Often love is said to be a tank regularly refilled or topped up to avoid running low or empty. This concept of love depicts image of love as action from another person to fulfill the love within you. It seems love is full responsibility and duty of someone else without which love tank is empty. Yet can this be really the case that God WHO IS LOVE created empty tanks and barrels only to be filled by others on one’s behalf? Can God who made people in His Image not inbuilt or impart HIS LOVE INTO HIS creation? The love tank refill top up idea seems completely done by others before one feels loved. Is this really how loving becomes a job or chore for others before one is to fulfilled?
Can this be really true, a whole human being needs to be totally dependent on another 24/7 to feel loved? The love tank idea seems to imply that personal love, feeling good, self -worth, self esteem and emotional well-being all depends on external sources. So feel completely short of love in their tank until the next refill. It makes people look for approval, affirmation, acceptance from others. Without believing GOD ALREADY HAS PUT A FULL LOVE TANK INBUILT INNATE LOVE INSIDE THEM DIRECTLY CONNECTED TO CHRIST LOVE. It seems people need permission to love themselves.
This idea seems to make some vulnerable looking for others to fill their love tank. Some feel gullible with low self esteem because they do not feel not acknowledged by others to top up their love tank. Yet does this idea agree with what God says about loving yourself first, then loving others second and LOVING GOD ABOVE ALL? This phenomenon seems to permeate life and encourage people to search outwardly for love refill. Hollywood concept of love seems to encourage people to look up to others always for love, approval or affirmation. So people feel their entire love tank depends on others to feel good about themselves.
Does one really need others to come along daily, throughout the day and night, 360 days a year to fulfill their job to give you some love. It also presents God’s creation as a helpless victim that is kept busy filling other’s tanks without any moment to refill their own tanks. It makes people look like jack in the box who stands upright when the puppet master pushes the button. So goes back into the box until another winding up to get up again. A baby child dependent needs 27/7 on adult care for needs to be met. As child grows up the child is expected to stop childish behaviour to mature as an adult to begin to do things. So a childhood pattern of love tank responses indulged must change to become a responsible inter-independent adult.
So childhood needs met on behalf of helpless little children cannot be extended to helpless adult syndrome. It is challenging to transform into independent adult as child breaks free from habit of codependency, often misinterpreted as rejection. So the nurturing mothering instinct is projected by grown up adults expecting unrealistic demands from others. Some constantly demand attention like a baby so demand to be topped up hourly but is this right? Do others have the capacity or realistic resources to continually always refill others love tank? What does it feel like, if the love tank shoe is on the other feet? Can one put yourself in another’s shoes to do exactly as demanded by you to refill your love tank? Is it really fair on others to ask a person to always fill one’s love tank without any effort on one’s part to reciprocate their love tank with same measure?
This seems like immature puppy love demanding constant attention like a child in a sweet shop wanting all now. Is it accurate and correct to permanently keep eyes on another person chosen by to fill own love tank? Can ordinary fellow human beings expected as spouse, partner, friend, family be the source of love tank? Onus is placed on other people to pressurize them to ensure the recipient’s love tank is always full. A bit like top up cards enable continuity of services received. Dating, courting, romantic love stages, are like fishing seasons for love tanks to bait to catch fish. It is new love, full of excitement, anticipation, thrill of love, on cloud 9 with euphoria, has butterflies in stomach, giddiness, laughter, walking on air and honeymoon. Real love grows and matures. Love begins transitions to adjust to adapt to real changes of accommodating each other. This lasts for 2 years because interactive bonding helps to attract to marry. To enhance integration both love tanks must develop the best in both to blend and merge the relationship to form a neutral middle way giving receiving compromise.
Otherwise, if each waits for the other to refill their love tank in vain, they may feel despair. They may think they have no life or feel life is disheartening without input from others. So become insecure forever looking, waiting, hoping ‘the right’ person will come along to refill their love tank. Love measured by size and depth of love received from a mere mortal being cannot measure up to expectation of filling the love tank, as it causes stress and disappointment.The concept of love tank is often played in drama, media, expressed by people requesting to be filled. can tantrum of person asking to be filled motivate feeling to replenish the love tank. Does the person know when always the other needs filling or blamed for not meeting love tank expectation.Is this love tank idea the true definition of God’s Love in the Bible?
God’s Love is the greatest love ever that can fulfill the void and inner core of a being. God plants and roots deeply us securely in love through Christ Jesus in Ephesians 3:17. Each one of us is born has a measure of faith “love tank,” that depends first on God’s love for us. To relegate self into background, one’s love tank is taken for granted. This depletes self-love so projects duty and care of self love to others to be feel loved. Jesus is the never ending love tank that supplies refills constantly into into infinity and eternity.
The biggest disease today is the misconstrued feeling of being unwanted by people. This notion feeds people’s mind to become insecure and preoccupied with feelings of rejection. It is true we must love one another, but does one need to be made to feel one is solely and literally accountable for another’s love tank? Is it a burden to take full responsibility for other’s happiness to fill love tank? Can love tank be without headache for genuine understanding to adapt to each other’s needs in equal measure? Is it appropriate to be in control to serve and refill love tanks? Can 5 love tank languages help both to understand and to help meet love tanks needs of affirmation, gifts, quality time, service, touch?
Love must compromise to help each other based on each person’s love language. Otherwise one may waste time and energy providing wrong resources and unmet needs. Despite good intentions both may not feel connected intimately as love tank expectation requires. To solve problems, each must focus and determine which approach is relevant to the person’s understanding of love. The relationship and family roles, child care, raising family, shopping, all require input of all members of household. Help with housework, cooking, chores, removing rubbish, hovering, childcare, enables rest to be available for intimacy. House help may be required for some but still personal attention is of the essence. Structural material resources and wealth are great provisions but not enough to be interpreted as ‘love’ by provider. So Affirmation of each other; Gifts to celebrate events, birthdays anniversaries to remind love to surprise; Quality time spent together; Acts of kindness service; Appropriate touch, cuddles and hugs demonstrating affection.
It is good to rely on each other for love in a balanced way so necessary to know what love tanks means in each context. The 5 love languages of affection by Gary Chapman means: some feel loved by reassurance; others the feeling of being looked after; some prefer presents; and others want to keep company to share presence and some like hugs, kisses, cuddles, intimacy. So it is best to study what constitutes true love to the person involved. Rather than assume generic love ideas read about, seen in drama, heard from friend and family to please the person. It is real hard work to refill other’s love tank, so may not always get it right or pay off. If intended acts of kindness does not suit the person involved, both feel unloved, unappreciated in return. To have a meaningful sense of refilling, the love tank needs the right fuel of love. This allows both to share true meaningful love so feel loved and appreciated. Do not watch drama soap opera to emulate love as yardstick to measure love tank. Be real life people and redefine your own love tank best suitable for you.