34 “I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other. 35 This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, when you love each other.” John 13:34-35, CEB
There seems to be an infinite amount of ways to talk about what it looks like to love one another. The Bible gives us plenty of guidance in that. It gives us some nice principles to aspire to, anyway.
Lately I’ve been thinking about how “loving” can be to simply speak your mind. In my case, I can’t help it. I do it to a fault. I’ll say just about anything. Some people call this lacking a filter. From my perspective, it feels more like being compelled to share my opinion. It can be a bad thing.
But, it can also be a good thing. Learning how to share one’s needs/wants/desires can really help other people know how to love you well, and it can also be a loving action in and of itself. Brittany doesn’t have to guess about how to love me. She never feels caught in a trap of wondering if I’m saying one thing while expecting another. My expectations are clear. This is one of the few things I do well in marriage!
Too often people feel like voicing an opinion/expectation/desire looks needy or pushy so they keep things to themselves. In this case, the people around us can only guess at what is meaningful to us. When people guess wrong, we get resentful about the fact that they didn’t guess right. That isn’t fair to them or us. There is far too much guesswork in love.
If we stop the guesswork, maybe each of us will find it easier both to love and be loved. That means learning to voice needs and trusting that other people will listen.