My family is one of those “I love you” families. You know, the ones who say I love you to each other one hundred times a day. It is pretty easy to reach one hundred “I love you’s” in my family, because there are seven us and we all love to say it.
My dad even wrote a song for me when I was a baby. My parents say he wrote it for all of us kids, but since I was born first I claim it as my own and choose to believe he just sung it to the rest of them because he had to.
“I love, Rachel see’s my girl, she’s the sweetest in the world, she’s my special friend, and I love her so. I love her so…”
This song is probably the heart of my relationship with my dad. That is, his love for me as his daughter. This love has always been the center of our family.
We sometimes fought, well the kids did, especially when we were young, but we always made a point to tell each other of our love before the sun went down. We got worse at remembering to say it as we got older, but at older still we are all much better at it again.
People talk about the power of words but usually they are talking about the negative ones. Mentioning something untrue, or even true but negative, can really do damage to a person’s heart and self-esteem. This is completely true, I know from experience. As people, we have to be careful about this.
The Bible says to build each other up, not tear each other down. Sometimes we think so often about the not tearing down that we forget the building up part. We forget the necessity of telling someone we love them or that they look beautiful or that they are respected for the wise and godly choices they have made in life. I think this is especially true in friendships.
With friends, you get so comfortable with each other and know so much about one another that it is easy to tease and teasing can lead to hurt. I know it can be funny. Especially that great inside joke that is funny every time, no matter how you spin it. But sometimes, after lots of jokes or teasing, even in good humor, someone can wind up hurt.
I’m not here to say stop joking with each other. Joking and teasing are two of my favorite things. But I’m here to say that I’m going to start working on my “I love you’s,” and my “I’m so proud of you’s” instead of crafting fabulous teasing comebacks.
If I can say I love you to my dad or my little sister a million times a day why shouldn’t I say it to my friend who I also love very much? My friends are the ones I have spent most of my quality time with in the last four years. They know the ends and outs of my life, mostly, and I know theirs. We have spent time building relationships and rely on each other in hard times as well as good. And I love them for all of it.
I have decided to put something new into practice. Every night, before I go to sleep, I am going to say I love you. It may be a collective I love you to the gang hanging out down the hallway or a specific I love you text to my friend who lives an hour away. But I’m going to make sure they know how much I love them.
I realized today that I only have 106 days left to say “I love you” to their faces so I best get a jump-start now.
So, if you fall in to the category of someone I love, either friend or family, which if you’re reading this you probably do, just know that I love you.