Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I Love You

There's an old joke about a wife who complained to her husband of 35 years that he never tells her he loves her. He replied that he told her he loved her the day they were married and if it ever changes, he'll let her know.

Thankfully, men today don't have quite the issues telling those he loves that he loves them -- but do you go beyond the words?

In other words, how do you show your love for others by your actions?

My wife grew up not receiving many gifts; her family had lots of children and little resources, so presents were a rare thing in her growing-up years. Today I tell her I love her, and show her by giving her a gift. Now lest one get the impression it is about the presents, gifts for her can range from a bar of soap from the hotel I stayed in to a fairly expensive piece of jewelry. For her the gift isn't measured by the amount of money, but by the fact I thought of her and went out of my way to give her a gift tailored to her tastes. For example, there's a bar of soap from one hotel chain that's always a winner, while soap from another wouldn't be quite the hit.

There are some people who really don't care about gifts, no matter what the cost. For them the best way to say "I love you" is to spend time with them. A day, a weekend, a week, the more time spent the better. They enjoy the company of the other person -- so much so that they want to be with them. If you are married to a person who values time together, it may seem as if they are smothering you, but all they are saying is "I want to be with you because I love you."

The best way someone can show their live to me is through touch. I value holding hands with my wife, hugging my children, and getting a good pat on the back from my friends. (Okay, sometimes I enjoy a "man hug" from my best buddy.) My dad and mom often showed their love for one another by holding hands, sometimes even in church. That was imprinted on me as a way to show a spouse she was loved.

For children love can be expressed through actions involving trust -- like my dad saying he loved me as he gave me the keys to the family car for the evening. He trusted me to be safe, treat the car with care, and bring it back with gas in the tank. His trust was something I never wanted to lose.

There are numerous ways to show others your love for them without actually saying it.

How do you show, "I love you"?

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