Wednesday, February 9, 2011
How do YOU Share the Love?
I am blessed to be married to a wonderful man. At this point in our lives, we're very content in our 15 year old marriage. In fact, I love DH more today and am more attracted to him than I was when we were married on the hottest day EVER in July 1995. Nonetheless, our feelings of contentment have not come without a lot of work and a big commitment. When we took our vows on that hot July day, we were serious. We promised to stand beside one another in the presence of God no matter what. Some days you may not "feel" in love, but yet you do still love your spouse. We have learned that we must put the Lord first, but that we must also invest a lot of time in our marriage and one another. We are far from perfect, but we try to look after our marriage.
So often I hear others say that they don't have time for one another because they have a new baby or a tough job, or their teenagers need them, or they must travel for work. I get it. We have our challenges too. Again, we are NOT PERFECT. All of us fall short of the glory of God. All of us hurt our spouses and feel like we fail. However, it's important to make each other a PRIORITY. Study your spouse. Get to know him. Know what he loves, why he loves it, and what sort of adventures he would like to pursue. When is the last time you asked your spouse about work? Did you really listen? Did you really delve into his current projects or clients or patients? Is he enjoying his work or drowning in it? Take the time whenever possible to have an untimed pleasant conversation with your spouse. If your children go to bed late, then tell them they have room time from 9pm on. I remember being a newlywed and my Bible Study leader said she had "couch time" with her husband EVERY day when he walked in the door. Her three little munchkins knew that Daddy came first when he walked in the door and that Mama and Daddy were going to sit on the sofa uninterrupted for about 15 minutes. Do you see what they were teaching the three boys by example? Of course you need to tweak it for what works in your home. The marriage relationship comes FIRST even when little ones are tired, cranky, and hungry. We MUST nurture our relationship with our spouses so that there is something to hold onto long after the children are grown.
It is important to spend time every day with your spouse if at all possible. Find even 5 minutes if your day is overly full. It's also important to show him how much you care by doing little things. When is the last time you cooked his breakfast or wrote him a love note on a post-it note? When he travels, do you put notes in his bag or call him each evening? How do you show your love in the little ways? I have been trying to be more purposeful about having DH's coffee ready for him in the morning. I don't drink coffee, so he usually brews his own. Lately I have been trying to brew it for him as it saves him a few minutes in getting out the door to work and it's such a simple way to say, "I love you".
I know you're tired. But your man needs affection and so do YOU, even if you don't think you do. Kiss him. Love him. Show him why he should love being married. Break the cycle and make the first move. Be tender with him, and most likely he will show you tenderness in return.
If at all possible, get out of the house with your man. Plan a surprise date night and find a babysitter. If you can't afford a sitter, then trade with friends. You keep their children one night and then they keep you in return. You can also do this by having the wife come to your house & then you go to their house one evening. Date nights do not have to be expensive. You can pack a picnic and go parking! You can spend an evening at the library or a favorite book store. You can spend a Saturday afternoon going to Open Houses. If there are things you enjoy doing together, then cultivate them! I also cannot recommend enough having at least one weekend a year away with your spouse. I am the first to dread and fear leaving my children. I've even spent a weekend in Martha's Vineyard with high anxiety over our five little ones. I have learned that they WILL survive. They actually will flourish knowing that Mama and Daddy love one another that they WANT to be alone together for a weekend date. It ultimately gives the children more security when they know their parents are still in love. So, how will you celebrate this Valentine's Day? How will you show your spouse love on the ordinary days?