When Using Your Voice Creates Hope

One of the best tools for learning how to build relationships is the book, The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

When we know our love language and the love languages of our friends and family, we know where to begin.

We feed loving hope into other souls.

One day, I discussed love languages with my son and reminded him about my primary language.

“Acts of service. I feel most loved when someone does something for me.”

Conversely, I show love to others by helping them and doing kind things for them. Treat others as we want to be treated — the second greatest commandment in action.

After a long month of illness, my love tank was pointed to empty. So I decided to tell my son exactly what I needed.

If we do not use our voices, we become invisible. Our needs are not heard.

“Son, my love tank is empty.”


“You know, acts of service and all that love language discussion we had about a month ago. I need my love tank filled.”

“What does that even mean, Mom?”

I rolled my eyes. It felt good to reverse the roles with a teenage gesture offered to my grown son. “It means … after being sick for so long and eating nothing but chicken soup, grapefruit and cough drops, my body needs some iron. I need a really good hamburger — not the cheap drive-through kind of burger. A buffalo burger with parmesan garlic sauce and potato wedges on the side. Lots of wedges.”

He nodded. ”So … you want me to go to Buffalo Wild Wings and get you a burger?”

“Now you’re catching on. Don’t forget the extra wedges.”

An hour later, completely satisfied after a whopping burger and salty wedges, my body responded with additional energy. I felt like I might survive and embrace healing. Hope returned.

But to make that leap, I needed to use my voice.

If I had continued to fill the house with my pitiful moaning, slurping leftover chicken soup and acting like a victim — nothing would have improved. My iron content would have plummeted, and my love tank remained empty.

But because I spoke my need and used my voice, my son had the opportunity to do a kind deed. He learned exactly how to speak my love language.

And I reciprocated with his — words of affirmation. “You are the best son ever and a wonderful young man.”

Isn’t life easier when we understand the love language of others, when we know exactly how to meet their needs? How might life change and produce hope if we all practiced our love languages?

Hope responds to authenticity.

When we speak our truth — we all benefit. Then we help each other move toward compassion, kindness and a more hope-filled life.

©2021 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved

Pastor Tanner struggles to find Renee’s love language, but when he gets it — two lives change. Check out his story in The Year of my Redemption.

Hope in a Love Language

On this blog, I have mentioned the importance of my deck. Because I love nature and the fresh beauty of the outdoors, my deck becomes a sanctuary – the place where I most often meet with God.20141002_182454

On my deck, cardinals chirp a chorus from their beautiful repertoire. Blue jays squawk while squirrels run across the deck railing and try to steal food from the feeder. I study the clouds and the way the sun outlines their fluffy exteriors at dusk. On my glider, I rock back and forth in time to the songs I sing to the Creator of everything I see and hear.

But the past couple of years, my sanctuary has been marred by the weathering of nature. I wondered how long my deck would last when the next winter blasted through our Kansas heartland. Never treated, the wood showed wear and made me worry about the dollars and time involved to fix it. I didn’t know how to deal with it, and I had little time to Google “deck staining.”

Then one weekend in September, a most marvelous occurrence took that worry away. Two deacons from my church and my wonderful son stained my deck. I had no idea that a stain could be so beautiful. Sienna brown was the color. Fantastic was my adjective.

These three men worked all day and made sure that every part was sufficiently covered. As I surveyed the finished results, I was amazed at how the color added richness to my terracotta pots yet contrasted splendidly with the creamy yellow of my home’s siding.

My primary love language is acts of service, and lately – I have felt the depletion of my soul’s resources. I knew I needed some TLC – somehow. In this act of service, this staining of a single mom’s deck, these men provided that care and helped to once again fill up my love tank.

I worship God for the way these men underscored what the church is supposed to be as we help each other with practical needs. And in my sanctuary of the outdoors, I thank God for the kindness offered me on one Saturday in September.

©2014 RJ Thesman – “Intermission for Reverend G” – http://amzn.to/1l4oGoo