You Never Say I Love You

Posted on August 10, 2014

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Just recently I heard this phrase being said by a person implying that the other person did not love them because they did not vocalize their love in words. As important as the words I love you are these words are useless if there is not any behaviors that support true love. Hollywood and touchy-feely contemporary society has really pushed the importance I saying I love you and as usual the American church as followed lock-step with the world in many cases.

 

Is the Bible Your Standard?

If we are going to be sold out believers then the Word of God has to be our standard and example, not the latest guest on your favorite talk show. So what does the Word of God say about love?

As early as Exodus 20:6 through the entire Bible to the epistles love for God is not measured in words or phrases but by being obedient to His commandments.

 

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. KJV

 

Almost twenty passages can be found in the Word where we are told that keeping commandments are evidence of true love for God. So when Jesus told His disciples that they would be recognized as disciples by how they loved one another, this too would imply the example set for loving God, working together in order, not saying I love you.

 

Keeping Commandments

Most New Testament Christians are not happy about the word, “Commandment.”

 

1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

 

John puts this into context.  When we love God, His commandments are not grievous, they don’t bog us down, and we enjoy serving the Father. We don’t get saved by keeping commandments, we are saved by grave and nothing else, but true salvation should be seen in true love and the evidence of a life trying to walk out the Word of God in our lives. The big picture is that God is put in a supreme place in our lives and we submit to His will and ways.  Love on the human level is similar when there is a hierarchy, such as parent/child relationship, boss/worker, and even pastor/congregation relationship.  Where this can get murky is when people are on a similar level and not under each other’s leadership. I think the apostle Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth helps us with this, and again, it does not include saying the words I love you.

 

The Love Chapter

I Corinthians 13: 4 Love is patient, and is kind; love does not envy; love does not act superior, and is not puffed up, 5  Love is not rude, does not seek its own, is not easily provoked, it keeps no record of wrongs; 6  It does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7  It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 ¶  Love will never cease: but where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are languages, they will cease; where there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10  But when that which is perfect comes, then that which is in part will cease to be. 11  When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I reasoned as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12  For what we now see is like a dim reflection on a glass; but then we will see face to face: now I know in part; but then I will know even as I am known. 13  And now these three remain, faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of these is love.

 

Loving Recommendations

I think it is very clear in this chapter of Corinthians that we have a pattern of really love for others. If we take this section of God’s Word and apply it to a love relationship of ours, we can judge ourselves if we are truly loving in that relationship. Look at a few of the following examples and may I suggest that when we fail in any area, we more than likely are loving self, more than the other party.

 

How Good Are Your Records

The latter portion of verse five says love does not keep records. When I worked for the County as a manger I had to keep records of issues with employees and these records were used to discipline or terminate an employee, no love in this situation. As a pastor I found myself in similar situations and wanting to fall into the secular pattern of documenting less than perfect behavior to protect myself and the church. The church was a love relationship and never let myself do that but trusted God to take care of matters. Sadly I have had this used on me and have seen others do this to their failed loves, very detailed records.  These detailed records are used to convict the other party for their lack of love but in truth, the record keeper is the one acting in lack of love.

 

Take The Challenge

Take a look at each example of love, patience, kindness, no envy, and so on and judge your love relationships and see where you measure up and are doing well or maybe need some improvement.  Do it with family members, your spouse, church leaders, and church members and most of all, are you keeping His commandments?

Its okay to say I love you too!

 

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Posted in: Edification