. It is as though on the inside the person is screaming,

 

PowerPoint© Slide 3

“‘Love me!’ --that is all.  He goes through a million different manipulations to get somebody to love him.”

 

 

 But are we aware that Someone already loves us? Do we realize how much love our Creator God shows us every day?

 

Many researchers have done studies demonstrating the power love can have in our lives, particularly for our continued healing and well-being. Dr. Dean Ornish, whose research on lifestyle and the reversal of heart disease has been hailed in the medical community, makes the following statements in his book, Love and Survival:

 

PowerPoint© Slide 4

“Our survival depends on the healing power of love, intimacy, and relationships.

I have found that perhaps the most powerful intervention...

 

 

 

 

 

PowerPoint© Slide 5

            . . . is the healing power of love and intimacy, and the emotional and spiritual trans-formation that often result from these.”

 

 

 

PowerPoint© Slide 6

LOVE - ROOT OF WELLNESS

“Love and intimacy are at the root of what makes us sick and what makes us well, what causes sadness and what brings happiness, what makes us suffer and what leads us to healing.”

 

 

 

Love seems to be one of the greatest remedies for healing and healthful living. If this is true, then maybe we need to express our love more frequently to those depressed, hurting, or ill, so that the miracle of healing can occur.

 

Does it make a difference in our health if we feel loved?

 

 

PowerPoint© Slide 7

A Swedish Study

4 times the risk of dying prematurely if very lonely and isolated.

 

 

Research seems to indicate that a lack of love is an almost certain recipe for health problems and early death. A Swedish study followed seventeen thousand men and women aged twenty-nine to seventy-four for six years. Those most lonely and isolated had almost four times the risk of dying prematurely during this period.[2]

 

 

 

PowerPoint© Slide 8

DUKE UNIVERSITY STUDY

Angiograph patients--those unmarried and who did not have a close confidant - 3 TIMES greater mortality rate

 

 

 

A Duke University study led by Dr. Redford Williams, which studied almost fourteen hundred men and women who underwent coronary angiography with severely blocked coronary arteries, found that five years later, 50 percent of those who were unmarried or had no confidant were dead. They were more than three times as likely to have died as those who were married or had a confidant.[3]

 

[GLESNI, NOTE THE FOLLOWING IS A SUBSTITUTED PARAGRAPH.]

In the early 1950s, 126 healthy Harvard University students were asked to rate their relationship with mother and father as “very close,” “warm and friendly,” “tolerant,” or “strained and cold.” Thirty-five years later their medical records were checked. Forty-seven percent of those who had described their childhood relationships as “very close” or “warm and friendly” were suffering from serious diagnosed diseases, while literally 100 percent of those who had described their childhood relationships with mother and father as “tolerant” or “strained and cold” now suffered from similar diseases.[4]

 

Heart turning—fathers to children

Some children, even grown ones, feel deeply that they are missing something that should be coming to them—love from their father. The Bible even speaks about this in a last-day prophecy found in Malachi, in the last verses of the Old Testament.

 

 

PowerPoint© Slide 9

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.  And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers.”  --Malachi 4:5-6.

 

 

 

Heart-turning means (1) feeling and expressing love and (2) saying “I’m sorry, forgive me” when we have hurt our loved ones. Actually, when the Bible speaks about heart-turning in 1 Kings 18:37 and Malachi 4, it is literally speaking about repentance—turning away from the sins that have separated us from each other and from God. This is what Rob and his father experienced.

 

Mike and his father experienced this in a different context. A few days before Mike left home to go to university, his father invited him to a favorite restaurant where the two of them could talk. Between bites of Indian curry dish, the father said, “Son, I’ve invited you here to tell you how much your mom and I love you, and to ask you if in your growing up years I have done anything that has offended you. If so, I want to make it right.” The waiter who walked by didn’t know what to think when he saw two grown men at the table with tears in their eyes. It was a touching moment as Mike said, “Dad, I can’t think of anything. Thank you for all you and Mom have done to give me a good start in life.” That was heart turning.

 

Did you know that many young adults, and especially young adult men, feel that they have not had a positive relationship with their fathers? This is also true for daughters. If they have a sense of love from their fathers, they are less likely to look for love in the wrong places. Sons and daughters are looking for expressions of love to fill the aching void in their heart. We have observed that many young adults are taking the first steps toward heart turning to their fathers and mothers. The heart-turning prophecy in Malachi is being fulfilled, and families are enjoying restored relationships.

 

Can I love someone I don’t even like?

Some say, “But I just can’t love some people.” Others say, “I really don’t know how to share love with others. I have no love to give.” “Why do I have to love those I don’t even like?” In the real world in which we live, those are perfectly understandable statements. But let’s look a little deeper into the dynamic power of love.

