Have I Told You Lately That I Love You? Being an old timer I remember this song as Jim Reeves sang it when I was younger. But whoever the vocalist through the years, the words still have a beautiful message of love and devotion. When it comes to our Christian marriage, though, we have an advantage that those who do not walk with our Lord Jesus do not share. We have the Lord’s personal help to make our marriage relationship a wonderful new experience every day. We take everything to Him, the good, the not-so-good and the ugly, and ask Him to teach us how to love one another more, no matter the hill or valley as we make our way together.
We text these letters, H I T Y L T I L Y, to each other on a regular basis when we are apart. (Our iPhones have learned to insert the letters when we begin typing them in!) We say the words to each other daily when we are together. But more importantly, with our Lord’s help we work at showing our love to one another in various ways. Let me count the ways.
Dr. Gary Chapman has taught and written on the five love languages. He calls them:
WORDS of affirmation.
Acts of SERVICE.
My wife, Susan (the MD), went through the love language “test” with me after we married to see where we stood in regard to our love language. We found that we were quite close, although we did have differences.
We’ve realized that the Lord has formed within us certain traits that lean more to one or two of the five “languages” than the others. For instance, because of her background Sue has not put much stock in words. Rather she is a woman who appreciates it when things are done for her. “Acts of service,” as Doc Chapman suggests. I, on the other hand, like to hear that simple “I love you,” along with a warm embrace.
But we also now see that during the two years we’ve been married the Lord has begun to change our perspective. Quietly He has been teaching us the wonderful value of combining all of the various forms of love language. And we have been talking up a storm. We have begun to see that there is not as sharp a dividing line between the “languages” as some would think.
How can you say you love someone, and have those words touch their heart, if you aren’t demonstrating that love in other ways.
Susan has now learned to appreciate a little gift from time to time to go along with my words of love and tenderness, because I’m learning more than ever to do sweet things for her. Like: I’ll brew her favorite cinnamon coffee, or have dinner ready when she gets home after a long day with patients, or fill her car with gas, etc., etc., etc! Let me tell you, husbands and wives, when you are speaking the full language of love that Christ teaches, you will have found the keys to the heart of your loved one.
What I’m suggesting here is that you develop a full synergy of love speak. Not speaking all of the languages at once, of course! That would be overboard. But simply a constant flow of love, spoken and demonstrated daily, from your heart. And you will be far more successful at this if you are constantly seeking the Lord’s help and advice on how to be the friend, sweetheart, lover, wife or husband you should be to build a long, wonderful marriage.
Here’s an example of how the Lord helps a lunk-headed husband like me to be the sweet guy my Susan needs. I was in Costco one day and I happened by a huge display of equally huge Teddy Bears. Five foot tall Teddy Bears!!! They weren’t too expensive, maybe like $29.95, but I definitely sensed that the Lord was saying, “Go ahead, get one for Sue. She would really like it.”
Remembering that she is not a “gift” type person, I went ahead anyway, believing the Lord was leading me. I hauled “Ted” to the register with everyone smiling. Once home I propped him on our bed against a pillow. That evening I lead Sue in and flipped on the light. She became like a little girl, laughing at first, then wiping tears. “No one ever gave me anything like that before,” she said. Her hugs, and tears, of gratitude were worth it even if Ted had cost ten times as much.
Now you don’t need to buy a five-foot Teddy Bear every day. I’m sure one per lifetime would be sufficient! But the benefits linger. Even now I will come out of my office and find my sweetheart snuggling against Teddy as she reads over that days patient notes.
So, boys and girls, take a hint.
Sometime in the future I will talk about “Quality Time” and “Physical Touch,” and I’ll tell you about the side benefits of Oxytocin.
Sue and I would like to wish each of you and your families 365 wonderful days throughout 2013. And remember, Jesus may come today!
Addendum: Novels by Carl Peters, available on Amazon Kindle, above right:
Victory – Heroes are sometimes found in the most unusual places. Victory is the short story about a boy’s daydreams and how he learned “the secret formula of how to make his dreams come true” … from a most unusual friend. Victory is an animated fantasy adventure for the whole family.
The Tallest Angel – The inspirational family adventure novel based on the short story, Victory. This family story takes over where Victory ends, that is, AFTER RICHIE WAKES UP from his dream adventure! A fun story, part real life, part Disney-like animated fantasy, woven together to surely charm the kid in each of us.
Solo – A twenty-four year old Christian woman, Joy, is tempted to stray from her Lord. But through a series of unique, heaven-sent events she is befriended by Paul, an older man who steps in as the father figure Joy has not had for nine years. As their father – daughter friendship develops, Paul gives Joy much-needed wholesome Christian advice about life and marriage.
Transgression – Definitely an edgy John Grisham type novel. The story of a sinful preacher and the terrible consequences his sin brings upon his church family. The amazing part of this story is how the Lord eventually brings a silver lining out of the darkest storm clouds. This story is powerful, at times overwhelming, yet gentle in its application of God’s truths.