Family Night Idea: I Feel Loved When…
Take turns around the dinner table or after a family activity, as you finish the sentence:
I feel loved in our family when…
This simple activity can open communication and help identify key relationship needs for each person in the family.
While we all have the same relationship needs, the priority of those needs is different for each person. Your greatest need may be for affection, while your partner’s greatest need may be security. Appreciation may be at the top of the list for your son, while your daughter needs encouragement more than anything else.
If we’re not careful, we’ll treat everyone as if they all have the same priority of needs. We might also try to meet other people’s needs based on our own priority. An important aspect of learning to love people, particularly our spouse and children, is taking the time to know them and to discover their unique priority of relationship needs. If we truly want to care for our family members well, we have to understand how each person experiences love.
So when do you feel loved by your family?
1. Dad and Mom should give their answers first. We’ve given sample responses below with the corresponding relationship need.
Mom: “I feel Dad’s love when he comes outside to sit with me and quietly talk.” We call that meeting the need for attention.
Dad: “I feel Mom’s love when she greets me with a kiss at the door.” We call that meeting the need for affection.
2. Next, Dad and Mom share with each child:
Mom: “I feel Robin’s love when she gives me a hug and says, ‘Thank you’ after a fun shopping trip.” We call that meeting the need for affection and appreciation.
“I feel Gavin’s love when he helps me out in the yard.” That’s meeting the need for support.
Dad: “I feel Eric’s love when he forgives me, even when I’m running late.” We call that meeting the need for acceptance.
“I feel Terri’s love when she tells me she’s proud of my teaching.” That’s meeting the need for approval.
Finally, have children share with parents and with one another.
Ask someone in the family to take notes of each person’s response and then post the responses so that every person can see them. Encourage family members to begin giving to each other in the ways that were shared.
As you give to one another, you’ll be demonstrating “sincere love to each other…as you “love each other deeply from the heart” 1 Peter 1:22. Now watch the love and intimacy grow!