I’ve been thinking about how we show love to people we care about when they are not with us. When you love someone, you tend to smile when you see them, be generous with hugs and kisses (depending on who it is perhaps :D) and try to show in lots of little ways that that person is important to you. Maybe by taking the time to listen, to help out with something, to give advice or just spend time together doing nothing in particular.
What if you’re not together, though? How do you show love then?
I’ve witnessed several friends in long distance relationships and must confess that I found their daily phone calls a bit amusing. Seriously, every day? Is that really necessary? Don’t you run out of things to talk about? Don’t you have lots of other things to do?
But in a way, that is one thing you can do to show love at a distance: take the time to at least talk. Make that phone call a priority. Spend money on the phone bill.
They would also think of creative ways to surprise each other with a special card or a package, which honestly was pretty cute. But then love isn’t really just signs of affection, is it?
How about loving someone by being faithful? Faithful both to the relationship and faithful in the responsibilities you have.
How about loving someone by investing in working on issues you might have that burden the relationship? Becoming more reliable, honest, serving and kind?
How about loving someone by working hard in your job or studies and thereby investing in your future?
How about loving someone by working ahead so that when you do get to spend time together, you’re not stressed and distracted by all that needs to be done.
How about loving someone by praying for them and asking God to work in both your lives and to guide you in the relationship?
I think these things are just as important as a phone call or sending chocolates – and can really have an impact on how a relationship develops. They take discipline and are less “mushy-feely” – more practical and purposeful. But then that’s making love something that lasts and something that is seen and felt, even at a distance.
Thinking about love at a distance also made me think about my mom and dad. I went to boarding school for eight years – and my parents got really good at figuring out how to love at a distance. I didn’t always get it at the time, but looking back now I am overwhelmed by the effort my parents put in to love on us kids and show us that each one of us is important and precious to them. Not just through phone calls or E-mails – but also by making sure that the time we did spend together was real quality time. My mom would even prepare meals and bake our favourite cakes beforehand to make sure things were ready when we got home. That way she wouldn’t have to spend as much time in the kitchen. My dad would also organise his work in such a way as to maximise the time he could spend with us. Being on break, we kids would often sleep in while my parents would get up early to do some work and then have fun family time when we got out of bed. I sometimes wonder, would I be that disciplined? I hope so. I hope I would have that same love for my husband and kids to be willing to really make things work and invest in loving on them in every way.
Two days ago, I found a letter in my mailbox. It was a love letter – from my mom and dad and two of my brothers, congratulating me on passing my exams and graduating from University. The ceremony was just a week ago and no one had been able to come. I ended up being sick in bed. Not the ideal scenario – but I was happy, because as cheesy as it sounds, I knew they were with me in my heart. And when I found that letter, it just made me smile and realise how right I was. They told me how happy they are for me. How proud they are of me. They told me to celebrate and that they’re looking forward to seeing me soon. Thanks Mom and Dad. Thanks brothers. Thanks family, for being so amazing at showing love at a distance. We’re all spread out all over the world – but I always feel your love and support. You’re amazing and I love you all.
If you have more ideas on how to show love at a distance, feel free to share below 😀
We can all use some inspiration now and again!