In order to make your spouse truly shine, all you have to do is say, “I do.”
It’s been nearly 20 years since we said those words to each other under a bright blue Texas sky, in a white gazebo with winds whipping at 25 mph. Those words carried so much weight. They started a dream and offered hope. They revealed a covenant. Yet, as a young bride, I didn’t realize the power they held.
As the holiday celebrating love quickly approaches, I am left to wonder… Do I live a devoted wife life? Do I demonstrate that “I do” and take my dear husband for better or worse? Richer or poorer? In sickness and health? Do I love and cherish him? In other words, do I put myself (and others) aside and make him shine?
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 (ESV)
This Bible verse is commonly read while a couple looks blissfully into each other’s eyes, feeling nothing but love and adoration. At that moment, it seems easy enough to live out. But what about those times when our love becomes a little jaded and all we see is an endless list of obligations? When our “I do” becomes an “I don’t” and responses sound more like, I don’t have the energy. I don’t have the time. I don’t want to think about it.
What do we do when love doesn’t seem so patient and kind?
Maybe the pressure to do something special for your husband this Valentine’s Day feels more like adding one more thing to your list, leaving you groaning: “But I don’t really want to.” February 14th may be circled on your calendar, but it surely isn’t hearted.
This time last year, I was rushing around bringing snacks to schools, buying teacher gifts, and planning lunch dates. Everybody needed to feel loved, and I felt compelled to let them know it. I volunteered at the parties and cut out the hearts. I handed out chocolates to family members, and to give myself a little love, ordered takeout so I didn’t have to cook.
Valentine’s Day. Done.
But as I was busy making everyone else feel loved, I turned around to notice this man standing in the middle of the kitchen, wondering if his wife had any love left for him. Oh, my heart dropped.
Friend, if you find yourself stressing about a date on the calendar, wondering if you can squeeze everyone in to feel loved, then turn to the One Who holds all the answers. The One who is love.
God’s Word always offers us hope and gives us examples of how to live out love. And if you’ve forgotten how to make your “other half’ shine, here is what God says about your marriage:
Husbands and wives are to submit to one another (Eph. 5:21). Wives are to submit to their husband as leader and head of the household (Eph. 5:22). Our husbands are called to be leaders by putting their own needs aside, willing to give themselves up for their family, as Christ did for the church. When we recognize that God created our husbands to be leaders, it opens our eyes to see the huge responsibility they take on for us. They carry a huge weight and often just need a gentle reminder that we recognize the amazing man they were called to be. As wives, we can do that by helping them shine. We put a loving spotlight on them when we let them lead. We help them grow when we say “I do” to their role as the head of the household.
When we say “I do,” we honor the gift God gave us in marriage.
God, in His infinite love, reminds us that He created us to live peacefully with one another (John 14:27) and that marriage is a gift, bound by a cord of three (Ecclesiastes 4:12). When we said those two precious words, it created a covenant “under God.” We took an oath and made a promise to our husbands, and ultimately to our God. We pledged to be devoted wives. We took a solemn vow to have and hold from that day forward by giving ourselves to that man at the altar. We did so under God’s provision. So, by honoring our husbands, we honor God.
The best part is that God wants your marriage to prosper. God has a purpose for you and your husband – a plan He created just for you two, as one. Matthew 19:6 states that two become one flesh, and therefore what God has joined together, no one should separate.
As love fills the air, maybe it’s the perfect opportunity to say “I do” all over again. Better yet, it’s the perfect time to add a little red heart to that calendar instead of filling it with lots of other obligations. Say “yes” to being his bride all over again. Say “yes” to making time to show him a little love and letting him shine!
Put the spotlight on your husband this year!
Here are 5 ways you can put your hubby first, make him shine bright, and let him know that without a doubt you “still do!”:
Pray for him. Pray for him while he is at work. Pray for him in front of your children. Pray for him by taking his hand in your own, letting him know you “still do” adore him and honor him. If he has a specific prayer, allow him to open up his heart, and listen.
Give him love and affection. Whether you’re at home giving him a hug and kiss to gross out the kids, or you’re out in public holding hands, make it a pattern to give your man physical affection. Talk highly of him around others, too, especially if he is within earshot. Exchange flirty glances across the room and flash that smile he fell in love with. Yes, you can still do this after you’ve been married for nearly 20 years!
Have fun. Plan a date night where you can cut loose and just have fun. Can’t think of anything to do? Recreate a favorite date from before you were married. Be sure to laugh; laughter is key.
Dream big. Talk about where you see yourselves as a couple in five, ten, twenty years. Is there something on both of your hearts? Pray together and ask God to reveal how to live out a dream you both really desire.
Offer small acts of kindness. A simple hug when he walks through the door. A sticky note in his lunch. Making his favorite dinner. Telling him why you love him. Bringing him coffee. Watching his favorite show with him. These are small but easy ways to show your husband you care.
Valentine’s Day may be filled with warm embraces, giggles of glee, and cards of adoration, but it means nothing if we don’t allow room for the love found in Jesus to flow through us. We must open our hearts and love others the way He does. Love will then become something we want to do, share, and give. This Valentine’s Day while you’re out loving on others, be sure to carve out special time for the gift God gave you in marriage. The man you took a vow with under God. Say “I do” to making him feel special. Say “I do” to making him feel your love, and place the spotlight on him this year.
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Kieferpix
Alicia Searl is a devotional author, blogger, and speaker that is passionate about pouring out her heart and pointing ladies of all ages back to Jesus. She has an education background and master’s in literacy. Her favorite people call her Mom, which is why much of her time is spent cheering them on at a softball game or dance class. She is married to her heartthrob (a tall, spiky-haired blond) who can whip up a mean latte. She sips that goodness while writing her heart on a page while her puppy licks her feet. Visit her website at aliciasearl.com and connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.