Building Deeper Connection during the Love Month

by Christine Sine

by Hilary Horn

February, but more distinctly, Valentine’s day, can create a variety of emotions for different people in all walks of life. For my kids, it’s about hearts, candy and receiving little notes at school. For couples, it may be a special date, beautiful flowers or a treat together. For singles, I’ve experienced “galentines” where you just create a fun space with friends. No matter what stage or age, it can be a special month to create spaces of hospitality, connection and celebrate the love you have between you, your spouse, and your friends & family. Even if it creates a pang of isolation or loneliness, no matter your age or stage in life, Valentine’s Day can be celebrated because of God’s great love.

All love stories, no matter if it’s a platonic friendship or with a partner have a chance to embody virtues, but above all we can practice love. These aren’t hasty experiences. Often when we cultivate friendship and love they are long journeys. They need time, care, commitment, and humility.

Try this fun activity. When you think of the definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13, ask yourself how you can be this way towards those you are trying to build a deeper connection with. Get nitty gritty with each word that describes Love. Make it really attainable in the month of February. No matter if it is a spouse, a dear friend or a new one!

Here’s some ideas:

Patience: Embody listening by attentively paying attention to whoever is talking with you. If someone easily frustrates you, take a pause to ask why and think of a way to practice patience with them.

Kindness: Help someone out that you have never met with a practical need. It could be as simple as helping reach something on a shelf at a grocery store, volunteering for something when someone is overwhelmed or doing a chore at home that isn’t your typical responsibility.

Not Envious: Take space to do some soul care and ask where you may be envious of others? Dig deep to understand why and ask the Lord how you can let that go and practice gratitude for what you do have.

Not Proud: Another opportunity where you can ask the Lord where you may be prideful. If you’re brave, ask your spouse! Creating some humble learning and work towards maturity.

Not rude: Smile more! Put your phone away when you are engaging with someone.

Not Self-seeking: At your workplace, how can you help out in a new way that isn’t just for a promotion or recognition? How can you serve in a way that is unseen?

Not Angered: Next time you experience something that upsets you, take a breath and ask yourself why. Instead of immediately responding out of emotion, give yourself a 1 minute “timeout” to collect yourself.

No records of wrongs: Have you been tallying wrongs in your head towards your spouse or friend? Next time someone offends or hurts you, speak about it out right away. Don’t fester until you blow up on them.

Not delight in evil: Think of the media you may be consuming and how it may not be best for entertainment.

Rejoices in truth: How can you be more authentic in relationship and towards yourself? Learn about your values and how to walk freely in them. Meditate on a scripture this month.

Protects: Volunteer at your kids school. Advocate for the more vulnerable this month or serve at a nonprofit like a homeless shelter.

Trusts: Encourage open communication even when it is difficult. Do an activity with a loved one that will build connection, trust and intimacy even if it is a simple walk or a fun experience at an Escape Room!

Hopes: Recognize the uncertainty, but create goals! This can give you action steps and hope as you walk into something that may seem difficult.

Perseveres: Write down a way you can connect with someone each week that you want to foster a more meaningful relationship. Easy things are texting a friend to set up a time to meet for coffee, call a relative to check in and see how they are doing, plan a date night with your spouse.

Never fails: The more space and time we take to create moments of connection and to love others, the more we work towards a successful and loving relationship. It’s not all fluffy hearts and rainbows, but it takes intentionality and work! Fun work! Hard work! Good work!

To help you out on your journey of connection you may find these toolbox couple questions and weekly navigating questions will help reinforce and build strong foundations for you and your partner. They are something both my husband Trevor and I have implemented in our lives. We have seen deeper connection, growth and intimacy together because of it!

These questions have been designed to help build a deeper meaningful connection between couples of any age whether the newly married or seasoned couple. Grow in your communication, voicing your needs and making sure you both are on the same page each week! Sometimes in relationships we forget to ask the important questions and take time to listen intently with our partner. These questions have been carefully thought through, and they encourage you to look within yourself and enjoy meaningful conversations that can have a real positive impact on your relationship and future.

Use these tools and think through ways you could implement 1 Corinthians 13 in your action plan this upcoming February! Celebrate love month with intentionality and deeper connection!

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