“I love you, Gramps” were the words that melted my heart. Coen, our grandson, was staying at our house while his mother ran a few errands. It was time for him to take a nap, so to help him get to sleep, I laid down beside him on the couch. He looked me in the eye and spoke those magical words.
This whole escapade reminds me of a song, Unspoken Love, whose lyrics we have included with this letter. The sad lyrics speak of the life-giving words that go unspoken day after day.
You know, it really doesn’t take a lot to make a person’s day. Our daughter, Christa, who is expecting our second grandchild in July, shared the other day how thrilling it is when people tell her how good she’s looking, encouraging her in her pregnancy. “Why don’t we say those things at other times as well?” she texted us. “I need to remember that daily, to say those words that encourage others.”
In one of our seminars, Better Communication = Greater Intimacy, we talk about encouraging words and discouraging words. They are both so easy to speak. We simply have a choice each day (actually, many times each day!)--will we speak words of love, encouragement, nurture? Or will we speak words that intimidate, inflict pain, or discourage.
I believe this is true in the marriage relationship more than any other. We grow so used to each other, and if we let our minds drift into selfishness, we begin to focus on all that is wrong with our spouse. When this happens it is so easy to forget all about encouraging words and instead let slip words that hurt.
Sometimes we get under the mistaken opinion that our deeds are all that are needed to express our love. Like the poor wife who, after forty years of marriage, was desperate to hear her husband verbally express his love. She confronted him by asking, “Do you love me?” “Why do you ask?” he said. “Because you never say so,” was her reply. His reply? “I told you ‘I love you’ on our wedding day and nothing has changed. If anything changes, you will be the first to know!” L We need to hear those reassuring words—I love you!
I’m not saying to forget the tangible demonstrations of our love. As we approach Easter, we find the most demonstrative act of love ever displayed. But God not only shows His love for us, it is expressed throughout the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation. In fact, the Bible is often called His love letter to His children!
So, make somebody’s day today by showing and expressing love!