“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:11-13 (NIV)
I have written before about the Five Love Languages (physical touch, gifts, words of encouragement, acts of service and quality time), and how we need to learn each person’s love language in order to effectively express our love to them. It is like trying to speak French to someone who only comprehends Spanish. When husband and I bought our first house, it was a wreck. Our parents were upset that their children would be moving into such a mess, and both sets acted upon their love languages to improve the house. My folks who speak gifts gave us new kitchen cabinets and windows. My in-laws who speak acts of service poured their time into the house doing things like painting, cleaning and yard work. We were grateful, but after we were married and they continued to help around our house, I didn’t realize that they were telling me how much they loved me. In fact, sometimes, I would get annoyed because I thought that I was being judged and found lacking. Instead of signifying love, I thought they were criticizing. Now, after almost twenty-nine years of marriage, not only am I more confident, but I know that acts of service is they way that they express their love. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and my husband also shares his love with people through helping them. Today, on our third day of vacation, we were at loose ends in Pensacola because oldest son had to work today. We had planned on going to the air museum or to the beach, but as husband and I had breakfast, we talked about our son and how we could show him how much we care about him. It is hard with adult children not to interfere and keep them from maturing and accepting responsibly for their own lives. I don’t want him to think that we are criticizing him either. Oldest son’s love language is gifts, and while we had been shopping with him and knew something he wanted, husband didn’t just want to go out and buy him something. He wanted to do something for him. So, instead of sightseeing, we went to Lowe’s, bought chain link fence and repaired the fence in his rental home’s back yard which was crushed by an oak tree during Hurricane Ivan. It was harder to do than at home where we have come-alongs and tractors. We had to use man power and think smart to get it stretched and level with just the two of us working. But, we managed. Oldest son is very pleased. It was a job he had been dreading since he moved. His new dog is happy, too! I hope whenever oldest son looks in his backyard, he remembers how much his father (and mother) love him. What a great way to spend Father’s Day since I am married to one of the world’s best dads. Happy Father’s Day to all of you dads out there in blogland.