I’m continuing into the 2nd month of the Lifegiving Home by Sally & Sarah Clarkson and the companion book, The Lifegiving Home Experience by Sally & Joel Clarkson, highlighting the thoughts that may help build healthy relationships by creating a culture of love in our homes for those of us that are healing or low-energy.
You can read the previous posts here:
“Love mysteriously heals, gives hope, builds faith, inspires heroism and personal sacrifice.” – Sally Clarkson
February – A CULTURE OF LOVE – Growing Lifelong Relationships
This month, February, is appropriately dedicated to a culture of love in our homes that grow lifelong relationships. “There’s something so special about setting aside a month to celebrate our closeness to the people we treasure most. This can also be a month for focusing on building loving relationships, drawing close to the people around us, and making others our priority.”
Dedicating an entire month for love is appealing. Not only is it a gift for everyone around us, it also gives time to exercise our love muscles. This dedication of time makes it front and center in our minds what is in our hearts and a reminder to look for tangible ways to demonstrate our love. This month long focus each year will help develop permanent habits that carry on throughout the year.
“Whatever we have spoken into the daily lives of our children is what they will hear when they are far away.” – The Lifegiving Home Experience
Practical Ways to Say “I Love You” to Anyone
Many books have been written about speaking to others in their “love languages” that build deeper and lasting relationships by expressing love to them in ways that actually make them feel loved. Sally believes it’s so important to study people and consider the best ways we can communicate our love to them, but she also offers some practical ways to say “I love you” that speak to almost anyone.
I found Sally’s examples particularly helpful to jump start my own ideas to demonstrate love. She offers some specific examples: words of affirmation and encouragement; kindness and sympathy; focused attention and time invested, helping and serving; and many more.
Love must be demonstrated and having tangible illustrations is invaluable. Although usually simple, I find I must write some of these ideas out and plan or they have a tendency to get lost in the day to day shuffle. Planning is one way to help ensure what’s in our hearts doesn’t slip through the cracks.
“Children flourish when they are treated with gentleness, when loving words bring water to their souls, when affirmation is planted in their hearts.” – The Lifegiving Home Experience
The Power of Expressing Love
Sally’s passion for expressing love comes through clearly. By setting the example and encouraging others, she’s teaching that it’s ultimately about investing in lives and reaching hearts. Some examples of her home life, for our benefit, include:
- teaching the true heart of good manners
- building memories of love on birthdays
- honoring and loving her husband
- loving the worlds of her children
- initiating relationships through teatime discipleship
- creatively planning weekly nights out
- planting words of affirmation in people’s souls
“Loving acts and words of affection and affirmation are foundational to our health in every area of life – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. God made us to need and to experience intimate relationships.” – Sally Clarkson
At Home in the Word
The companion book has a lovely devotional/Bible study to walk us through understanding the source of ultimate love, what hindrances we may have, and how to deepen that love in tangible ways. I’m finding this very helpful. It’s an area that needs some focused attention right now in my life and I’m extremely grateful for Sally and Joel pointing me in this direction of digging deeper. Fortunately, I’m not in this alone…
“Ultimately, it comes down to being so transformed by Christ’s love for us that we are willing to give anything to offer that love to others.” – The Lifegiving Home Experience