How’s Your Love Tank?

I remember reading a book years ago and having so many “aha” moments – about family and friends, as well as myself. Pieces of how we’re each built made a new kind of sense. The epiphany level was through the roof – what many would call “life changing.”

The Five Love Languages
by Gary Chapman

If you’ve read this book, I imagine you are nodding your head in wholehearted agreement. If you haven’t read it, make a plan to so pronto! The idea of how ones love tank is filled, and how we can fill others, is revolutionary.

*Acts of service
*Quality time
*Physical touch
*Words of affirmation/encouragement
*Gifts

Just looking at the words, you can guess quite a bit about yourself already. You can rank them according to importance or significance. You can probably peg a few loved ones, too. What you cannot do, is actively supply yourself, aka fill up your tank, with the type of love on which you thrive. Inherently, that is supplied from an outside source.

As we move into the second week of self quarantine and “social distancing” resulting from the Covid-19 situation, the level of love in the love tank is increasingly on my mind. I’m not talking about the intimate love between spouses, I’m talking about the fundamental love we give and receive as humans caring for each other. With gatherings and simple in-person interaction pretty much non-existent, I’m compelled to ask –

How’s your love tank?

As a widow, mine is already pretty low. Take away what little opportunity I have for human interaction, and I’m considering declaring my own state of emergency. As I read and listen and watch, I’m seeing the rest of the community join me in this state. So I ponder.

How can we fill that love tank?

Well, we need to be super intentional. Within the four walls of your home, it’s actually pretty easy to fill each other’s tanks. But what about your friends and family outside your home? This is where intentionality must kick into gear. So, I’ve thought of a handful of suggestions I want to share. Feel free to add or supplement.

Acts of service:
*are you at the store, text or call and ask what you can bring someone
*pull your neighbor’s trash cans up or down for trash day
*share social media content

Quality time:
*Skype, zoom, facetime, video chat – whatever works
*meet on the porch, or a park, for tea or coffee
*talk on the phone
*watch a show or movie over 👨‍💻👩‍💻
*play a game – virtual or 👩‍💻👨‍💻

Physical touch:
*yeah, it just sucks to be you right now, sorry
*if you’re brave, just imagine how much good a hug would do

Words of affirmation/encouragement:
*send a card
*write a text
*leave a note on the car
*comment on social media posts

Gifts:
*send/drop flowers at the door
*drop off a care package (dessert & drink w/a movie, color book & crayons, a puzzle, a game to play together over 👨‍💻👩‍💻
*give a new book to read

What’s your love language? How would you like to see it lived out? Find out your friends’ language – yes, I mean actually ask them.

Get creative, friends. More importantly, get intentional. Friendships won’t flourish through this season if we aren’t. The bonds within the nuclear family may strengthen, but outside we all need to be more intentional. We can thrive through this season and come out stronger on the other side. It is a choice. Choose to #LoveOnPurpose and #LiveYourFaithBoldly. Now, go fill each others tanks.

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