Monday, February 27, 2006

How could you love someone…and not say it?


When listening to Gordon Kirk’s CD about God’s Love…one thing stood out to me.

Gordon has a real love for God and for people…and he is very tenderhearted. One thing he mentioned towards the end of his sermon on God’s love was that some of us grew up in homes where “I love you” was not said.

When hearing that I was gripped with a deep and profound sadness…because as a kid growing up the words, “I love you” were not uttered. Not by my mother, nor by my father.

My dad was a rather harsh individual…especially so with my older brothers. My mother was not so much harsh…as just not very maternal. Neither was her mother.

Not only were the words missing…but so was the affection. Hugs, kisses and a gentle touch were absent too.

Do I think they loved me? Yes…I think so. It was perhaps a different era…and emotions were not spoken of so freely. But at the same time...it strikes me and stunning that parents would not tell their kids that they love them.

They provided a good home, shelter, clothing, food, education…and more. But three simple, little words…did not come from their lips.

Even though intellectually I can say I think they loved me…there will always remain that nagging doubt. You can be certain that an absence of an express loved has impacted my relationships…past and present.

How could you love someone…and not say it? Especially your children? I don’t understand.

Now as an adult…I hope that the man I marry has a loving family. That his parents might embrace me as their daughter whom they love. As I love their son…and the man whom he has become. And that he might have brothers and sisters that would welcome me and love me as their sister.

I do find that love in several places…one of which is my church. I’ve never known a more loving church family than Kindred Community Church.

While my dad died…almost 37 years ago…my mother remains alive. However her mental capacity has diminished through Alzheimer’s. She is not able to answer the questions that I have. The one thing that has changed…she is now somewhat affectionate.

As a child growing up…there were not hugs and kisses and I love you. But now…when I see my mom each week…she likes her hugs.

Maybe in her diminished mental capacity…walls have been torn down. Walls that prohibited her from expressing and verbalizing love.

I don’t know the answer. But I do know this. Parents…tell your children that you love them. Don’t miss a day in which you hug them, kiss them and tell them that you love them. Let there never be a doubt in their mind…even when they behave badly…make sure they are certain of your love for them.

Remember…your love for your children…and their ability to feel, know and grasp that love…will directly influence how they perceive God…and their relationship with God. No doubt…a heavy responsibility…but one that is most important and will impact your children forever.

Now go tell your child “I love you”…daily!

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