Men, part of the calling of manhood is learning how to treat the woman you love. Let me let you in on a little secret. Today is Valentine's Day. In honor of the day, I have created a little guide to help you love your wife well this year. It is important to make the most of days like today, even if you think Valentine's Day is stupid (frankly, it's not much different than the Super Bowl). Regardless on how you feel about the commercialize day, it is a chance to show your wife what she means to you, and to elevate her as the prize she is.
Express love verbally. As men we often allow ourselves to be far too quiet in life. We give reasons like, "I'm just not a talker." Yet if it's sports or hunting or our hobby of choice, we can talk all day. Men, take time this year to express your love for your wife verbally. This means actually saying something. Tell her how you feel about her out loud or at least in written form on a card. You will likely need to think this through before you open your mouth. Bring notes if you need to, but express it verbally! By the way, the most important words in a marriage are not "I love you;" they are "thank you."
Express love physically. Ok guys, physically does not ONLY mean sex. If it did, there would be no issue here. Expressing love physically also means holding her, sitting next to her and simply being present. It is important on special days like today (her birthday, Mother's day, etc) to protect your schedule to spend time to physically be with your wife. It is also important to express love sexually but not as the only physical expression. You wife may enjoy holding hands or taking a walk together or a drive around town to talk (see #1). Or sit next to her on the couch and run your fingers through her hair (easy on the tangles!)
Express love sacrificially. Men, I can say with reasonable confidence that your wife sacrifices often for your good and the good of your home. Use moments like these to love her through sacrifice. Come home early and relieve her of "kid duty." Dust off the "honey-do" list and complete some overdue projects you've been avoiding. Let her know you will make dinner and maybe do some laundry...if she will let you. Show her how much you appreciate her by serving her sacrificially.
Express love generously. Everyone woman loves a gift. Gifts communicate value and care. They can be a token of love and a statement that says, "I've been paying attention to your WANTS." You do not have to spend a fortune, it is the thought that counts...unless you gave it very little thought, then it doesn't count. We need to learn to be generous in the giving of gifts, time and attention. Sometimes the latter two are valued more than the first.
Express love vicariously. To the dads...if you have a son, or in my case four sons, you have a big responsibility to train those boys how to love a woman well. While your boys are in the house, you should love your wife vicariously through your sons by training them to love their mother well. This will help develop the skills necessary for when they decide to love a special young lady one day. Boys learn early to forget about mom. Your job is to make sure they don't. Doing this will be an act of love to your wife and honestly to your future daughter-in-law.
Express love regularly. One of the dangers of Valentine's Day is the tendency we men have to love well today and forget the other 364 days of the year. If you have not loved well this year, you cannot make it up on one romantic evening of dinner, wine and roses. Love, especially in marriage, is an every day calling. We must choose it whether we feel like it or not. We must honor our wives by loving her so well that Valentine's Day is the icing on the cake. If you aren't there yet, start today. Confess to her that you have not loved her well and that things will begin to change starting today.
I hope this helps. I hope you have a great Valentine's Day today or whatever day you choose to celebrate it. If you need further inspiration, please check out the series I taught in October of 2011 entitled, "A Ridiculous Idea Called Marriage."
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