Saturday, October 3, 2009

"I Love You"

I have discovered that these three little words have enormous power. On some level, everyone longs to hear them. As we grow older and more cynical, we may start to think that we no longer need to hear them in order to feel validated in a relationship, but I think we're only kidding ourselves. There are a million ways to show others that you love them, but there's still no replacement for coming right out and saying it.

I tell my husband I love him multiple times every day. It's never a formality—every time I say it, I think about what it means. I've realized that the more often I think about and express my love for my husband, the more comfortable our relationship becomes. Sometimes I'll tell him I love him a mere minute or two after I've just said it, but it still feels fresh every time. When I forget to say "I love you" as often, I am more likely to feel irritated with him when things go wrong, but when I focus on the amazing contributions he makes to my life, it's easier to deal with the bumps in the road without making a big fuss.

I'm learning not to confine this candor to my marriage. There are many different kinds of love and relationships, and they're all valuable to me. I love my family and my friends too, and I'm continually discovering how important it is to explicitly express that love. I used to think that it wasn't quite appropriate to say "I love you" to a platonic friend (especially a male one) or to someone who wasn't an intimate part of my life. Society seems to dictate that once you reach a certain age, verbal expressions of love for anyone but your closest family members are gushy and immature. Children tell lots of people "I love you," and we think it's charming. Why do we think that because we're adults we can't hug people or say "I love you" or be open about our feelings?

I don't think love and relationships get enough respect in our society. We seem to be conditioned to believe on some level that love is a weakness, that to tell someone that we love them is some horrible admission of childishness or neediness. But I believe that God made us to love one another. When we verbally express our love, we strengthen our relationships and we demonstrate how important they are to us. Love is a God-given strength, and expressions of love should be celebrated, not stifled. The world may think I'm silly when I tell friends and even acquaintances that I love them and explain how much they have blessed my life, but I hope I will still have the courage to do it. I think the benefits are worth any raised eyebrows I might encounter along the way.

1 comment:

Meow Opre said...

It's interesting to know about people's view of Christian dating these days. Thanks for sharing. Good day! :D

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