Step into any drug store this week and you won’t be able to miss the fact that Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. The aisle filled with candy is beginning to grow crowded. The selection of cards is starting to get picked over. Open the paper or surf the Internet and you’ll see media outlets are beginning to run an assortment of holiday-related articles, from date ideas to odd gifts suggestions (“Name a roach to show your love,” anyone?).
Men, have you ordered the flowers or made reservations?
For many couples, special days like Valentine’s are important. Even those couples who don’t observe it still celebrate anniversaries and birthdays, for example. It’s a good thing to have a day to lavish love on the one we love.
But as important as the big holidays, occasions and milestones are, there’s something to be said about showing love in the day-to-day. After all, relationships are built one day at a time – in the chores, childrearing efforts, and challenges the daily routine brings.
So that begs the question: how good are we at showing our appreciation – of “lavishing love” – in the midst of life’s daily grind?
Unfortunately, many people find it a challenge – and I understand why. It’s not easy to cherish your spouse when your baby leaves you sleep-deprived, or mounting unpaid bills are stressing you out. It’s tempting to think, “When the kids are older, we’ll find time to connect” or “Once I get that raise, I’ll be better at showing her appreciation.”
There are two problems to this approach.
One, there’s always going to be something.
Two, if you don’t take the time to tend to your marriage now, there might not be something to tend later. Couples who aren’t intentional about honoring their marriage and cherishing their spouse are in greater danger of drifting apart.
So I would encourage you: take the time to show your spouse you love her or him. Make the deliberate decision today to treat your wife or husband with kindness.
A little effort can go a long way – and what better time than now to start?
Focus on the Family is here to help with free resources and a myriad of ideas. It’s all part of our February “Honoring Marriage” effort.
Our 2017 resources for couples include Cherishing Your Spouse Cards, to fill out and give to your spouse; Crazy Little Thing Called Marriage Date Ideas, by Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley; and Take the Date Night Challenge book excerpt also by the Smalleys.
We also have free resources to help pastors and lay leaders strengthen the marriages in their church, including Cherishing Your Spouse Sermon Notes, by Pastor Ted Cunningham; Cherishing Your Spouse Cards, to pass out in the congregation; and Building a Thriving Church Marriage Ministry resource, by Dr. Gary J. Oliver and Dr. Greg Smalley.
I hope you’ll take the time to download our free digital resources.
And if you have an extra few minutes, you might want to read how Greg Smalley, who heads Focus’ marriage efforts, fleshes out the concept of cherishing your spouse. Another post that’s worth the read shares how three steps of kindness can help transform your marriage.