Ah…Valentine’s Day…the celebration of love…ERRRK!
Put the brakes on! For many, it’s a day of disappointment in a marriage that leaves us wanting. Or it can be just another day within a boring marriage. But Proverbs 5:19 (CSB) says, “Be happy with the wife you married when you were young.” Or you can reverse this: “Be happy with the husband you married when you were young.”
The song from the title above says, ‘Love is just a second-hand emotion,’ but is that true?
What does Valentine’s Day represent to you? Does your Valentine attitude show a problem in your relationship with your spouse? Or does the day of love sound like a fun way to celebrate your relationship?
Many spouses declare that they have fallen out of love: “I don’t love him anymore” or “He doesn’t love me anymore.” What do these statements mean? Does this mean that the stimulating infatuation of new love has dissipated?
Or is it a matter of deep communication that has been lost? Perhaps it is a loss of sexual intimacy. Depending upon your definition, love may or may not have much to do with the status of your marital relationship.
The Bible tells us there is a great advantage given to married couples.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up..”Ecclesiastes 4:9
Marriage counselors, when asked what the foundations of a good marriage are, tend to focus on four or five items. Their advice seems to vary on a specific focus. Look at the following compilation of expert advice and circle what is important to you.
Practical Relationship Builders:
- Good Sense of Humor
- Willingness to Listen
- Similar Set of Beliefs
- Rituals of Connection
Purposeful Team Builders:
- Support for the Other Person’s Role
- Shared Goals
- Shared Values and Symbols
Pertinent Character Qualities:
Powerful Elements of Peace and Trust
- Financial Security
- Physical Security
- Emotional Security
- Moral Security
- Intimacy Security
- Friendship Security
This is quite a list! It is obvious that marriage is a lot of work. In fact, marriage is the #1 character builder in your earthly journey. Spouses would probably agree that these are all important factors in building their marriage. The difference between husband and wife is most often in how these areas are expressed; demonstrative or subtle; unpredictable or comfortable; creative or straightforward.
For example, creative Frank snuck into his wife’s office building and covered her office door with Valentine paper and hearts. Taped on the office walls were more than 50 cute children’s valentines with a few words from Frank on each.
Jenn’s husband always had cold feet, literally. She hated it when he stuck his frozen toes next to her in bed. She bought him a simple, practical gift for Valentine’s Day but had a scavenger hunt around the house with clues as to what and where the present was. When he finally came into the bedroom, Jenn was sitting on the bed with only the socks on! It’s fun to design a gift with an emotional build-up.
Instead of spending money on a gift without meaning, make a Valentine experience, one that is a complete surprise. Have you ever kidnapped your spouse? Fara did. She called her husband’s boss to arrange an extra day off. She secured her in-laws to watch the kids and the dog. She packed their bags, secretly putting them in the car’s trunk. She made an excuse to “travel to work” with her husband and just outside their neighborhood, Fara asked him to get her jacket out of the trunk. There he found a banner that read, “Surprise! You are kidnapped!” with the luggage. He was overwhelmed!
Marriage is multifaced, taking a lifetime of work to even come close to full development. Enduring love comes from pushing forward in any of the 26 areas above. How well are you building your most significant earthly relationship? Song of Solomon 8:7 says: “Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away…”
What’s Love Got to Do With It? – Everything! Have fun practicing!