I heard about a woman who said to her husband one day, “Honey, do you really love me?”
He looked at her strangely and said, “Why would you ask me that? I told you that I loved you the day I married you thirty-five years ago. If it ever changes, I’ll let you know.”
We’ve probably all encountered people like that, but the truth is that the phrase “I love you” can never be heard enough in our homes. We can’t take for granted that the people we love automatically know it. Maybe you weren’t raised in an expressive environment, but why don’t you be the one to start a new tradition? You can affect your family line for generations to come by speaking words of love. What better legacy to leave than a legacy of love, kindness and encouragement.
I was discussing the power of encouragement with one of my friends one afternoon, and she said something I thought was right on. She said, “When I brag on my husband, I can see a change in him. He rises to the occasion and strives to go to new levels. But when I nag at him or say nothing at all, he’s more complacent and doesn’t have the passion and enthusiasm to accomplish what is in his heart.”
That’s true for all of us. Nagging only makes things worse, but encouraging words will put people on their feet and bring out the best in them. We should always look for opportunities to speak words of blessing over the people around us. When your spouse gets a promotion at work, take time to say, “I knew you could do it! You’re amazing!” When your child comes home with good grades, even if they are less than you had hoped, don’t be too busy to celebrate. Stop and say, “I am so proud of you. Way to go!” When your mother fixes Sunday dinner for the whole family, tell her, “Mom, I know that’s a lot of work, but your hospitality means so much.” When your coworker loses fifteen pounds, don’t be jealous; congratulate her with a compliment. Let words of life flow freely from your lips. As you sow seeds of love and blessing, always remember that you are displaying the glory of God. He is love, and when we show love, we are showing Him. Let your words and actions say “I love you” because that’s how we show the world that we are followers of His.
“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35, NIV).
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