EditI think it’s safe to say that we’ve all been on the phone with someone we hardly know and accidentally say “bye, I love you” followed by awkward silence and a hasty explanation. Most of the time the other person understands and laughs it off. Of course, the reason we accidentally do this is because saying “I love you” has become such a trite expression in our society that, unfortunately, it’s lost alot of its meaning.
I don’t want you to think that I’m trying to tell you how to talk, but I do want you to think about the words “I love you”. First of all, think about the last time you said it to someone. Chances are, it was when you were either hanging up the phone or saying goodbye to someone. Why do we always say I love you when we say goodbye? Well whether we realize it or not it’s because when we part ways, there’s always a chance (even a small one) that we may never see that person again. As sad as that may be, we always throw out those three words as a type of insurance. That way, the last words we ever said to that person were good ones. Why? Because there is no greater thing a person can say to another person than “I love you”. Whether it’s to your spouse, kids, parents, friends, or whoever you love, it’s always good to remind them of that. But here’s a little secret: you don’t have to say only when you say goodbye. If you’re married, for example, you can remind your spouse during dinner, during a commercial, before you go to bed, etc. If it’s to your parents, it’s ok to randomly tell them you love and appreciate them. They may become suspicious, but hey at least they know. For guys, it’s almost taboo to tell your buddy you love them. And you don’t have to make it wierd or even flat out say the words. Telling them to drive safe or just taking time to ask how their life is going is enough to show you care. And guys, it’s ok to show “feelings” every now and then. A true friend can laugh at you when you hurt yourself then a week later come give you a ride at 1 AM because your car broke down. If you can’t be real with your buddy every now and then, you might want to rethink your friendship.
For married people, saying I love you can become so routine and so overused that you don’t even think about it anymore. I hear people all the time talking to their spouse on the phone, saying “I love you, bye”, and then turn around and talk about how much they can’t stand them. That always astounds me, yet I see it constantly. It’s because saying I love you has lost its meaning to them, and it’s not entirely their fault. That word is thrown around so often that people will use it for anything. The definition of love is “an intense feeling of deep affection”. Do you have an intense feeling of deep affection for… Pizza? Your favorite sports team? Your favorite pastime? Or do you just really like those things? Like I said, I don’t think you should change the way you talk (because I definetly won’t), but just think about how you use it.
This goes especially for Christians. How can we use the same word that Jesus felt for us on the cross to describe some movie star or famous singer? I’m not getting on to you because I’ve said I love those things too, but next time think about it before you say it. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 13:13 “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”
I guess what I’m trying to say is that we all need to take the time to evaluate what is really important to us and why we love the people that we do. Don’t let that word lose its meaning because it’s the greatest thing you could ever say to somebody.