The power of the tongue is obvious to anyone who can utter words. It is easy for us to hurl verbal grenades at one another for the purpose of destroying them. But it is possible for our words to encourage, strengthen, build, comfort, and show care for others as well. How important it is for us to learn to speak those kinds of words, rather than harmful, destructive, and bitter words.
How often do you speak positive words to your family? Your spouse? Your children? Particularly, how often do the words “I love you” come from your lips to their ears? Those three simple words can do so much. If they are spoken out of obligation and duty, they do not mean as much as when spoken from a heart of love.
Your spouse needs to hear those words regularly and often. Speaking the words to them is just as much of a choice as the love itself is. You must not assume that your spouse is assured of your love. They may be, but your vocal expression of that love should be part of your normal daily routine.
Your children need to hear these words. For their young minds, those words give affirmation, comfort, and security. Those important words should not only be the last words you say to them before they fall asleep, but words that are spoken to them throughout the day, spontaneously, and from a heart of love.
When your children hear you speak loving words to your spouse, that will also buttress them and strengthen them. They may think that your being “mushy-gushy” is gross, but they will never forget your love for each other. It will teach them about godly love as well.
How can we be loving people, even to the unlovely and unlovable? Because of God’s willing choice to set His love upon us, who are ugly, rebellious, sinful, and depraved. Yet in Jesus Christ, God demonstrated His love for us, and therefore we ought also to love one another.
While so much more could be said, let me issue a challenge. I challenge you to verbally say “I love you” to your spouse, whether you think they deserve it or not, three times a day. For some that may be easy to do, but for others it may not. I further challenge you to say those same words to your children at least three times a day, spontaneously throughout the day. Saying the words ought not be done out of mere duty. You may need to pray for God’s grace to say those difficult words to someone. But those three words are words we ought to say.
Let’s create a loving home environment. Don’t expect anything in return. Just choose to love your family, as God has chosen to love you.
Three simple words. Very important words. Who will take the challenge?