Encourage One Another

Therefore encourage one another with these words.   (1 Thes. 4:18)

Valerie burst into my office and blurted out, “I’m divorcing Olaf.”

This totally surprised me because Valerie and Olaf had been together for 40 years, and everyone would have thought they had a happy marriage.

I said, “Valerie, why would you do that?”

She said, “Olaf never tells me he loves me.  I can’t stay married without hearing those words.”

I asked Valerie to slow down, and I invited her to bring Olaf in for a visit so that we could have a conversation together.

The two of them were in my office the next day.  I asked Valerie to share her feelings, and she poured out her distress to Olaf about him never sharing his feelings with her.

Olaf shook his head.  He smiled and said, “Valerie, I told you I loved you when we got married.  I’ll let you know if I ever change my mind.”

I thought Valerie was going to hit him.

I asked Valerie if she would go have a cup of coffee for an hour because I wanted some time alone with Olaf.  I thought he needed, what we sometimes call in my house, a “Come to Jesus” meeting.

She agreed and left. I then asked Olaf some questions: Why was he so stingy and reluctant about expressing his love for Valerie?  Did he see the pain he was causing?  Did he want Valerie to leave?

Olaf got it.  When Valerie came back, he got on his knees and said all that Valerie could have ever hoped to hear… and then some.

Today I encourage you to say, “I love you” to your loved ones. Tell them every day.  Several times a day.  There are no more encouraging words we can say to each other.  Say the words for them. Say the words for yourself. Say them because they are so important to share.  Say them because we never know when our last time to speak to someone may be.

Reflection Questions:

  1. Is there someone who needs to hear you say, “I love you?” If so, what are you waiting for?
  1. Do you need to hear someone say, “I love you?” Even though it may be hard to ask for what you need, isn’t it harder not to hear?  Do you have an  “Olaf” who needs a wake-up call?
  1. Sometimes it can seem like we must first feel love before we can say the words, “I love you.” Have you ever considered that sometimes the best way to feel love is by expressing it?


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