My fiancé comes home soon! (We’re long-distance, for those of who don’t know. You can read more about that here.) During seasons of long-distance, we are intentional about checking up on one another’s hearts and seeing how the other is doing underneath the “Hey babe! How are you?”s and the “How’s your day going?”s. During this coming summer that we’ll get to spend together, we hope to continue to ask purposeful questions and enjoy sweet moments of honesty and depth, all with the goal of caring for each other’s hearts.
Practical ways to do this have been a theme of our conversations lately. It’s important that we care for our loved ones’ hearts, but sometimes, we haven’t the slightest clue what that looks like practically. Today, I’ll be sharing some ideas. Take a look below!
MAKE IT A ROUTINE
It can be uncomfortable to come right out and ask someone if something is bothering them, especially if it seems like something is. Sometimes, it’s necessary to do that, but one way to bypass the awkwardness of checking on someone’s heart is by making it a routine.
Every Friday, my fiancé and I ask each other the same six questions (see Myth #1 in 5 Myths About Long Distance Relationships), two of which are, “What is something that was difficult for you this week?” and “Is there any unresolved conflict that you’d like to talk about?” These may seem like touchy subjects, but when they’re questions you ask routinely, they’re not nearly as daunting. Plus, they’re great ways to see what’s really going on in the heart of your loved one.
TAKE PRAYER REQUESTS
When my fiancé or I have something weighing on our hearts, it virtually always comes out when we take prayer requests.
I’d encourage you to share prayer requests with your loved ones and then earnestly pray for them afterward. If you need to write down their requests in order to remember them, do so. There’s nothing wrong with that. But there is something wrong with ignoring their prayer requests and neglecting the larger cares of their hearts. So make an effort and keep it consistent.
Another one of our weekly questions is, “What is something I can do for you this week?” A lot of times, people in our lives have things they wish we’d do for them but don’t feel like they can ask us. These tasks will undoubtedly vary between particular relationships and stages of life, but whether the task is writing occasional love notes on sticky notes and sticking them to the bathroom mirror and mailing that stack of bills that’s been hanging on the refrigerator for a week, doing them will likely make our loved ones feel more loved.
If they never voice their needs and desires though, we’ll never know. That’s why I encourage you to be obvious in asking them what you could do for them. It’s not enough to just ask though…be sure to follow through afterwards.
Your loved ones will be much more willing to share their hearts with you if you share yours with them. To share the things that are on your heart is to make yourself vulnerable and it helps immensely if you share your heart with someone before asking them to share their heart with you.
There you have it…four practical ways to care for your significant other’s heart.
Consider the following quote by Puritan, Richard Baxter. “Watch over the hearts and lives of one another, judging the condition of each other’s souls, and the strength or weakness of each others’ sins and graces…so that you may be able to apply to one another the most suitable help.”
I hope that both you and those in your lives will be blessed by the ideas above!