Each month I write an article for a local magazine, Up In Cumming, and I enjoy sharing it with you guys, too. This month the magazine focuses on love and marriage. Fitting since Valentines’s is just days away. Check it out.
February is the month of love. The Greeting Card section of every store is full of romance, and many of us are hoping for some sweet surprise on the 14th. We’ll spend money on frivolous gifts – stuffed animals, candy, restaurants – all in the name of love. I’ll get caught up in the fun, too, but I wonder if we are really showing love? We’re putting on a good show – pretty boxes with ribbons and cards with sweet sentiments – but, if our actions don’t back up our gifts, we aren’t showing real love. Real love goes beyond candy boxes and teddy bears. Real love displays itself in daily life. Let me explain.
Have you ever stopped to think about what your husband faces in a typical day? No matter what his job is, he deals with demands, pressures, and probably a competitive drive that pushes him to constantly be better, do more, or measure up to some standard. In the midst of those demands and pressures from his career, he might even deal with pressures he places on himself to provide for his family, to be the dad he ought to be, or to keep his wife happy. I know sometimes our husbands seem like their minds are a million miles away, but I assure you these concerns weigh heavily on their hearts.
What about you, men? Did you know that your wife faces similar burdens?
She constantly tries to be all things to all people – an admirable, albeit impossible goal. She longs to be a wonderful mother, but privately deals with guilt when she feels she’s blown it. She feels pressure to say yes to everyone in her life and will exhaust herself trying to help others. She wants to be a team player and offer her best, even as she faces the unspoken fear that she’ll be taken for granted. Husbands, your wives want to be loved for all they do. I assure you that love is the grand prize they are seeking.
With goals and demands weighing heavily on both sides of the gender gap, it’s fair to assume that we could all use some encouragement….some recognition….some love. How could we partner together to help one another?
In Scripture, Jesus taught that we should treat others the way we want to be treated. So, if encouragement and love would build you up, what would it do for your spouse?
More than anyone else, our spouses need to hear us say things like, “I’m with you no matter what” or “I know you the best, and I love you the most.” They need us to keep them focused on living out God’s purpose for their lives, not on the voice of the naysayers. Our encouragement means more to them than a thousand pats on the back by well-meaning friends. We have a voice of power in our spouses’ lives. Let’s leverage that voice to build them up!
How could you encourage your spouse today? Could you write a love letter? Could you tell him how much he impresses you? Could you thank her for all she does to provide for your family? Could you plan a celebration for one of her accomplishments? Could you compliment him in front of others? The ideas are endless.
During this month when we so visibly celebrate love, seize the opportunity to tell your sweetie just how wonderful they really are. After all, our lives shouldn’t be about us – about what we can get or what we want. Ultimately, our lives should be about what we can give – the love we can share – and the influence we have over the people closest to us. That’s real love.