Words: The Power of Love-Giving Words

 

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

This is part four of a five week series on the power of words. We have all been impacted by the words of another. Some words have imbued us with confidence, while others have deflated us. We are created to be communicators. So, when there are words, how do we use them well? 

Let’s explore this over the next few weeks. I hope you’ll join me and add your thoughts to the conversation! If you want to read previous posts, click: When There Are Words.

 

“There is nothing you can do that will make me stop loving you.”

I’ve said these words to our boys since before they could talk. And it turns out, these are words they’ve needed to hear.

When they’ve done things right,

When they’ve gotten things terribly wrong,

When they have let a big, scary anger rule their words and actions,

That’s when they’ve needed these words most.

As boys who are cherished by two sets of parents,

As boys who are trying to figure out who in the world they are in the big picture of things.

 

As boys who are growing into their teen years where the world’s messages force them to feel less-than, and like they must perform a certain way to feel accepted,

These boys of ours need this powerful reminder. They are always loved by their parents, and especially by God.

They’re not always going to get it right. Neither will I.

As their mom, I will be the first to admit I’ve provoked them to anger at times. And I hang my head a little as I share this.

But, when the flaring emotions calm,

When the harsh words are already out there and can’t be taken back and swallowed down into anonymity,

That’s when they most need to hear . . .

“There is nothing you can do that will make me stop loving you.”

 

I may not always like them, but I will always, always love them. (I’m pretty sure they don’t always like me either).

They are our gifts from God. I cherish them and thank God for them every day. They need to hear these words.

Being loved or how much they are loved is not dictated by how well—or how poorly—they perform. They are loved because of who they are. They are God’s boys, and Hubs’ and my sons.

Sometimes love is easy, like when they smile at me and say, “I love you, Mom!”

Sometimes love is harder, like when they’ve hurt me to my core by mean words spoken and intentional hurtful actions carried out.

Sometimes they test us with their words and actions, to see if we really mean those words that we will always love them.

They must be reminded that, yeah, they’re going to blow it sometimes. But that doesn’t make us stop loving them.

Unconditional love is an intentional choice.

 

And I have to remember who spoke those words first.

God.

His love is unconditional. There is nothing we can do to make Him stop loving us. When I hurt others through my actions, my words, even in my thoughts,

When I am mean to others because the hurt in me is so big it has to come out in some way,

When I speak harsh words to those I love most in this world . . .

God still loves me.

He still takes me in His lap, brushes love over my spirit when He offers me the incredible, healing gift of forgiveness. And He brushes His perfect, passionate, unconditional love over the essence of who I am.

He chooses to love us, even when we reject Him. When we turn our backs on what He’s said is true. When we act on the hurts this world inflicts.

 

He understands us better than we understand ourselves.

He colors over us with His grace.

And He continues to love us. Forever and for always.

I’m not God to our boys. But I can—and will—choose love over grudges in my interactions with them.

I will choose forgiveness over broken fellowship between hearts. Because I love them.

And the scary thing is, Hubs and I are still a flesh-example of God’s love for them.

 

So, we do our best to live this out:

“There is nothing you can do that will make me stop loving you.”

There’s heart security and great comfort in knowing we can never un-earn God’s love.

There’s comfort and safety for our kids when they realize and embrace the truth that they are always loved.

No matter what.

What about you? What’s one lesson in living out love you’ve learned in your family? How have you seen God’s love revealed in your life?

Click to Tweet: God chooses to love us, even when we reject Him.

Today, I’m linking up with Holly Barrett’s Testimony Tuesday and the #RaRaLinkup over at Katie Reid’s place.

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18 thoughts on “Words: The Power of Love-Giving Words

  1. Great post, Jeanne, and, as always, wonderful pictures.

    Love is a tough one for me. My original family is something I would prefer to forg. I thought I was past that, and that I understood something about the nature of love when I married Barbara, I was quite wrong.

    What’s love? I ask myself that question every day, in a sincere desire to understand. Why does Barbara love me? Why do the dogs?

    It’s not something to which I expect an answer, and perhaps by even asking the question I am over-complicating the issue.

    Tough one, this, yeah?

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    • Andrew, I think we heal from childhood wounds in layers. We get past one area that causes pain. We find healing for it. But God continues working at deeper levels. And for loving others? I’m still learning how to love my husband, and we’ve been married 21 years.

      Your questions are tough, in some ways. 🙂 But, I’m going to share my thoughts, for whatever they are. You have value for who you are. Not what you can do. Or accomplish. Or perform. You add value to Barb’s and the dogs’ lives because of who you are. The things you do add blessing, but they do not give reason to love/not love you. Anyway, there you have it. 🙂 I’m praying for you, my friend.

