Home life should be happy. Yet it requires thought, care, and effort to make it so. We sometimes forget that love’s lessons have to be learned. We think they should come naturally, and perhaps they should. But the fact is that it takes a great deal of self-restraint, patience, and thoughtfulness to learn and live out the lesson of love.
There are hundreds of homes in which there is love and where great sacrifices are cheerfully made, and yet hearts are starving there for love’s daily bread. There is a tendency in too many homes to smother all of life’s tenderness, to suppress it, and to choke it back. There are homes where expressions of affection are almost unknown. There are husbands and wives between whom love’s conversation has settled into the lowest conventionalities. There are parents who never kiss their children after they are babies, and who discourage in them, as they grow up, all longings for caresses and marks of affection.
There is much more lack of tenderness in many homes than most people imagine. There are many homes in which the life goes on day after day, week after week, in the dreariest and coldest routine. Many children are cheated out of the manifestation of love, in the days when affectionateness would mean so much to them. Many timid girls and boys have grown almost to maturity believing that nobody ever loved them, because nobody has ever told them so.
There are chilled homes which could be warmed into love’s richest glow in a little while, if only all the hearts in the household were to become affectionate in expression. Does the busy husband think that his weary wife would not care any longer for the caresses and marks of tenderness with which he used to thrill her heart? Let him return again – just for a month – to his old-time fondness, and then ask her if these youthful amenities are distasteful to her. Do parents really think that their grown-up children are too big to be hugged and kissed? Let them restore again, for a time, something of the affectionateness of the early childhood days, and see if there is not a great secret of happiness in it. Many who are longing for richer home gladness only need to pray for a springtime of love, with tenderness which is not afraid of affectionate expression.
We never need to be afraid to speak our love at home, no matter how careful we have to be outside, lest we foolishly seem to carry our heart on our sleeve. There is little danger of too much affectionateness in the family life. It needs all the tenderness that we can possibly get into it. It will not make a child soft and dependent to love them and tell them so. We should make the morning good-byes, as we part at the breakfast table, kind enough for final farewells; for they may indeed be final farewells. Many go out in the morning and never come back at night. Therefore, when we separate even for a few hours, we should part with kind words and a lingering pressure of the hand, lest we may never look again into each other’s eyes. Tenderness in a home is not childish weakness, nor a thing to be ashamed of. Indeed, it is one of love’s most sacred duties – one which should never be left out.
Have you told (and showed) your family members you love them today? If not, go and do so right now. 💜❤️💜 Then feel free to leave your reflections and share your thoughts in the comments below.
God bless you and your family, this day and always.
All for our King’s glory,
photo by Julie | Lightstock.com
This post is another installment of Miller’s Monday Musings, a weekly series that is published every Monday on my website. The series features selected writings that have been adapted from the works of James Russell Miller (1840-1912), a much-beloved Christian author and pastor who is well-remembered for his practical thoughts on Christian home and family life. Learn more about this weekly series by clicking here.