As I caught a portion of the 1998 movie, Stepmom, the dad was explaining why he was divorced from the children's mom. He said they no longer were in love; they fell out of love. The response of the children was, "Can you fall out of love for your children?" The dad's response was that would never happen.
That section of the movie brought an issue to mind that is very important for marriages and families to thrive. The vital issue is expressing love on a regular basis in the family.
One person I counseled confided to me that her husband has not expressed affectionate love to her for years. She wondered if he still loved her. I wonder too!
I suppose when you are first married, you could say to your spouse, "I love you" and not say that phrase again for the rest of your married life. It may hold true through the years, but who doesn't appreciated hearing those words over and over again. Children also need to hear that they are loved by their parents.
In a survey conducted in the 90's by a writer for Psychology Today, one of the eight basic expectations of both sexes was affection . And both sexes were more interested in "cognitive and emotional signs" than physical or sexual ones. The need for a loved one to feel loved is crucial for a relationship to be truly satisfying.
When you care, you show it by your manner of dealing with your loved ones. They will feel loved if they hear it and feel it coming from those who love them. The Apostle John said in his general epistle that we need to love not only in word but in deed (1 John 3:18).
Notes of appreciation, calls just to say "I love you", occasional flowers or boxes of candy, unexpected gifts and affectionate gestures (like hugs) send powerful messages of thoughtfulness and love. Love involves a giving, caring attitude directed toward those whom you love.
If your spouses or you children would ask the question, " Do you still love me?" I hope you would answer with a resounding "YES"!
For GN magazine, I'm Gary Antion.