Reciprocation—Little Used Word, but the Key

“To give and receive, an interchange.”

Dr. Chapman talks a lot in the intro of his book about man’s capacity to love.  This is a great starting point but I want to discuss what underlies love.

A person can have a lot of love in their heart but it does them no good at all until they are willing to give it away

Dr. Chapman uses the love that parents and grandparents have for their children and grandchildren.  That’s a great example because most parents and grandparents want the best for their young family members.  They want them to have good lives and they want them to be happy.  Parents and grandparents give to young people selflessly.

But what about someone who has no children or grandchildren?

Do they have love?

Of course they do but the love they have does them little good unless they give it away.

I said it again, “give it away.”

There is a basic element of risk in the giving of love to others.  The risk is will we get it back—reciprocation.

Some of you know I have a long-term relationship with my spouse [39 years].  The relationship had to start somewhere and it started with “I like this girl”.  At that early point, I had no idea if it would blossom into something greater, but eventually I felt it did.

One night I knew.

We were sitting in a car outside her house and the date was almost over.  I felt I could possibly love this girl but I was not 100% sure.  We happened to be talking about a sensitive subject for me.  We were sharing feelings.  I can’t remember the topic but for some strange reason, I got emotional.

In front of a girl I like and possibly loved.

Panic ensued.

She saw the tears.  The night drew to a close and then I had to go to school the next day.  I could hear it now.  “Carter cried on his date.”  “Carter is a real cry baby.”  “Carter can’t keep it all together.”

All of this because my girlfriend could not keep a secret.

I felt I had left myself vulnerable the previous night.

First day and no teasing.

Second day and no teasing.

Third day and no teasing.

Then it hit me.  She had kept my secret.

I had exposed my emotions to this girl and she had been true to me.

Then I began to see her as special.  We had a bond.

What I gave to her was not really love but I did give something away.  I gave away some information about myself that was private and she kept it between us.  It was an indication that she was trustworthy and loyal to our relationship.

Reciprocation works like that.

You have the capacity to give love and you take a chance.  You say words that show love and affirmation, you share quality time with another person, you give special gifts, you do work that is extraordinary or you give someone a physical touch.

You speak a love language to someone you love.

Will you get love language back?  When you truly love someone, you give your love away.  You don’t worry about getting love back.  You are not keeping records.  If you are, I question the real agenda you have in expressing your love language.

We know that God loves unconditionally which means no agenda.

Can we do that?

If we can, it reflects the divine capacity which is in all of us.

1 John 4:21  “Whoever loves God must also love his brother.”

I would imagine that God would look down on us and be happy because we have taken His love and passed it on to another.

His selfless agenda.

It is important to know your own love language from the start of this study.  Go to the url above [God speaks your love language resource] and click on the profiles link at the top.  That will take you to a love language test that you can take.  It took me about 20 minutes.  When you are finished, you can see the results or you can have them mailed to your email box.  This is very important to do as soon as you can.

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