Say “I Love You” Every Day!

February 10, 2015

by Peter Amsterdam

It's customary on specific days to express our love and appreciation for others. On those days, the expectation is that we acknowledge and verbalize our caring and warm feelings for our loved ones and friends. There are times when it just “feels right” to say “I love you.” One of those times is Valentine’s Day, along with other special days such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. I like those days. They’re very special. We focus on our connections with the people we care about as we express our love for one another. Hearing someone tell you they love you can be a great uplift.

While having special days for expressing love is well and good, just think how much more joy there could be if we made the effort to show others we love them on a regular basis. What if, instead of waiting for those special “appointed times” to show our love and speak words of encouragement and appreciation, we did it often, even daily? I think this one small change in the way we interact with others could have a significant impact on our lives and the lives of the people we care about.

The people in your life need to know that you love them. Feeling loved is the foundation for vibrant marriages and healthy relationships. It’s vital for your children’s well-being. Your friends greatly benefit from knowing you love them. It’s rejuvenating and inspiring when you know someone loves you, when you know they’re doing something for you simply because they care. We’re all empowered through the loving support and understanding of others.

Each of us is made in God’s image, and since one of His attributes is love, when we experience love, we experience connection with Him and His nature. The Bible tells us that love is from God, that God is love, that we ought to love one another—and that when we do, He lives in us and His love is made complete in us.1 We each benefit when we regularly experience examples of God’s love for us manifested through others. It lifts us up, as well as helps to build connection, camaraderie, and community. It knits our hearts together with others and helps us feel cared about and secure. We’re empowered when we feel loved, supported, and understood.

Experiencing the power of being loved and cared about should motivate us to share our love with others every day in some way. We don’t have to wait for special holidays or events that are deemed “worthy”—every day is a worthy day to share love with others. We can express our love daily by saying “I love you” and showing love through our actions to our children, our significant other, our parents, relatives, and friends.

I think if we got creative, we could do so much more each day to show people we care, to say “I love you” in ways that matter to those we are close to. Since it is nearly Valentine’s Day, I asked some of my friends to come up with ideas for a list of practical ways to say “I love you” to our spouses or significant others, and Maria and I added to it. Maybe some of these would work for you. 

  • Slip a note in their lunch bag to tell them how much you love them.
  • Do the five-star-hotel move of putting a chocolate on their pillow and turning down the bed.
  • Send flowers for no particular reason.
  • Write a poem in their honor.
  • Plan a date night out.
  • Give him/her your undivided attention; let them know you enjoy listening to them.
  • Kiss them each time you go out, and again when you return.
  • When your partner is sharing something important to them, put down your phone and don’t pick it up or look at it until the conversation is finished.
  • Send a greeting card to their place of work.
  • Cook their favorite meal or bake a favorite dessert.
  • Wash and wax their car.
  • Hire someone to clean the windows and shades.
  • Give them a sincere compliment.
  • Thank them for doing things around the house that you normally take for granted.
  • Compile a digital or printed photo album of your happiest memories together.
  • Tell them about the events of the day, the people you talked with, etc. And ask them to tell you about their day.
  • Plan a day trip together.
  • Watch a movie of his/her choosing.
  • Offer a neck, foot, back, or hand massage.
  • Rewatch the funniest movie you’ve ever seen.
  • Take the time to be silly and laugh together.
  • Pray with the person you love; commit their care, safety, and happiness to the Lord.
  • Give a warm hug (at least seven seconds).
  • Do something simple but thoughtful (wash the dishes, take out the trash/recycling, offer to pick up the dry cleaning, etc.).
  • Have the oil in the car changed before they need to take care of it.
  • Look them in the eyes and tell them how they enrich your life and make it better.
  • Offer to do something for them that you know they don’t like doing.
  • Say good things about them to other people behind their back.
  • Give them cave time.
  • Take care of the children so that your spouse or friend can have a night out or “me time.”
  • Leave a sticky note of encouragement on the refrigerator or the bathroom mirror.
  • Go beyond your comfort zone to participate in your loved one’s favorite activity or hobby.
  • Smile when you see them.
  • Give them an extra hour of sleep while you take the baby for a walk.
  • Be genuine in your interactions; be open and vulnerable.
  • Compliment them in front of someone else.
  • Honor their accomplishments and celebrate milestones big or small.
  • Be affectionate and warm. Hug, touch, hold hands.
  • Be courteous, thoughtful, and kind.
  • Say “I’m sorry” when you’ve made a mistake or disappointed them.
  • When you receive an apology, be a good forgiver. Don’t hold grudges.
  • Send a random “I love you” text.
  • Let your spouse vent without holding it against them or overreacting.
  • Give them a coupon to redeem when they choose (back rub, movie night, ice-cream treat, etc.).

 Happy Valentine’s Day!

1 1 John 4:7,8,11,12.