A Labor of Love by BJ Relefourd
There are diverse languages, terms and statements which voice the word, love. I have found there are also numerous proclamations and declarations which may be heard from sea to shining sea. Love does not have a demographic. Love does not display a specific color, or economic status. Individuals can abide in humble means or live in a spacious mansion, and each person can experience the numerous terms of endearment associated with the word love.
The importance of the word love is the “labor” associated with the true definition of this amazing word. The art of genuine love is going beyond the norm. A labor of love will place a person in position to become transparent, when they are usually guarded. The effort associated with love strengthens relationships and build love muscles which will be needed to sustain a healthy love relationship.
When I speak of building love muscles, I am referring to strategic tools to reinforce daily exercising the skills to cause endurance and a relationship of longevity.
These are a few exercises to strengthen your love muscles:
- Build a vocabulary which speaks relationship wealth. Choose your words carefully and wisely. A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:2 NIV
- Display a body language which embraces peace and security. A man who hasfriends must himself be friendly…Proverbs 18:24
- Exercise faith and belief in the integrity of the relationship. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”Matt. 17:20
I encourage the consistent labor of love, by doing so the vitality and fervency remains constant. Love is full time employment, and the benefits are quite beneficial.
Another aspect of the Labor of Love is the mental and emotional state of mind. In an effort to maintain healthy, vital relationships we must remain emotionally present. Emotionally barren relationships cause many to build walls, and not engage daily in the labor of love. Eye contact shows the heart of the soul, one to another. Intimacy, (In-To-Me-See) is much needed and desired. I not only speak of sexual intimacy, but the pure effort and time invested in heart conversations. Intimacy may also be a time of silence, while you listen to what each other does not say. Relationships where mentally there is no connection cannot survive without the bond which envelopes, the heart, mind and soul.
Unfortunately the lack of touch also causes relationships to disengage. A touch of a hand, a brush of the cheek delivers a warmth which radiates throughout the inner walls of relationships. As days are busy, and tasks become overwhelming, we must also make it a constant effort to share a touch, a smile, and even a wink in your relationship. Again, this is a part of the labor of love; effort. Effort is the attempt to succeed. It takes effort, constant effort to keep the flames glowing, and the embers burning. Effort forces the job associated with relationships to be more effective. Effort decrees the parties involved with try with all that is within each of them to give their very best to preserve the relationship with trust, faith and honor.
Creating an atmosphere within your environment which is saturated with a climate, which is conducive to wellness of heart is of most importance. It takes effort to continually maintain a productive ambiance. Having the ability to live and not just exist is vital to healthy and whole relationships. When either party becomes stagnated in the union, the level of attentiveness begins to drop, causing weak areas in the heart.
A labor of love causes you to not sweat the small stuff. Things which are irrelevant seem minimal. This type of love remains in all of the cycles of life. Being present when sickness arrives is one of the ultimate sacrifices and labors of love. When diseases invade the body, and the physical appearance become somewhat unfamiliar, but the heart strings pull even tighter. When limbs don’t move with grace as they once did, and the gate of your walk becomes less than charming or elegant. Should life allow you to remain, these cycles will appear, and mind you some are uninvited.
The labor of love will walk with you, when the final horizon of life slips into your arms so fragile, meek and helpless. This is the moment, you look back over your life, and you no longer visualize the labor; you pull up a chair, place a napkin under the chin, you look into the eye of the benefactor and all you see is love, sweet, undeniable, I would do it all over again, until death do us part…Love.
BJ Relefourd, Co- Pastors Vision of Life Ministries in Metro Atlanta with her husband The host of Walking in Power Radio, Co-Host of Sisters with Class, WATC-TV, Editor of The Acts of Women of Power Magazine, Executive Director of The Women of Power Network. Mother of 2 and, 3 grandchildren and spiritual sons and daughters, globally. www.women-of-power.org
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