How many ads for chocolate, flowers, jewelers and restaurants have you seen or heard during the few weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day? Some of us would do well to invest in those items and opportunities to help demonstrate love to our wives.
But along with the marketing for Valentine’s Day, there are some very worthwhile initiatives utilizing the holiday to try to make a difference among married couples and help turn our culture’s focus back to committed marriages.
Two examples are National Marriage Week (Feb. 7-14) and Love Is Here. Both provide ideas, tools and motivation to help husbands and wives. And to their credit, both groups make prominent mention of the importance of healthy marriages to children. One mission statement reads: “To foster healthy, lasting marriages so more kids can receive the documented benefits from being raised by both their mother and father in a healthy-marriage home.”
Recent studies have focused on the relationship between economics and marriage. See the news releases about this — one from a national perspective and one focused on how individual families are affected.
Each of us should remember: “The best thing a dad can do for his kids is to love their mother.” For a married dad, being a loving, committed husband is closely connected to your success as a father. As a husband, you do receive many valuable benefits from a strong marriage, but in the end, it isn’t about you. If the activities of Valentine’s Day rate a “10” on the romance scale and bring you closer to your wife emotionally, that’s valuable. You both need those times; it’s important to schedule them more often. But also recognize that love is more about commitment and determination than feelings.
Everyday life consists of routines and schedules and difficulties, and that’s when your love for your wife is tested and refined. Often, you demonstrate love through your actions even when “love” is the last thing you feel at the moment. It’s doing dishes and helping with laundry and cleaning. It’s letting her sleep during the baby’s night feeding or volunteering to drive the kids to their practices and lessons so she can get caught up on her to-do list. It’s going out of your way to serve her and make her life a little bit easier.
Love means doing those things even if your feelings aren’t in it — and trusting that the feelings will likely follow. Maybe the best Valentine’s Day gift to your wife would be your renewed commitment to that everyday love-in-action.
- Schedule a regular time to just sit with your wife and catch up on life — and guard that time fiercely. (It will also be a good example to your children.)
- Write a handwritten note telling her how much you cherish her. (And don’t use “You complete me” or other lines from movies or TV commercials.)
- Start keeping a list of your wife’s favorites, interests and preferences — about all kinds of things. Update it frequently and refer to it often as you seek to show her love.
- Reminisce with your wife about your three best memories together before you were married. Here are over 500 more thought-provoking questions.
- Start sending your wife “love texts” or emails at various times during the day. But don’t let them replace regular phone calls.
More Helps for Your Marriage
From National Marriage Week: research, classes and seminars, and resources for churches.
– 1001 Things Happy Couples Know About Marriage by Harry H. Harrison Jr.
– 52 Fantastic Dates for You and Your Mate by David & Claudia Arp
– Becoming Your Spouse’s Better Half: Why Differences Make a Marriage Great by Rick Johnson
– We’re Finally Alone: Now What Do We Do? by Greg Johnson