Tag Archives: #can’tsayitenough

Last Words Spoken

25 Jul

We promised each other to say, “I love you,” every day without fail. That is one vow we have kept as best we could. Even if business trips separated us, we tried to call one another just so we could say those words. If somehow a day slipped by us, we made up for it many times over by affirming our love several times through the day when we could. After all, we can’t say it enough.

When I drop her off at work now that I am retired, we say those three little words. We have read or known of those who faced the death of their loved one with the last words spoken being harsh from a disagreement. We can’t bear the thought of having to carry that remorse for years.

When people ask me how I account for a long happy marriage, I point to living up to this promise. One Bible verse shows the importance of this exercise that might otherwise seem too simple to make a difference. Paul wrote, “Be angry and sin not. Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath,” (Ephesians 4.26). We found it impossible to say I love you when we were angry with one another. Our determination to keep our promise forced us to deal with what caused division, to ask and receive forgiveness. Only then could we affirm our love and have a peaceful sleep.

Not Perfect Bliss

I don’t want anyone to think we have been flawless in keeping our vow. Some rifts did create deep emotional cuts. They did go beyond sunset—maybe even more. It was horrible. For that reason, we made sure it didn’t happen often.

I also don’t want anyone to think we are special people with special personalities that naturally fit into this practice. Our success in it—whatever measure it is—happened because of the grace given us through Jesus Christ.

My Reason for Sharing

Now, here is the reason I am sharing this part of our lives with you. After Paul wrote what the relationship between a husband and wife should be, he added, “This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” (Ephesians 5:32).

Only recently have I considered applying the same vow I have with my wife to my relationship with Jesus. Yes, I love Jesus, and I spend time with him. I praise and worship him. Thanking him comes natural when things are going good. But, it’s easy to step out of bed in the morning with the tempo from the previous day. Gotta get it done. Get it done. Get it done. Just get it done. Then I suddenly realize days have gone by empty of the love toward my Lord.

My promise to Cindy has been easy to keep. Each time I see her, a little tic sparks within checking whether I’ve told her or not. Then, I say it anyway. Maybe she needs to hear it again. Maybe I’ve given her reason to need to hear it again. And, in case one of us fails to wake up in the morning, we say it again before we sleep.

Duh

Jesus has done so much more for me—even giving me the breath to say the words—how can I slight him? How can I think it’s okay to go to sleep while angry that God hasn’t answered prayers when and how I want? Or hold onto doubts or bitterness because of what he is allowing us to go through? What were the last words spoken to him?

Since seeing this inconsistency in us, Cindy and I have tried to remember our vow—sweet as it is in the natural—applies to Christ and the church, Jesus and me.

Will you join us? When you first wake up, tell the Lord how much you love him. Throughout your day, when you are pausing to catch a breath, deciding which task to pick up next, stopping for a drink or snack, and especially as you lie down at night; have a little lovefest with Jesus. You will find less friction and more intimacy in your relationship. What works in the natural works especially well in the spiritual. It’s a mystery, but a wonderful one.

How do you maintain intimacy with Jesus?

How do you make sure your time with him is out of love and not duty, pious ritual, or strict will power?

I would like to hear from you. Please feel free to share what helps you. It may help others, too. And, sign up to be notified when I post next if you enjoy what I write.

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