Our society deals with a lot of hurt and suspicion, right? So how can you let people know that you truly love them? How can you let them know that they can trust your love? Well, how did people know that Jesus loved them? Why did people trust His love?
One reason was His servant leadership. Jesus served people!
When your wife feels loved, it’s because you served her, right? The dishes are done, the trash is empty, the cars are clean, and the tanks are full of gas. These things make her feel loved, man. Instead of looking at a never-ending pile of chores and feeling overwhelmed, she feels loved.
You serve her when you tell her how beautiful she is. You serve her when you let her know how important she is to your life. These things encourage her. That’s service! And when you tell her these things, you’re being vulnerable with her. You’re being transparent. What about telling her when you’re scared? That’s service, because now you’re asking her to help you. These things make her feel alive, and make her feel like she can make a difference. Those are feelings of being loved. It’s very, very important.
I want to fill my sons’ love cups. When I feel like those cups are full, it’s because I’ve hung out with them. I’ve encouraged them. Their dad’s around them. Their dad smiles at them and loves on them.
Their dad also disciplines them. My sons will hear me say, “You can’t do that.” But they know it’s because I love them. People talk about “tough love,” but tough love isn’t about tearing someone down. Tough love is about giving someone constructive criticism that’s going to make them better. Tough love never loses sight of the image of God that lives in every one of us. Tough love is about recognizing the reality of where someone is, and telling them where they can be. It’s reminding them of who they are, and letting them know, “You’re not there. But you can get there. You have the ability to get there.” You encourage them so that they feel fulfilled. They feel built up. They feel strong.
When I say to my sons, “You can’t do that,” they also hear, “I love you.” They hear, “This is who I think you can become. We can do better. You’re not there yet, but I believe that you can get there.” And then, when they achieve something, I look at them and say, “That’s what I’m talking about. I believe in you. I’ve always known you can do this. I’m so proud of you. I love you.”
That’s love, man, when you feel like you add up in somebody’s eyes. You feel loved when you feel like you can measure up. You feel loved when you can say, “ Man, whenever I’m around this person, I feel like I can achieve greatness.”
Love is based on encouragement. You can know and trust that someone loves you when they are pouring into you, and you’re pouring into them. When somebody encourages you, loves on you, says positive things, and builds you up, you can be sure that you are loved.
More on this next time. See you Monday.