[Part 2, Chapter 13]
“Good boy, Peter.”
Sadly, that’s me talking.
It started off as a joke. Well, I thought it did. In hindsight, it was more of a quip. In honest reflection, it was an expression of insecurity.
“Good boy, Peter.” I’d say it after having done a job that wasn’t verbally commented on. It would come out of my mouth if I was looking at flowers I’d given Julie. Pretty soon it became one of those annoying expressions—or so I’m told—that people get stuck on for a while.
Until the conversation.
“Peter, why do you say ‘Good boy’ the way you do?”
To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of these kinds of conversations.
So, I responded maturely, “I dunno. It’s just something funny to say.”
Now, that’s not really true. Let’s dig a little deeper here. My ‘love-language’ is words of affirmation. Out of the five supposed ways love is best expressed (acts of service, physical touch, gifts, quality time, and words of affirmation), that particular one appears first on my list and last on Julie’s. It has been said, “That which you don’t need you find hardest to give.”
“Good boy, Peter” was not just something funny to say. It was a little boy fishing for something he already had but wanting to be assured of in the way that meant the most to him.
Julie said something like, “I get that you’d like me to be more vocal about my appreciation of you, and I hear you that you’re trying to be funny, but I’d rather you not say it anymore.”
“I was just being silly.”
Notice how when you know you’re wrong you just repeat your last statement but use different words.
“Peter,” Julie continued, “I’m not having a go at you. It’s that I don’t want you to believe a lie. When you say, ‘Good boy’, it’s as if you have been believing you are not a good boy, and you have to self-talk your way into it. You are good. I do love you. You don’t need to say that to make it true.”
“Good girl, Mary?”
No, you have found favour with God.
The truth is Mary [place your name where hers is], you are loved. You have found favour. There is no more favour or love you could receive than that which you already live in.
No amount of fishing or wishing, self-talk or self-promotion, joking or cajoling can give you what you already have: favour!