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    • Over the years, I’ve worked with lots of kids whose parents failed them mightily. I’ve concluded that a loveless relationship between child and parent is hard to overcome. I would rather live in a war zone with a loving parent than in the lap of luxury with a heartless parent.

      A motherless child from our neighborhood used to show up at our door before school. I never considered mornings my best mothering moments (if the boys got out the door on time with clothes on and homework in hand, I counted it success). But this child followed me like a dog licking up every crumb of a comment, even the cranky crumbs. I sensed God saying, “Don’t clean it up for him, and don’t shut him out. He needs real, messy love.”

      He eventually disappeared from our neighborhood.One fine day when hubby and I were relaxing on our patio, a young man walked up–our motherless child, all grown up. “Just thought you’d want to know that I turned out OK.”

      You turned out OK, Andrew. God is smiling

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  2. Partly because I’ve been reading Keeping Place and partly because my kids are all at new stages of life right now, but I’m learning that loving is hard work and it means doing and giving in ways that may stretch me. This is a good thing. It reminds me that God also keeps house.

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    • I agree, Michele. Loving IS hard work. Intentional work. We’re only a couple weeks into summer break, and I’m feeling the stretching. Yes, it is a good thing. We learn humility, and I believe God uses these new seasons to refine us to reflect Him more clearly. Saying a prayer for you today.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jeanne, you brought me back to those teenage years with my children! Somedays were just so hard, but knowing that I wasn’t alone, and it was normal helped me endure the hurtful words and my not so great responses. I remember when my father passed a year ago, and so now both parents were gone, thinking how there was no one in the world who loved me unconditionally anymore. Even if I landed in jail, did the worst of the worst, my dad would still love me. That’s a parents love, isn’t it? There’s such a security to a child, knowing that no matter what, they will be loved. And we have a heavenly Father who does that perfectly.

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    • Lynn, I have to agree. Knowing I’m not the only one going through these hard seasons does bring comfort. And, God gives me an opportunity to respond in a way that reflects Him when my kiddos use harsh words. I’m sorry you’ve lost both of your parents. That’s still got to be hard on some days. 😦 I’m truly thankful we have a Father who loves us always and forever. No matter what.

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  4. I wonder how often we all need to hear “I love you no matter what”? I know I do. Raising boys is a joy and a challenge. I know there were years when they let their growing up angst color how they treated others. It was never purposeful but it was their way of trying to say “hey, I am going through something and I don’t get it”.

    May we all say and receive the words “I love you no matter what” knowing that God first loved us.

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    • I agree, Mary. I need to hear those words too. Especially when I’ve fallen short in some way. My boys both struggle (from time to time) with having a skewed perspective and allowing it to color how they treat others. I appreciate your perspective and the wisdom you share in looking beyond that to see that they are going through something. Knowing God loves us helps us to love others better, doesn’t it? Thanks for sharing your wisdom!

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  5. Jeanne,
    One lesson I have learned is differentiating between loving a person and loving their behavior. I can love someone and not be keen on their behavior. So often the two get intertwined and the message of ” I will love you no matter what” gets lost. I am really struggling right now with loving my adult daughter, but not loving her behavior. She sees me as not loving unconditionally. I’ve asked for forgiveness for where I’ve failed, but we still can’t seem to bridge the gap. So hard sometimes….could use prayer.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx”

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    • Bev, so true! Differentiating between loving a person and not their behavior is important. And it is hard, especially for a child who’s rebelling, to see love for what it is and yet to understand the boundaries that are placed by the parent. I have a few friends walking through similar situations. I guess sometimes we need to remember that we are loving well, even if it is not received as such. I wish I had all the words for you. You’re in a difficult place. I will be praying for you today, my friend. Thank you for sharing your story. Sending you a big ((HUG)).

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  6. Love your words: “He still takes me in His lap, brushes love over my spirit when He offers me the incredible, healing gift of forgiveness. And He brushes His perfect, passionate, unconditional love over the essence of who I am.” Beautifully put!! Perhaps because I need to sit in His lap.

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  7. I love that you talk about living moving our boys well. I took a short study from Lisa Bevere on raising men. I love your heart for the Lord and your care over the words we speak to our loved ones. Thanks for this and I look forward to reading more.

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    • Carolina, that sounds like a good study. It’s sometimes hard, as a mom, to find the balance between nurturing and toughening up, you know? But I’m a strong proponent that the words that come from my mouth need to be life-giving words. They get so many negative messages in their worlds (school, activities), that I hope our home is a safe place for them. Thank you so much for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

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