We have a few more letters today about the art of showing love. I’m so glad you all participated to give us a warm and fuzzy few weeks. Next week we’re back to business as usual, so I hope you enjoy these letters of love. And I particularly like this first one, because it explains why readers usually respond to the problem topics, rather than to the happy ones:

Awww! I meant to say something positive on this topic so your mailbox wouldn’t be suggesting that I only love the problems, but here’s the thing: The happy stuff I can discuss anywhere, but when there’s a problem or anything dark I need a forum to hear and be heard.

Some things I don’t really want to share with friends, neighbors and ward members. It’s too negative! So I email Circle of Sisters and let it out!

Wouldn’t it be nice if love did beget love? I think love (along with firmly insisting on respectful treatment) begets love or at least some respect! It has been my experience that people really struggle to be loving and feel brotherly/sisterly charity or even good manners. Sometimes we are just “carnal, [senseless] and devilish” while making an exhausting effort to overcome and we need Sista’ Kidd’s help!

But then I do live out in the “mission field.”

Leah

Again, writing from an undisclosed location in Washington State

Leah, I fear that “Sista’ Kidd” doesn’t do a whole lot to help anybody. It’s the readers who come up with the smart ideas! In any case, I’m glad for the explanation of why people tend to leave the happy topics alone. That works for me!

Love is all the little things you do to make your spouse more comfortable, make their life go more smoothly. These little acts of kindness rarely get acknowledged, but then they are done out of love.

One of these little acts of love I do for my husband includes turning his socks and underwear right-side-out when I do laundry. His act of love is when he remembers to take them off so they are right-side-out. I take the garbage out when it I see it is full. He will take the garbage out when he sees it is full. I make the bed first thing in the morning. If he hasn’t left for work yet he will help me make the bed.

I balance the checkbook. He can only balance the checkbook on the end of his finger. He doesn’t berate my faults. I can’t see his faults anymore (but I know he must still have them; he’s not been translated yet).

“If every husband and every wife would constantly do whatever might be possible to ensure the comfort and happiness of his or her companion, there would be very little, if any, divorce.” 

I love this quote from Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley and this video  of his talk was well done. My daughter put it together for a ward activity.

Teresa

That was a lovely video, Teresa. And what a wonderful quote! Please thank your daughter on our behalf.

Here’s a letter from Paul, who suggested this topic in the first place:

You recommended a couple of books in last week’s column, so I wanted to add one of my favorites to it.

It is: Try Giving Yourself Away by David Dunn (pen name for Robert R. Updegraff). I think the original copyright was 1947.   The granddaughter of the author is the publisher and she works out of her home.

It’s out of print, but you can contact the publisher at:

The Updegraff Press

2425 Ransdell Avenue

Louisville, KY 40204

[email protected]

If there were enough demand, she might have more printed. But she usually has about 1,000 printed at a time. The last time I purchased them (in 2006), they were $10 each in a quantity of ten. (I give them away as gifts.) Many of the examples are dated, but the principle is eternal.

You can also find them at Amazon.com

Make it a good day!

Paul Johnson

Thanks for the book recommendation, Paul. I’m always a sucker for a good book!

My mother and my Primary teachers covered this one so well when I was little that there isn’t too much new to say on it. They all taught me to show the kindness to others that you want from them. Period. Demonstrate through your words and actions how you want to be treated. And then don’t get mad when people treat you the way you treat them.

If you want your spouse to nag you, show that’s what you want by nagging your spouse. If you want love and affection from your spouse, show love and affection to your spouse. When your spouse doesn’t respond correctly to your kindness and courtesy, you then have earned the right to ever so kindly ask: “Look, I’m treating you with kindness and courtesy – would you rather I act like you?”

If you want the people on the morning bus or train to treat you like a cheap piece of garbage, treat them that way. If you want them to treat you with kindness and consideration (and occasionally give you their seat), treat them with that same level of kindness. I have noticed that the women who are offered seats on my morning bus and train are those who are ladies in word and action as opposed to “modern women” who demands their “rights.” It’s the same with the men. Those who are gentlemen as opposed “just a guy” are treated with the earned level of respect.

If you want your children to act with love towards you, teach them how to act through your actions. Then, when they are out of line you can say: “I didn’t teach you to act that way, and you will not act that way.” As a father of six children I can promise you this is the far more difficult route in training children, but the end result is far better than many other ways. The children I managed to do this with are better for it. And so am I.

Bruce Forbes

Kearns, Utah

Thanks for some commonsense advice, Bruce.


The Golden Rule is such a universal principle that it even works with animals. It should always be our first course of action.

This is a very good topic and I’m up for the challenge. I’ve been married a long time – 43 years. Marriage has its ups and downs, that’s for sure, but through it all my husband and I have had a great love for each other. He has shown this love in many ways. He has always made sure our children have respected me. He tolerated no back talk to me as they were growing up. He has given me little gifts like my favorite candy bar or a highlighter that I needed and has left them on my pillow. He takes care of my car if it has any kind of problems. These are just a few examples.

To show love for my spouse, I fix him his favorite foods. He has tension in his back, so I have given him many backrubs. I have bought him books that he has mentioned he wanted in casual conversation. I have tried to make him know that he is thought of and loved.

Showing love for my children has been easy. When they were little, I use to have a day of the week for each of them to choose an activity to do together. (I only had four children -that might be harder with a larger family.) I spent many a bonding moment going on a bike ride, picnic, or just playing a game with them. I enjoyed talking to them and loved it when they became teenagers.

