We use this word "love" very loosely. "I love my cat.", "I love gelato.", "I love playing Ticket to Ride."
"Like" on the other hand, seems to be a lesser form of love. For example, I once told my group of girlfriends that, even after being married for so long, I still like my husband.
“But you should love him!” they replied. “Exactly!” I responded. “I should love him. I have to love him. But I choose to like him.”
When we say "I love you." we can hear echoes of the Bible saying "Love covers a multitude of sins." So, does saying "I love you." cover all the demands of love?
"I said, "I love you." So what more do you want?"
So when saying "I love you." starts to feel tired or overused, try this practical, expanded vocabulary:
I really like you.
I'm listening carefully.
How can I best help you?
I really respect that about you.
You're amazing when you _______. (Cook, lead, are just you)
I missed you!
You're probably right.
I forgive you.
Can I share my _______ with you? (Fries, chai, eggplant)
On the other hand, saying “I love you.” and meaning it, is a powerful thing. (Especially when accompanied by a big box of chocolates!)
What other ways can we show love? Who is our perfect example of love? Of course, it’s Jesus.
“I gave up everything for you, even heaven.”
“I am reaching out to you no matter how unlovely you feel.”
“You ignore me, you say I don’t exist, you use my name like a curse word, but I'm waiting to welcome you.”
“I took a bullet for you and died.”
“I came back to life to give you new life.”
“You're safe with me.”
“I'll never give up on you.”
“I'm coming back soon. Are you ready?”
Jesus is real. He is alive. And He likes you.