"Should I tell my Dad I love him?"

"The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying:
'I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.'"
Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV)

When I proposed marriage to my wife I told her that I did not bring a lot of money to the union but I was very rich in friends. In the Christian ministry a person will not retire with a fortune in the bank. I have never met a man or woman whose goal in Christian ministry was to become rich.

However, I have accumulated a wealth of wonderful friends through the years of my ministry. I recall one friend who was a highly important person in his field of work. He was the president of a family-owned company. Apparently he had built the firm up to be an industry leader and in the process made the owners very wealthy.

My friend had several children and a loving, faithful wife. Different times my wife and I had been dinner guests in their home and enjoyed their company greatly. The children grew to love us and on one occasion I was able to counsel one of the children through a personal crisis.

Then sorrow visited their home as my friend was diagnosed with a terminal illness. My friendship with the man took on a new dimension as I sought to teach him from the Bible how to cope with his situation.

One day the son that I had helped in the past, called me to talk about how he could assist his beloved father through this crisis. At one point in the conversation he grew quiet and then asked me, "Should I tell my Dad I love him?".

I was sorry that my friend's son asked such a question. Somehow I had assumed the young man grew up telling his beloved father that he loved him. It was then that I realized you should never make assumptions about the private working of a family from what is seen in public.

I assured my friend's son that it was important for him to tell his Dad of his love for him, especially now. I reminded the young man that our Father in heaven tells His people again and again how much He loves them. People need to hear of the love that exists for them as well as see it in action.

If you did not have your parents speak of their love for you during your growing years seek to change the situation with your own children and assure them daily of your love. Or, if you are not used to speaking to your spouse about your love for them, get started today. The first few times may embarrass you but it will do wonders for your relationship.

Imitate your Father in heaven who never tires of telling you of His abiding, eternal love for you. Just as you enjoy hearing of God's love for you, so will your family members delight to hear you tell them of your love.

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