I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences. Ephesian 4:2-3
The laws of physics govern all of our physical actions. I am struck by the fact that those laws also are in play in how we relate to one another. You see, it takes energy to generate warmth. That is a physical law as well as a relational law. One needs to be intentional in order to generate those actions which can show warmth to another person.
As I have discussed in earlier blogs, warmth can be defined as effective non-verbal communication. Eye contact, smiles, gestures, body posture, and personal distance all play into the conveyance of warmth. Warmth can also be communicated by words, but whether it is verbal, or non-verbal, or both, it takes energy to generate the warmth. In other words, it costs something to reach out beyond our personal space to another person.
I have talked with clients who assume that their partner needs to be the one to be first to reach out to extend warm connections. There are many contextual reasons for such thinking, but I point out that such thinking is like expecting a fireplace to produce heat without first stoking it with wood. It costs some energy to generate warmth, but that is exactly the need for maintaining relationships.
Are we willing to pay that price?
Prayer: Lord, you have made us relational beings, needing warmth. Help us to give warmth to those whom we love, Amen