Today's tidbit from the book is about building the love banks of your family members. You have an emotional account with each family member. You make withdrawals by being reactive and put in deposits by being proactive. If you have a high balance with a family member, then there is a high level of trust. Communication is open and if you make a mistake, the emotional reserves will compensate for it. But, if the account is low or overdrawn, then there is no trust and it feels like you're walking on minefields. You're always on your guard and you have to measure every word. Remember that love is a verb. No matter what the situation, there are always things you can do that will make relationships better.
Ways to make deposits:
Being kind. In relationships, the little things ARE the big things. Little kindnesses go a long way toward building trust and unconditional love. Small notes, unexpected acts of service, kind words, showing recognition, etc. Research shows that humans need a minimum of 12 hugs a day.
Apologizing. If your security is based on your image or your position on being right, then apologizing is like draining all the juice from your ego. The sooner we learn to apologize, the better.
Being loyal to those not present. What happens when family members are not loyal to one another, when they criticize and gossip about others behind their backs? What does it do to the relationship, to the culture of the family? They make huge withdrawals not only from the person spoken about, but from the person spoken too. How can they trust that you won't do the same to them?
Making and keeping promises. This is one of the best ways to build trust. Say what you'll do and do what you say.
Forgiving. You will always be the victim until you forgive. When you truly forgive, you open the channels through which trust and unconditional love can flow. You also remove a major obstacle that keeps others from changing because when you don't forgive, you put yourself between people and their own conscience. You get in the way.
My two cents: You need to be whole before you can do these things. You have to continually ask God to fill you up. Spend time with Him and His word and promises, letting Him heal you and fill you up so you can truly walk in love, which is really just an overflow of His love through you.