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The Importance of Doing “I love you”

I John 3:16-18
16This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “That’s easier said than done.”
So many things in life are easier said than done:
“Dad, I want to learn how to ride my bike.”

“When I grow up I want to be a doctor.”

“Let’s get married.”

“Let’s have a baby.”

“Of course, I can handle watching all four kids on Saturday while you’re at the “Women’s Retreat.”

“I’m going to start exercising tomorrow morning.”

“I’m going to have daily devotions for the next thirty days.”

“I think it’s time for us to start going to church, again.”

“Yes, your parents can stay with us for a month this summer.”

Mother of fourteen-year-old girl: “Honey, can you go in there and find out why your daughter is crying?” Father of aforementioned fourteen-year-old girl: “No problem.”

“I love you.”

Love is easier said than done. Twenty-five years ago, I stood at the altar, looked at my lovely bride, and said, “I love you.” I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was the easy part—saying, “I love you.”

Doing, “I love you,” is hard work and sometimes not that fun.

Doing, “I love you,” requires sacrifice, patience, compromise, communication, selflessness, serving, commitment, in-laws, “I’m sorry,” and changing diapers when it’s your turn!

My Great Uncle Vernie was great at doing "I love you."

My great Uncle Vernon (“Vernie”) Miller, was a very successful business man. He was also a man of God and a man who loved his wife, Norma, unfailingly, so when Aunt Norma was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Uncle Vernie devoted himself to caring for her. He sold everything that didn’t matter and invested in only what did. He purchased an RV and he and Aunt Norma spent the next decade visiting family, friends, and ministries they supported. Uncle Vernie wanted to keep Aunt Norma’s mind—and heart—stimulated so he surrounded her with love and loved ones.

During this period of time, Uncle Vernie and Aunt Norma visited our home several times. Each time they came to our house during those years, we would notice that Aunt Norma was drifting further and further away, like a helium balloon that slips out of your fingers at the fair and drifts slowly into the sky and there’s absolutely nothing you can do but watch it as it floats past the reach of your outstretched arms.

Uncle Vernie’s love for Aunt Norma was amazing. During their last visit with us, Uncle Vernie—with a smile on his face—lovingly fed, cleaned, wiped, spoke to, spoke for, and lovingly held the hand of the girl of his dreams.

She died in the Spring, with Uncle Vernie at her side.

That kind of love...and all true love...is proven not just in the saying but in the doing.

Knowing this, the Apostle John, points to Jesus as the perfect example of doing, “I love you.”

John says, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.”

Jesus spoke a message of love each day of his life, but never was his love as clearly communicated as it was on the cross. Christ’s words about love—his stories, his sermons, his prayers—describe love clearly, but his death defined true love once and for all time.

Saying, “I love you,” is easy—it doesn’t require sacrifice, effort, time, commitment, a marriage license, a cross, or dirty diapers.

But, doing, “I love you,” makes us more like Jesus and my Great Uncle Vernie.
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I believe in marriages and invest a lot of my time serving couples as a Marriage Coach. In the past twenty years of ministry I have worked with close to 1,000 couples. I currently Coach two-four couples a week, lead marriage retreats/conferences throughout the year, spend several weekends a year with couples who fly in for intensive marriage coaching, and am currently writing a book full of practical wisdom for couples. Why am I so invested in helping married couples? Because I want to help ordinary people to have extraordinary marriages. This page is devoted to that mission.

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