When is it the right time to say, “I love you?”
We coach our teenagers not to throw that term around lightly with people they are dating and caution them to be careful with the words they say to others. There are many people I have counseled who have never heard their parent say the words, “I love you,” or “I’m proud of you.” It’s an incredible relief when they hear those phrases before their aging parent passes away. Then there are tender farewells in airports where others aren’t ashamed to proclaim their love in front of crowds of others passing by.
My most verbal child says, “I love you,” every time she walks out the door to school, work or even go out for the evening. It’s like she wants to make sure that if something happens and it’s the last time we see each other, we make sure our love is clearly declared and will be remembered.
When we men propose marriage, those three words are almost required. As I listen to wedding vows that couples write for each other – most all of them contain the words, “I love you.”
Yesterday I was talking to a friend who lives out of state. It struck me, as I was getting ready to hang up, how much I was thankful for his friendship and his care for me. I made sure that told him, “I love you.” It felt so good to make sure he knows that I feel that way. It was out of a posture of thanksgiving that sincere love was expressed.
Our Father God loves us every second of every day and has declared his love in a thousand ways in His Word, the Bible. It is a love letter to us, describing He loved the world so much that He gave His one and only son to die for us – so we could have life, life to the fullest, and life forever. God also shows us His love through His provision, through creation and works through others to bless and express His love to us.
Psalm 100 tells us to enter His gates with Thanksgiving and his courts with Praise. As we get into the presence of God and worship Him – starting with a heart posture of thanking God leads to an adoration and expression of our love that is often spontaneous and overflowing.
When you verbalize your love and affection for others it brings a reminder of love of the Father that has been made known to us. Who do you need to say those three words to today? Who do you really appreciate and thank God for… have you expressed your love to them clearly?
When will it be the right time to tell someone else you know that you love them?
- Andrew Burchett, Lead Pastor