 

Is love a commodity that we can drum up from inside of us and turn on or off according to how we feel at the time? Or do we have available an inexhaustible source of love? The Bible teaches that “God is love.” So the source of our deep motivation in life can be love from the One who loved us and gave His life on Calvary for a world that didn’t love Him. He opens that love fountain for us so that we might share this same love with anyone we know or meet and especially for those who need love the most.

 

Aubrey felt she was one of those who had a hard time loving others. The words “I love you” were difficult for her to say. Hugging others was uncomfortable. As she started growing in her walk with God, Aubrey identified this love vacuum in her life and began praying to the Source of love to help her be a more loving person. God answered her prayer in an amazing way. Now she showers others with love and even does loving acts to those who are not nice to her. She says, “God changed me. I still need to reach a higher level of unselfish love, but I’m progressing.” Is this true for you as well?

 

Ways of expressing love

Gary Chapman suggests that there are five basic ways of expressing our love. He calls these ways of expression “love languages.”[5] They are

 

 

 

PowerPoint© Slide 10

THE 5 LOVE LANGUAGES

  • Words of affirmation
  • Time together
  • Gifts
  • Service
  • Physical touch

 

 

 

And we add listening to others to this unique list. Which of these love languages do you appreciate receiving the most, and which are your ways of loving others? Think about it.

 

PowerPoint© Slide 11

Homework Activity

 

Discuss with the family which of the love languages speaks most eloquently to each of them. 

“I personally feel loved when . . . _________________________________________________.”

 

Family Homework Activity

Ask your family members which of the following love languages speaks most eloquently to them.

___When you are told how much you are loved and appreciated

___When your family spends time with you

___When you are given a surprise gift

___When someone helps you do things that are hard for you to do

___When someone gives you a love touch, hugs you, pats you on the back, or gives you a massage

___When someone listens as you tell about an important event in your life or a problem that is troubling you.

 

The importance of touching

We focus now on the love language of physical touch. Many enjoy giving hugs and the benefits of them, but if you are not a physically demonstrative person and find it hard to hug your family members, choose other tangible ways to express your love to them. They need to know that you do love them. With boys, try arm wrestling at the kitchen table, or friendly wrestling with the children on the floor; do “high fives”; pat them on the back; give a chair massage at the kitchen table; and move toward hugging them when they have successfully accomplished some difficult thing or come home from a trip. You can do it! After some practice, giving hugs will become more comfortable. You will feel better and be healthier—and so will those you hug. And when they grow up, they won’t feel the pain that comes from parents never giving them a hug or saying, “I love you.” The “no hugs in this family” chain can be broken.

 

Minimum daily requirements

 

 

PowerPoint© Slide 12

“Minimum Daily Requirements”

- How many hugs do we need?

 

 

 

Hugs and loving touch are powerful. They help to take pain away, lower blood pressure, relieve stress, promote sleep, boost the body’s immune system, fight against disease, take away depression, fill the void in the heart, strengthen family relations, reduce friction, and more. And hugged children are sweeter, make better grades in school and are happier. Hugs perform miracles! Some consider family hugs to be a basic essential of life and a miracle medicine that relieves many emotional and physical problems facing us today. Experts suggest we need at least four hugs every day—some say more. Get and give many!

 

 

 

PowerPoint© Slide 13

Sick children have a greater probability of survival when they are loved and touched regularly.

 

 

 

 

Children thrive or wither away depending on how much love they are given. Researchers have discovered a direct relationship between children’s bone growth and the amount of physical loving touch they receive.[6] One three-year-old child who had been deprived of maternal affection was found to have half the bone-size growth of an average child of the same age.[7] Loving touch is an essential ingredient for physical and emotional health.

 

A love hug that rescued a twin sister

 

 

PowerPoint© Slide 14

A Love Hug that rescued a twin sister

 

 

 

Newborn twin girls were in separate incubators in the hospital. One was not expected to survive. Going against hospital policy, an insightful nurse put the ill baby with her sister in one incubator. Very soon, the healthier twin placed her little arm over her sick sister, tenderly embracing her. Not only did the smaller twin’s heart rate stabilize, but her temperature normalized as well! Both babies survived and thrived! As a result, this hospital changed its policy and now puts twins together in the same infant warmer, as they were in the womb. Hugs heal![8]

 

Love places boundaries

 

PowerPoint© Slide 15

Love places boundaries

 

 

Parents desire to rear their children so that they will grow in favor with God and man. Love demands that parents do what is in the long-term best interest of their children. But there are times when it seems easier and less troublesome to just give in to the child’s wants and whines. Love demands that parents not always do what their children ask for. Love has limits and boundaries, not giving free rein to all the desires of children and teens. We can’t let them run across a busy freeway.

