As a parent, I can’t think of any sweeter words coming from the mouth of my child. Not only when they learn to say “I love you,” but when you know it was their own idea, their own original thought to express their love for you, with no prompting. When you know your child had that thought in their mind and just wanted you to know how much you mean to them. The sincerity of a child is a beautiful thing. As any parent can attest, children have been known to speak their minds in a way that adults do not. So when you hear those magical four words, it warms your heart in a way that not much else can.
Those words have the power to uplift, to encourage, to bring a smile, to change. My three year old son doesn’t offer it often, but the moments he has are special to me. You see, it’s about much more than just hearing the words. It’s about the relationship you share and knowing they love and depend on you just as much as you love and depend on them.
Our kids also need to hear us express that we love them. Children are not dumb because they are little. They need to hear it and to feel it. There have been many studies on this (I won’t attempt to quote any, you’ll just have to Google for yourself. Sorry. Did I mention I have little people to care for?) and how much better kids that feel loved and have a close relationship with someone at home do in school and in life.
We were all created with love, and in turn, we all have a need to be loved. Our soul desires love and acceptance. Sometimes this world leaves us with an empty feeling. Sometimes it feels as if no one loves us. But that is not true. There is One who created you and loves you immensely. Not only does He love you, but He knows you and accepts you, flaws and all. How do I know this? Aside from the contentment and peace that comes with having a relationship with God, the Bible tells me.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”
“We love because He first loved us.”
1 John 4:19
“So we have come to know and to believe the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
1 John 4:16
If we, as parents crave to hear “I love you” from our children, spouses, and others close to us, how much do you think our heavenly Father craves to hear it also? He desires a relationship with us, as much as we need one with Him. (John 3:17,Genesis 1:26-31)
But how do we show our love for God? Well, how do we express love for family members on earth? You tell them, of course, but you have to show it. If actions do speak louder than words, what actions will show God we love Him? Scripture has an answer.
“And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.”
1 John 2:3
Ah, there it is. the catch. But wait a minute, isn’t that just what we expect from each other? If we love someone, we want them to know. We think of ways to show them, to prove it. Perhaps that is why the validation that your child really does love, care for and depend on you is so special. We love, and want to be loved. God wants the same from us.
So please, consider your personal relationship with Christ, with God. You love Him, but how do you show it? How do I show it? Can I get better at showing it? Can I be a better servant? The answer is yes. It is always yes. (Romans 3:23)
And lastly, if you feel it, say it people. It may be just what someone needs to hear. And don’t just say it, prove it.