When I was growing up, my daddy always said, “Actions speak louder than words.” As an adult, I've really found his words to be true.
I’d heard plenty of professions of love. But I had also experienced copious amounts of conduct that contradicted what I knew love should look like.
At 42, I’d been rockin the single mom life for quite a while when I met Chris. He approached me with a smile and said, “You look pretty today.”
My knee-jerk reaction was a slightly snarky and totally jaded “Now that’s a line”, paired with a cynical eye roll.
If my reaction surprised him, he didn’t show it. Instead, he politely replied “Not at all. It’s a compliment because you really do look pretty.”
Unwilling to give him even a glimmer of grace, I raised an eyebrow and quite matter-of-factly popped off with “Well, all men are douche bags so…”
“Not ALL guys.” he said.
Nevertheless, as a disheartened, distrusting divorcee who felt unbelievably broken, I had built a barricade around my heart so high I couldn’t even accept warm words from a genuinely kind guy.
BUT LOVE IS A VERB. It isn’t just a feeling or some words to woo. And Chris knew that.
In that moment (as I tried to dismiss him and his sincere words), something welled up inside him that commissioned him to show me not ALL men were what I believed them to be. On that day Chris began an unexpected mission to remove my towering wall, brick by brick.
It began with small gestures of kindness, words of encouragement, showing honor, and giving grace. Chris had no air of arrogance about him but instead showed a humble heart in everything he did. And he was quick to serve instead of waiting to be served.
Because LOVE IS A VERB…. and Chris knew it.
It wasn’t long before I realized he didn’t just do these things for me. No. He treated everyone this way. I could quickly see he had the respect of those who knew him well. He was genuinely a good guy, a good friend, and a man who was trusted.
Before I knew it, we were fast friends. JUST FRIENDS. Keeping him in the “friend zone” was safe. No expectations. No vulnerability. No trampled heart.
Somehow, Chris was accepting of this, even though he had feelings for me. He didn’t push or pressure me for more. His patience and perseverance showed he wasn’t playing for a quick “win”. He was SHOWING ME who he really was.
Chris was allowing his actions to speak louder than words… because LOVE IS A VERB.
By now, I knew this guy was caring, kind, and considerate. His conduct toward me (and others) was consistent. He listened to me. He made me laugh. He showed compassion and gave heartfelt comfort that I hadn’t experienced before. He didn’t judge me. And he was even willing to be vulnerable about his own brokenness.
Day by day, new layers of this man were revealed. And with each layer, I found myself removing bricks from that once impenetrable wall. Until on day I realized there was no wall left.
Wait! How did that happen? Where had my wall gone? You know, the one that was built with FEAR of being hurt again, ANGER at myself and others (for the betrayal and heartbreak I’d experienced), and SELF-SABOTAGE that kept me stuck in my pain (and even caused unwillingness to allow good people in my life)?!
That wall and those blockers were gone… because of LOVE.
There’s a passage of scripture in 1 Corinthians 13 that says “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
That’s what Chris showed me every day from the first day I met him. His ACTIONS showed me LOVE. With LOVE, he patiently helped break down a wall constructed from pain, all while BUILDING UP a woman who’d felt damaged, dismissed, discouraged, and devastatingly devalued. With LOVE, I now knew I was wanted and worthy, valued and valuable, important, appreciated, and ENOUGH!
Once I was no longer hiding behind a wall, I could clearly see I loved that incredible man… So, I told him.
“Christopher, I’m in love with you!” I announced as I looked at him adoringly.
“It’s about time!” he said with a laugh.
“Let’s get married!” I blurted out.
So, we did!
WOW. That’s the power of LOVE.
It can help heal a broken heart. It delivers hope in the darkness. It alleviates animosity and facilitates forgiveness. It empowers you to face-punch your fear and find ways to grow in gratitude. It inspires faith for your future. It promotes peace, restores relationships, and so much more.
Do you see just how powerful LOVE can be? What a gift to give yourself and offer others! LOVE is an Oola Accelerator that YOU have the ability to share, show, and LIVE every day.
By the way, Chris and I have been married for 7 years now! I thank God every day for this hubby of mine who continues to show me that LOVE IS A VERB.