 

One must use good judgment and take into account the age of the children, but with the guidance of God, “hands-on” parents love so much that they say No to destructive habits, No to watching violence or pornography on the Internet or TV, No to constant chitchat on cell phones, No to mind-destructive music, and No to unhealthy friendships.

 

But they can say Yes to reading a good book, Yes to going camping for a weekend or taking a family outing at the beach, and Yes to participating in a community food drive and doing good for others.

 

One teen taunted his mother, “You are the only parents in town who won’t let their kids watch that television program.” To which the mother replied, “Because I love you so much, I can’t let you do harm to your mind.”

 

The son retorted, “I wish you didn’t love me so much.” Now, as a grown man and father, he looks back and is thankful for the loving boundaries enforced by his mother. And many “hands-on” parents would add, “Because I love you, I won’t let you go to parties with those classmates or spend your money on that kind of music or let you play those mind-destroying computer games. You are just too precious to me.”

 

Love brings security

 

PowerPoint© Slide 15

Love brings security

 

A child was asked what he liked about his father. The response: “Dad loves Mom. That is what I like about him,” and then he gave his reason why. The son had seen many of his friends’ parents get divorced, and that was not what he wanted. A wise man once wrote that the greatest gift that a father can give his children is to love their mother. Do you agree? When parents love each other, they are actually modeling a positive relationship for the next generation.

 

Research has found that if parents allow their children to make their own decisions regarding matters such as mealtimes, bedtimes, and watching television, the children will tend to grow up to be impulsive, disobedient, rebellious, demanding, poor students, and have a high rate of drug use. This is called permissive parenting. The parents let their children do as they please. Baumrind found that authoritative parents who are strong on both love and control tend to raise healthy, happy children who become useful members of society.[9]

 

Love is intentional

 

PowerPoint© Slide 15

Love is intentional

 

 

Loving acts don’t just happen; we have to plan and then act by doing something loving. It is important to show love in the family not only in routine ways—cooking for the family, doing their laundry, buying clothes—but also in unique and special ways. Consider setting aside some money from each paycheck, just as you would for grocery money, for a family recreational time, like going to the zoo, taking a one-day vacation trip, having a party for friends, a family ski trip, or attending a sporting event.

 

When Wes took nine-year-old Katie to a professional basketball game for a father-daughter outing, she smiled exuberantly and expressed her little heartful of love. “O Daddy, this is the second best thing that has ever happened to me! The first best thing was being born to you and Mommy.” A generation earlier, his dad, John, took Wes and his friends 900 miles to a park in Florida where they could skateboard for a weekend. It required two nights on the road. Wes and his friends still talk about the adventure.

 

Consider setting aside family money for caring acts that express love for others: prepare a meal for a widow and deliver it in an attractive homemade basket; buy a warm sweater for an adopted grandpa; or a bag of groceries for a single mom. When you add the element of surprise, we call this “playing the Love Game.” As a family, think of ways you can play the Love Game. What are your plans?

 

________________________________________________________________________________.

Be intentional! Decide to show love in some way to someone who needs your loving act. Children may be encouraged to give “Love Coupons” to others in and out of the family for raking leaves, helping with the computer, washing the car, or doing the dishes. Some families set aside one day each month to play the Love Game for someone in need or lonely or discouraged. Plan as a family to express love through caring acts.

 

Love takes planning

                                                

 

PowerPoint© Slide 16

Love takes PLANNING

 

 

 

Plan a surprise for your beloved and see how the love dynamic changes. Giving flowers is a good start, and a back massage is another. Take him out to a new restaurant for Middle Eastern food. Be creative. There are many ways to show love.

 

 

PowerPoint© Slide 17

 

Millie

 

 

Millie had been sick with large B-cell lymphoma and dreadful aftereffects of cancer for two years. There had been chemotherapy, the removal of half her stomach, and a broken femur. With determination she graduated from lying in bed, to a wheelchair, then to a walker, and eventually to a cane. John planned an intentional loving act for Millie in gratitude to God for her recovery. She was a walking miracle. Finally she was well enough to join John on a business trip to Chile and Argentina, though still walking with a cane.

 

After his work was completed at the university in Chile, John announced, “I have planned a surprise to let you know how important you are to me. We are going to celebrate—celebrate life, your life! You were so ill. A trip is all planned for you. It is my way of thanking God and showing you how grateful I am that I still have my dear Millie. We are going to celebrate your life at Iguazú Falls, the largest waterfalls in the world. And we are going to stay at the Sheraton Iguazú hotel—the only hotel on the Argentinean side where you can see the falls from the bedroom window.”

