We think ANY reason and every day it's possible to celebrate love (in a pure way) is a great idea! Sadly, we don't focus on marital love enough --we often let life slide in between us and forget to laugh together and romance each other (as we did before we got married).
I've heard it said, "Marriage has robbed a lot of couples of their romance." Sadly, it's true! But it doesn't have to be --because each day can usher in a new beginning, when you work together to do so. We challenge you TODAY to look for ways to make your spouse smile and feel better loved by you.
And remember, whenever you give a gift, "Real giving is when we give to our spouses what's important to them, whether we understand it, like it, or not" (Michele Weiner-Davis).
Below are a few ideas you could use for loving our spouse. They're ones that Sheldon Walker gave in an article written a few years back published in The Globe and Mail
This suggestion is for men to create/design a "coupon book that you can print off and staple together. These coupons may be cashed in on demand from your partner." Of course the same idea could work for wives also --with ideas, which would please your husband. (If you need some help, we have a whole topic on our web site devoted to Romantic Ideas --both for men and women.)
But here are Sheldon's suggestions for a coupon book you can put together:
-- One half-hour of active listening about any topic the bearer chooses, with a full guarantee that no advice will be offered.
-- One half-hour discussion about the state of our [marital] union.
-- One half-hour massage of any body part the bearer chooses.
-- One lingering non sexual hug.
-- One bath with pre-lit candles surrounding the tub [and no interruptions].
-- One evening out alone with no home responsibilities.
-- One DVD or Blue Ray rental evening of a romantic movie of your choice.
-- One half-hour talk where the bearer can give you feedback (gently, not with criticism, otherwise the coupon is invalid).
-- One evening out with the bearer having total control over the choice & nature of the activity.
-- One gourmet meal prepared or ordered in by you.
-- One instance where you will answer the question, "What are you thinking about right now?"
-- One instance where you will openly answer the question, "What are you feeling right now?" Answers may not only consist of 'one-word' emotions such as sadness, joy, anger, fear, depression, angst.
-- One stroll or walk holding hands or arm-in-arm.
-- One trip in the car where you will slow down when asked.
-- One evening at home with music and slow dancing.
In closing, we'd like to share something with you sent to us by a friend from Zimbabwe. It's based on 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, which reads: "Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no
record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres." May this be the prayer of your heart:
"Dear Lord, "Because love is patient: Help me to be slow to judge, but quick to listen;
hesitant to criticize, but eager to encourage, remembering your endless patience with me.
"Because love is kind: Help my words to be gentle and my actions to be thoughtful. Remind me to smile and say, 'Please' and 'Thank You' because those little things still mean so much.
"Because love does not envy or boast, and it is not proud: Help me to have a heart that is humble and sees the good in others. May I celebrate and appreciate all that I have and all that I am, as well as doing the same for those around me.
"Because love is not rude or self-seeking: Help me to speak words that are easy on the ear and on the heart. When I'm tempted to get wrapped up in my own little world, remind me there's a great big world out there full of needs and hurts.
"Because love is not easily angered and keeps no records of wrongs: Help me to forgive others as you have forgiven me. When I want to hold on to a grudge, gently help me release it so I can reach out with a hand of love instead.
"Because love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth: Help me to stand up for what is right and good. May I defend the defenseless, and help the helpless. Show me how I can make a difference.
"Because love always protects and always trusts: Help me to be a refuge to those around me When the world outside is harsh and cold, may my heart be a place of acceptance and warmth.
"Finally, because love always perseveres: Help my heart continually to beat with love for You and for my spouse. Amen."
We hope you'll continually pray for each other, keep romancing each other, and never stop showing your love and care, not only on Valentine's Day, but throughout the whole year.
And may your love for the Lord compel you so you reveal and reflect the Love of Christ every day in little and small ways within your marriage.