Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church.... Ephesians 5:25; Likewise, teach the older women...to train the younger women to love their husbands and children... so that no one will malign the word of God. Titus 2:3-5
Have you ever been to a party where they played the “Newlywed Game?” The emcee separates the men and women and then asks them the same questions independently, then compares answers to see how nearly they say the same thing.
When one church group played this game, the emcee asked, "When did your husband last tell you, `I love you'?" The wife answered the question alright, but it had been a long time since she had heard those words--years ago! Then they brought in the husband, and he gave exactly the same answer. The emcee tried to pass off the situation and get on with the party, but the husband commented, "I told her that I loved her when I married her, and I also told her that if I ever changed my mind, I'd tell her that as well!"
I'm sure that a husband can love his wife without saying so, and I suppose that a wife can have a measure of assurance that she is loved without ever being told, but I do know one thing: in every heart there is a vacuum which can only be filled by love, and apart from that knowledge, there is an emptiness and a loneliness which begins to choke love.
Dr. Gary Chapman contends that there are love languages which he describes as touch, gifts, acts of kindness, and so forth, as well as the verbal expression of words. The man who brings flowers home for his wife is expressing love. Likewise, when he fixes the broken faucet in the kitchen sink and brings his paycheck home, he is also showing love.
Some cultures never verbalize love, and individuals who come from homes where parents, dads especially, never expressed love verbally, may find it difficult to do.
I'm thinking of the husband who loved his wife, but he just found it very hard to say so. He thought about it and thought about it some more, finally deciding that on Friday evening when he first got home from work, he would make this sort of speech telling her that he loved her.
Sure enough--that's exactly what he did. He came into the kitchen where she was preparing dinner, and in a voice which was somewhat tense from nervousness, he made his speech ending with the words, "My dearest darling, I love you!" As he finished, was he surprised as his wife burst into tears!
"I thought you would like what I said," he exasperated.
"Dear," his wife began, "I've had a splitting headache all day. This morning I broke the cup--the gold one which mother gave us when we got married, and now you've come home dead drunk. It's just more than I can handle."
One of our deep emotional needs is to give and receive love. Within every heart is a love-shaped vacuum which needs filling every day. Children, teenagers, husbands and wives as well as older members of the family--they all have this same need.
One last thought: If you can't say it, write it, but however you do it, express it and do it with sincerity. A letter, a note, a card with those special words can do so much to encourage the one to whom you have given your heart. A word of caution: If you write it, make sure the message is for the eyes of your beloved alone. I'm thinking of the wife who penned a personal and juicy note for her husband and put it in his lunch. However, another worker happened to pick up his lunch by mistake. And was he ever surprised, especially since he was unmarried.
Learn to express it and say it every day.
Resource reading: 1 Peter 3:1-8