 

 

 

PowerPoint© Slide 18

 

Millie 2

 

 

As if that wasn’t enough of a love gift, when they checked in at the hotel, they were upgraded to the presidential suite. Afterwards they laughed and said, “The President wasn’t in, so they gave us his suite.” It was like another gift of God’s love for this celebration of life.

 

When Millie was extremely ill, John said, “I love you, Millie” in many ways. He sat beside her hospital bed, waiting for her to come out of anesthesia. He slept in a chair all night by her hospital bed and read to her for hours at a time. He made medication charts and picked her up off the floor when she fainted. He applied cold packs when her fever was 105 degrees. When Millie’s illness disabled her most profoundly, he fed and dressed her and did all the shopping, cooking, and housework. Taking her to Iguazú Falls was just one more way of expressing love—but it was a special way that required advance thought and planning.

 

 

 

PowerPoint© Slide 19

Love is a journey

 

 

You can make it an unforgettable journey by frequently saying “I love you,” forgiving each other, working on problems together, laughing, looking at the positives, going to new places, being adventurous, loving life and each other, and tenderly helping your travel companion over the hard places along the way. Singles can also take this love journey with friends and by sharing a mutual mission of love to others.

 

You can create Love Miracles enshrined in hearts for eternity.

 

 

 

 

Prayer

Lord, thank You for Your gift of love to me. I want to be used to share Your love with someone. Who is it? Who needs my loving acts? Give me a desire to love and to be a more loving person—as You are. Amen.

 

 

 

Reflect/Discuss

 

 

PowerPoint© Slide 20

  1. Recall an occasion when “I saw love in action” or a time when “I did a loving act that made someone else feel loved.”
  2. What did this chapter on love say to you?

 

 

 

 

 

PowerPoint© Slide 20

  1. How can we teach our children, teens, and grandchildren to do loving acts for the family and others?
  2. Reflect on God’s love: What is it like?

 

 

Personal Reflections

 

 

PowerPoint© Slide 21 personal reflections

  1. What have I done recently that indicates I am a loving person?
  2. Read 1 Corinthians 13. What is this chapter saying to me about love?

 

 

 

 

 

PowerPoint© Slide 22

Intentionality

r      I am going to tell someone who needs to hear it, “I love you.” That person is __________________________.

        

 

 

 

PowerPoint© Slide 11 intentionality

I plan to do a loving act for __________________ this week. Record the date when your “Love Mission” is accomplished: __________________.

r      I will continue every week to show love to someone.

 

 

 

PowerPoint© Slide 23

Family Playing the Love Game

  1. Discuss with the family how they each can play the Love Game by doing surprise loving acts for family members as well as those outside the family.
  2. Write love notes to each family member and have them read the notes at family worship time or at dinner.

 

 

 

 

 

One-a-day Loving Acts

Start a new habit by recording Loving Acts. Become intentional about loving others. Even little love acts that take 1–5 minutes can make a big difference.

 

Date

Loving Act

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                       

Optional Activities

You may wish to invite friends to your home for a Saturday evening. Present this topic of the Love Journey and the items given in these last three pages. Duplicate the material for each person attending.

 

Activity 1: Love in Action

Record answers to the following questions and discuss with a companion, friend, or small group.

 

What are some ways of building love?

 

 

 

What makes me feel loved?

 

 

 

What makes my wife/husband feel loved?

 

 

 

What makes our children feel loved?

 

 

 

 

 

Activity 2

Write a love note to someone in your family or to someone who needs it. Use special stationery for your love note. That someone might be your husband, wife, or child. You could hide it and let them unexpectedly find it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PowerPoint© Slide 1

“MY LOVE JOURNEY”

Love ―Part I

 

 



[1]. Adapted from Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, eds., A 2nd Helping of Chicken Soup for the Soul: 101 More Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit, 46–48.

[2]. Ibid., 44.

[3]. Ibid., 46.

[4]. Ibid., 32–36.

[6]. Henry Albert Harris, Bone Growth in Health and Disease: The Biological Principles Underlying the Clinical, Radiological, and Histological Diagnosis of Perversions of Growth and Disease in the Skeleton (London: Oxford University Press, 1933) OR Robert G. Patton and Lytt I. Gardner, Growth Failure in Maternal Deprivation (Springfield, IL: Thomas, 1963).

[7].    Ashley Montagu, Touching: The Human Significance of the Skin, 3rd ed. (New York: Harper and Row/ Perennial Library, 1986), 244.

[8].    Adapted from “A Sister’s Helping Hand,” Reader’s Digest, May 1996, 155–156.

[9].    Diana Baumrind, “Rearing Competent Children,” in William Damon, ed., Child Development Today and Tomorrow (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1989), 349–378.

 

Facebook Comment