Many years ago my wife, Donna, asked me, “How soft do you like your towels?”
I think of myself as a big, tough guy, who can run a chain saw in each of both hands, but who wants a nasty, scratchy towel? So I said, “Really soft.”
Within a few days, I began to use a freshly laundered towel to dry off after a shower, and I discovered that the towel just pushed the water around on my skin—didn’t absorb a drop. Creepy feeling, actually.
I asked Donna what was wrong with the towel, and she replied—kindly and innocently—“You said you wanted it to be soft.” That was when I learned that towels and clothing are made softer by the use of more fabric softener during the drying process, but fabric softener also coats the fabric so that it absorbs water less easily. Who knew?
Teaching people the principles of Real Love too softly—like using too much fabric softener—often leads to their learning more slowly. In the beginning, nearly everyone needs more love than teaching, but eventually if the approach remains too soft, people will absorb less effectively the principles that can save their lives. People learn to feel loved and to be loving as they are loved and taught, and the balance between those two approaches is a delicate one indeed.