Many of us are guilty of taking people for granted. We tend to think we will always have our loved ones and friends around… until something happens that takes them away from us. The saying is true that you never know what you have until it’s gone. We all can probably think of someone we’ve lost, whether to death, quarrels, or life circumstances, that we would love to have back in our lives. Yet, how many of us think about that person we’ve lost and determine in our hearts to treat everyone else we love with extra special care? A friend of mine recently posted a plea on Facebook for us to tell the people we love that we love them before it’s too late.
When I was ten years old, we lost my grandfather suddenly. He went to take a nap and never woke up. It was a time of tremendous sadness for our family, but an even harder time for my cousin who was serving in the Navy and stationed out of the country at the time. While the rest of us had each other to lean on as we grieved, he was not able to partake in that mutual support, nor was he able to attend the funeral. Years later, he told me that after Granddaddy died, he made it a point to never leave Grandma’s presence without telling her that he loved her. He wanted her to always know how he felt about her. From what I’ve noticed over the years, he’s been quick to tell us all how much he loves us whenever he sees us. What wisdom there is in that practice! We are not promised tomorrow. When we talk to those we love, it’s important to treat them in such a way that we will have no regrets if we were to never see them again. Yes, it is not the most uplifting topic, but it is important to treat every day as if it were your last, to be right with God, to live righteously, and to never neglect to let those you love know how much they mean to you. How many people have died not realizing how much they were cherished?
On a lighter note, I love to watch my dog interact with my husband. When he walks in a room, not only does her tail wag, but her whole body shakes. She cannot control her excitement when she sees him. One day Eric told me that he wished I seemed as happy to see him when he came home from work as Ramsey seems to be, so I took it as a challenge and met him at the back door jumping with excitement. It was me being silly, but he smiled so big at that small gesture. I love him enough to be a little silly to show him how much he means to me. I know she’s a dog, but I have learned so much about unconditional love from her. She can’t hide her excitement when she sees someone she loves (which is everyone ~smile~)… and why should she? Even if we seem a little foolish, it’s worth the display for our family and friends to know what they mean to us.
As you prepare for marriage, know that the temptation will come, once life starts to get hectic, to quit showing the same kind of affection you are currently showing each other now. It may be hard to imagine a time when you don’t melt every time he or she walks in the room, but… it will come. Love deepens and matures; people become more comfortable with each other. Now, while you are still driven to be affectionate, think of ways you will show your spouse love one, five, ten, twenty-five, and even fifty years down the road. What habits will you start now that will show your future husband/wife love day after day, year after year? Maybe you could begin the habit of always hugging before one or the other of you leaves the house. Maybe you could leave love notes in each other’s lunch. Maybe daily e-mails or verbal words of encouragement in the morning could be a ritual. What’s better is if you have several ways of showing each other love throughout the day. Whatever you do, find a way to continually tell your beloved, and your future children, how you feel about them on a daily basis. You will never regret doing it, but you will surely regret it if you don’t. If you have not already, begin listing ways that you can show your spouse love and appreciation every day after you’re married.
Why should we make it a point to be reserved when it comes to our love for others?