I have a friend who plays a great game with his son. He plays the “I love you more!” game. It goes something like this:
"I love you more than ice cream."
"I love you more than pop tarts!"
"I love you more than baseball."
"I love you more than birthdays!"
Then, they say goodnight or good-bye.
Dr. Richard Dobbins has been in counseling for about 40 years. He made this statement: "In all my years at Emerge Ministries, I have never had someone with significant issues who had adequate verbal love expressed by their parents."
That is a huge, time-bomb statement made by an expert.
Let us express our love and allow our words, actions, and faith be motivated by love. Some people are easy to love, and some are not so easy. But everyone is worth making the effort for, because Jesus Christ said that it was our love for one another that shows our salvation to the world.
Added Thoughts from Pastor Jonathan
1 Cor 13:1-3 - Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
1. Great intelligence, spirituality, and communication abilities without love are nothing. In New Testament times, ceremonies honoring the pagan gods included shouting accompanied by smashing gongs. Paul’s hearers must have gotten he point. Without love, all our actions and abilities are no better than pagan rituals. For us today, we might say it this way: saying all the right things in the wrong way nullifies the effect we're going for.
2. Prophecy without love is nothing. The power behind what we say is our motive. If our motive is self-interest, praise, promotion, or gaining advantage – no matter how persuasive, correct and compelling our words may be... we will fail. Have you ever known someone who spoke the truth, but you couldn't feel their love? It's difficult to receive. A father can rail in his home about the right things and push his family farther from God, but a gentle spirit and a show of love can work miracles.
3. Knowledge without love is nothing. Paul loves knowledge. He was a big-time student in the best schools, but he realizes that knowledge is nothing without love. People don't care how much you know, unless they know how much you care. Knowledge won’t heal a relationship. Knowledge won't get your home together. They want to know you care. Love does that.
4. Faith without love is nothing. It does little good to be a spiritual giant and then treat people like dirt.
5. Giving without love is nothing. You can’t buy off people's need for personal love. It doesn't work with God either.
6. Martyrdom without love is nothing. Even if a person in the early church under persecution gave their life, if it was motivated by something other than love – like a desire for fame or from prideful obstinacy, then even that act of sacrifice lost its spiritual value.
Here’s the point. Words are important, prophecy is important, knowledge is important, faith is important, and giving is important. All these things are good, but love qualifies them.
If the background motive of your words and actions isn't love, then save your breath, save your money, and save your life. You can’t earn your way into someone’s life, but you can love your way into their hearts.