If you’ve been around for awhile you have most likely heard me state that I believe when the Bible says we were “made in God’s image” it is talking about language. Genesis begins with, “In the beginning, God said …” and John 1:1 tells us, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” Yes, I’ve heard the argument that Jesus is “The Word” in question. That doesn’t change my argument because I’ve been told that Jesus dwells in me.
According to the Bible, words — language — are what God used to create the universe. He spoke it into existence. With words God also condemned the serpent to crawl upon his belly and doomed Eve to painful child-birth. He condemned Cain to be a fugitive and a wanderer upon the earth. God used words to create and condemn — and he gave that power to man.
There are three words in particular that can be used to create (security, acceptance, belonging, happiness) and destroy (insecurity, loneliness, rejection and despair). I love you.
In my family — most of us — say the words easily, and we mean them. I routinely tell my sisters and brother that I love them. I have told my friends that I love them. I said the words easily to my parents and grandparents. That is because I had no doubt I was (am) loved in return.
I have a friend who never married, and in fact never managed to sustain an romantic relationship for any significant length of time. She told me once that she doesn’t remember her mother ever telling any of them that she loved them. She never heard her parents exchange those three little words — and she herself has never said them to anybody except her little sister.
Why? I think — keep in mind that my opinion is worth what you paid for it — that it is because although the words I love you can strengthen and empower the recipient, they can also destroy the giver. There is no greater pain than rejection. To love and not be loved in return destroys from the inside out. Such a rejection rips the still beating heart from one’s breast and exposes it to the world as flawed and worthless.
It is easy to say I love you, when you know you are loved, but any uncertainty may cause those words to forever remain unspoken.
Who is it you can easily say, I love you to? Who is it that makes you hesitate? Why? Isn’t it because your hesitation is a form of self-preservation?
In case you are wondering where this introspection came from, you can blame it on (but please don’t condemn) David McMahon of Authorblog. I just recently became aware of his blog, and am quite enjoying it. The post that inspired these ramblings is: Weekend Wandering, and his question is: Do you say I love you often enough?
My answer is, yes. And my question is, Do you?