Now that they are older, I have a special Sunday night dinner and we talk and play games together with their spouses and all the grandchildren. I consider it a slice of heaven to have my family all together and enjoying each other’s company.

A Faithful Reader

I love that phrase, “slice of heaven,” Faithful. Home really can be a heaven on Earth, can’t it?

Well, Kathy, thank you for reminding me that I have some long ago articles about love language, which I really need to completely read.

In the meantime, I have been trying to observe how my husband shows love. As you can imagine, it is not the way I am used to showing love, or even receiving it in my family.

With God’s help, I am discovering ways that he actually does show love! The more I listen to and try to understand him with an open, forgiving, patient, loving heart and mind, and give positive responses in return, the better our relationship is!

I am even learning to show a bit of affection in his way of expressing love, yet on my terms. I don’t feel like I am betraying my way of doing things, when I am keeping the Golden Rule and enriching my love vocabulary!

Perhaps he is also learning from my example, as I am learning from his. Time will tell. “If not,” at least I can lovingly show gratitude for all the good that we can share.

Then I am doing my best, and don’t have to worry about weaknesses in this area. Just as I have other areas of weakness, like math, my Redeemer’s Atonement covers this part of my life’s struggles as well!

Regina (in Italy, where love is not easier to learn than anywhere else…)

Nobody can ever have too many ways to express love, Regina. I hope that as you’re learning your husband’s love languages, he is also learning yours. What a way to be multi-lingual!

I love this topic. Thank you for bringing it up so we can share and get more ideas on showing love from others.

One of the ways my husband shows he loves me is by the way he looks at me, with love in his eyes. I love those moments. He also says I love you every day.

Believe me, it doesn’t get old. I love hearing it. He makes a point to tell me how much I add to his life and how thankful he is for the support I give him in life. Which is one of the ways I show him I love him.

We take care of each other. We listen to each other. We area safe place for the other to share how we really feel. He is supportive of me in whatever I choose to do and never, ever complains orcriticizes me. He kisses me affectionately and passionately and I make sure he never goes too long without physical touch.

I also make sureto feed him dinner. If I am not home at that time, I make sure there is something in the fridge he can warm up for himself.

He is supportive of my drive to serve my children, grandchildren (I have 15) and others and never complains about the time or resources I use to do so.

We take turns saying our nightly prayers together and always pray for each other. I love hearing his prayers for me to Heavenly Father. He loves me for who I am, sees thegood in me and always gives me the benefit of the doubt and I do the same for him. We have both been married before and realize the little thingswe do for one another or say to one another fill the bucket or deplete the bucket.

About how love begets love. After 23 years, my former marriage ended with my husband leaving me for his secretary who was 20 years younger and the same age as our oldest child. With the Lord’s help I immediately forgave him and set the example of love, compassion and forgiveness for my children. Today as a family we are blessed to all get together regularly for family birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, grandchildren’s baptisms. Our children and grandchildren are blessed to have both their grandparents and our new spouses to love them and support them in their lives.

I met Bill the day after my divorce was final. This year will be the 13th anniversary for when we met and 10 years of marriage. We feel very blessed to have each other. I consider him a gift from Heavenly Father.

Well, thanks for asking about love. I believe Love is a gift of the spirit. It must be cared for and nurtured.

Linda Hatch

I love the bucket analogy, Linda. I use a bathtub, but it’s the same principle. As long as there’s water in the tub (or in the bucket), everything is okay. Sometimes you fill the tub. Sometimes you drain it. The trick is to never let the water (the love) be emptied.

My husband Graham shows his love for me in so many ways, Icouldn’t list them all.


  He helps clean the house, he does the grocery shopping and cooks allof the meals, helps with freezing, canning, and so on. He thinks up trips forus to take, he is a loving person and brings me surprise gifts.

I could go on, but I will leave it at that.

We are semi-retired and there is only the two of us living here, asthe family all live far away.

I love him dearly.

Sharon Noble

What a sweet tribute to your husband, Sharon! My own husband finds trips for us to take, too. He’s always planning an adventure for us. And when we aren’t away from home, he makes sure that life at home is an adventure too.

I know you said you didn’t want any more letters for our “Love” column, but I just had to put in my two cents. I belong to a book club we call the “Wise Women Book Club.” Our book for July was Wendy Watson Nelson’s Change Your Questions, Change Your Life. It’s a book I believe everyone should read (unfortunately, it is out of print, but maybe a plea to Deseret Book could bring about another printing).

One of the suggested questions is “What do I do that helps my spouse (or child, friend, parent) feel the most loved?” Now I don’t have a spouse or children, and my parents have both passed on, but I do have friends. And, rather than just ask myself that question, I have decided to ask them. I plan to ask my friends what I can do for them to show my love for them more.

Service is, I believe, the key to loving. But, as several others said in their letters, everyone is different. But the main thing to remember is that love is a verb -an action verb.

Sharee Hughes
Salt Lake City

Sharee, never underestimate the power of Madame Kathy to find things that others believe are lost forever. Change Your Questions, Change Your Life is available through Amazon . There were only 15 copies in stock when I checked, but the website promised that more are on the way. The first people to order get to snag the book immediately rather than having to wait.

Okay, people, that’s it for this week. Thanks for a great topic. Look for a new one next week!

Until next week – Kathy

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless- it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”

C.S. Lewis

 

Want more Kathryn H. Kidd? Visit www.planetkathy.com to read her blog , get free stuff, and participate in the new Ask Madame Kathy forum. Kathy also has a weekly column at the Nauvoo Times (www.nauvootimes.com).