Have you ever wanted to do something for someone but didn’t know what you could do that would really make their day? Sometimes life gets so busy that we don’t even have time to think about what would make us happy and so knowing what would make someone else happy is an even bigger mystery.
Life is precious and none of us know how long we have on this Earth or how long we have to enjoy the people God has placed in our lives to love.
So learning to make their day needs to be a high priority. Otherwise, your time could be filled with urgent things and the important things like “loving others well” will get put off another day. I don’t want to be a procrastinator when it comes to loving others well. I’m always looking for things that make living this out easier, more practical, and something that is easy enough that I will actually do it instead of wishing I had the time to do it. I recently ran across one of those great ideas! And now I want to share it with you.
I heard about a pastor who had challenged the married couples in his church to write “I Know You Love Me When” letters to each other once a year as married couples. The more I thought about it though, the more I realized that this letter can go beyond married couples. It is a great tool for:
- parents and children,
- best friends,
- really any relationship where you desire to grow closer to someone!
Here’s how it works:
You give each other the assignment of writing an “I Know You Love Me When” letter to each other. It can be paragraphs or bullet points. Long or short. Emailed or handwritten on fine stationary. The point is for each person to look back over your relationship and think about those moments when you really felt loved, valued, and appreciated. Think back to those warm-fuzzy moments that really made you smile and think specifically about what it was about those moments that made them special.
For example: One of your “moments” could have been during a romantic dinner somewhere. Don’t stop at writing “romantic dinner”. Was it the specific restaurant? Was it that he chose the restaurant and got the babysitter and you didn’t have to plan any of it? Was it the conversation you had? Think of the part that made it special and be clear about why it meant something to you.
A less romantic example in my own life is pretty funny actually but true. One of mine is “I know you love me when you take out the trash AND put a trash bag back in AND put the trash cans back where they go without me asking. I know you’ve made the extra effort when all of that happens. You know how frustrating it can be when I have Kenley Jane on my hip and I go to throw away a diaper and the trash can isn’t there or there’s no bag in it. I know you’ve been extra thoughtful of me and I am reminded of how much you love me and our family when you take the time to do those last steps.”
So you see, your letter can have anything from romantic dinners to trash cans. It’s all about how they show their love for you and when you feel it most. It could be when they:
- call just to check in
- send a text during the day
- write a note on the mirror with a dry erase marker
- bring you your favorite candy just because
- clean out your car
- or “butters” your toothbrush with toothpaste (as my neighbor & her husband will do for each other…so cute!)
Once you’ve given each other your letters, keep them in a safe place. This is to be used as a thank you when you need one, as a go-to resource when you want to bless your spouse or a loved one, an idea generator for birthdays, special occasions or just any day that you want to make them feel special in the future. Practically speaking, this is a time saver too because it lessens the time spent guessing how to communicate love to one another. It’s a great exercise for those of you who have a hard time saying what you want. Others can’t read our minds. We need to be clear in letting our loved ones know what we need and then learn to love others well by serving & blessing them in a way that impacts them most.