In the Name of Love

Feb 2, 2016

Beth Guckenberger

Todd and I first met in March of 1990 when I was a high school junior. I remember teasing Todd that he was a month late. I had spent the 14th of February watching other girls receive flowers and chocolate. The next day at school, I was called out of first bell for a delivery of roses from Todd, along with a sweet note wishing me a Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day. Then, every period for the next eight, another bouquet of flowers arrived. I went home that day with both my arms and my heart full.

In Mexico, where Todd and I spent the first 15 years of our marriage, Valentine’s Day is celebrated as the “day of friendship and love.” I’ve spent most years thinking about how to love well – not just my husband, but friends and family, too. This year is no exception! Here are five ways I am endeavoring to love the people in my life well.

  1. Be about the details. Remember what someone tells me later. Take the time to make a call to follow-up or pick-up a favorite treat. At our core, we all long to feel we are known. Remind someone that you see them and know them.
  1. Take initiative. Reach out and send a text. Pick up the phone. Set a date on the calendar. Half the battle of friendship is making the time.
  1. Connect – even if it’s quick. Stop a co-worker in the hall. Roll down your window in the neighborhood for a quick catch-up. Shoot an email to someone from another state. It doesn’t take much to let someone know that you see them.
  1. Listen. Man, this is a lost art and the glue to any friendship. It’s not shared experiences or shared interests, but genuine concern for another. I think it’s also my favorite marriage tip.
  1. Go out of your way. We become endeared to others when they show up for our kids’ football games, go to the doctor with us or help us out when we’re in a bind. I want to do what’s inconvenient just for the purpose of loving another.

This Valentine’s Day, let’s resolve to take time to listen, connect, and love well. Let’s be about the kind of extravagant love someone still is talking about 26 years later.

 

Beth is an author, speaker and mom. She and her husband, Todd, serve as Co-Executive Directors of Back2Back Ministries. Beth frequently travels and speaks at conferences drawing on her vast experiences with adoption, foster care, spiritual care, and non-profit leadership, serving and living internationally for over 15 years. Between biological, foster, and adopted children, Beth and Todd have raised ten children.

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