I Love You
Do I really have to spell it out?
A woman once complained to her husband about his lack of communication, he never encouraged her or said those three important words "I love you". His response to the criticism was, "I told you I loved you on our wedding day, if that ever changes I will let you know".
This story always raises a smile but the truth is that many of us struggle to communicate feelings and leave important things unsaid. Without reassurance of love and loyalty room is made for feelings of insecurity to develop. We really do need to spell out our feelings for each other.
We communicate via our words our actions and our attitudes. The words "I love you" can sound empty or meaningless if our actions and our attitudes don't line up with the sentiment.
Love is a verb.
You can express your love through touch, a hug, a kiss or holding each others hands. Love might also be expressed by helping with the dishes or making your loved one a cup of coffee. Don't dismiss small things - they make all the difference!
Respect goes hand in hand with love.
Saying "I love you" without treating your spouse with respect negates the statement. If you criticize your spouse, side with the kids against them, put them down in public or belittle their input in decision making then you need to repent. Ask God to forgive you for your attitude and ask your spouse to do the same. Start looking for the positive things, pay compliments when they do something that deserves encouragement and remember to say thank you when they do something for you.
Don't put conditions on your love.
The "I'll love you if ..." mentality results in a love that is conditional. This isn't the way God loves us and shouldn't be the way we love each other. "I'll love you if you loose some weight", "I'll love you if you get your hair cut", "I'll love you if you stop that bad habit" will not create an environment of mutual love and trust. Withholding love as a punishment is a dangerous game to play.
Make "I love you" deposits.
Don't say "I love you" minutes before you go to bed if you haven't invested time, energy and effort in the relationship during the day. Your motives will be obvious and the words will sound insincere. We once heard a teaching about a "love bank". Investment in your spouse's "love bank" is needed to make a withdrawal.
Spell it out.
If you have fallen into the trap of thinking those three little words don't mean much its time to "Spell it out". Don't assume that your spouse can read your mind you need to clearly communicate your love.
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