Posts Tagged ‘Love’

Small ways to show your spouse some love – 2

Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her: Proverbs 31:28 (NKJV)


Ann Malmberg[i] suggests ten small ways to tell your spouse you love them.

  1. When you know they have a big day ahead, like a job interview or a big project at work, get up early so you can surprise them with their favorite breakfast; it can help them get a jump start their day. You could also make sure their clothes are ready, clean, iron, folded, and ready to wear (maybe even clean and polish their shoes).
  2. Praise them in front of others. When you tell your spouse how much you appreciate them or what you like about them, you are validating them. Validation means to give them the proper value.  You can do this daily, and often, but it is even more encouraging when you do it in front of others.  It lets others, and your spouse, know how proud you are of him/her, and how much you love them.
  3. Whether you are going to the store or the refrigerator, ask if you can get them anything. When you do so, you are not only being courteous but also unselfish and very thoughtful.
  4. Ask about the details of their day…and listen to their reply! Whether we had a good or a bad day, sometimes we’d like to, or need to, tell someone who cares. But sometimes we need to be encouraged to share.  When you ask, you show interest in their life.
  5. Wink/smile at each other from across the room at a social gathering. It is a very romantic way of connecting.
  6. Whether you or your partner get home first, greet them as if you haven’t seen them in weeks. Don’t take each other for granted but instead make your spouse feel that you have missed them all day. They will anticipate returning home next time.
  7. Move that special event he/she has been wanting to attend to the top of your list. Sometimes we get so busy with life that we allow every other thing at the top of the list of priorities and our spouses’ wishes at the bottom. Reverse that order, at least occasionally.


Father God, sometimes reviving our relationship only requires a few small changes; help me to be the one to begin making those changes.

[i] https://blog.prepare-enrich.com/2015/10/10-small-ways-to-show-your-partner-some-love/


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Small ways to show your spouse some love – 1

She does him good and not evil All the days of her life. Proverbs 31:12 (NKJV)


We have talked about how valuable in a relationship are simple words like “I love you,” or “thank you.”  You don’t have to receive any special training or spend vast amounts of money to say those words.  In addition to telling your spouse that you love them, you should show them, which does not involve grand, sweeping gestures, surprise vacations, or an aerial banner proclaiming your love.  Ann Malmberg[i] suggests ten small ways to say, “you mean the world to me, and I’m glad you’re in my life.”

  1. Leave random notes in places you know they’ll find them, with a simple message like, “You’re my favorite person,” or “Thank you for always being able to make me laugh.” You get a few bonus points for drawing a funny little picture. You can place that note in their lunch, on a post-it note left on the steering wheel of their car, on top of their pillow (add a couple of chocolates for an even bigger effect), on the bathroom mirror.  I remember the time I surprised my wife in the morning by writing on the toilet paper, with bright red markers, “I love you,” and drew hearts of various sizes…she saved it.  (smile)
  2. Cook or order in their favorite meal after they’ve had a long or difficult day. If you know what they like to eat, and you can cook it, put your culinary skills to good use on those special days when they need some extra love and encouragement. Even if you can’t cook, ordering from their favorite restaurant, so they don’t have to cook, or so they will enjoy something they like, can be a very special treat.
  3. If they always do a chore on a certain day or specific time, beat them to it. When couples share equally on the household responsibilities, it tends to strengthen their relationship and to lessen the burden on either one. But there may be some things that one does more often than the other.  When you do the things your spouse does most often, you’re showing them that you notice what they do and want to take it off their plate this time so they can enjoy a break for a change.


Father God, help me to show my spouse how much I love them.

[i] https://blog.prepare-enrich.com/2015/10/10-small-ways-to-show-your-partner-some-love/

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But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, Galatians 5:22 (NKJV)


Yesterday we shared the first part of the three-minute exercise that Leslie Becker-Phelps[i], who writes for WebMD, says will help us have a closer relationship with our spouse.  Today we continue with the rest of this short, simple, but valuable tool:

  • When the timer sounds, close your eyes and sit quietly for a moment. And again, briefly share thoughts with each other.
  • Close your eyes again. This time, you don’t need to use a timer (though you can if you want).
  • Imagine one thing you said you love, and be aware of the loving feeling you experience. Then allow the image to drop away so that you are left solely with the loving feeling. (As you move through your day and notice things you truly appreciate, you might choose to reconnect with the deep sense of love.) When you are done, open your eyes.
  • Briefly bring back to mind the things they’ve said they love. These offer a window into who they are deep inside. With this awareness, take a moment to feel loving toward the person across from you.

As Becker-Phelps explains about this exercise, “It can feel uncomfortable to consciously go there because love opens people to feeling vulnerable. But consider this: The exercise offers a way for you to get to know yourself and someone else in an emotionally connected and deeply satisfying way.”

From someone whose love for her husband was strong come these words, “Without mutual forbearance and love no earthly power can hold you and your husband in the bonds of Christian unity. Your companionship in the marriage relation should be close and tender, holy and elevated, breathing a spiritual power into your lives, that you may be everything to each other that God’s word requires. When you reach the condition that the Lord desires you to reach, you will find heaven below and God in your life.”[ii]

Father, may our marriage be the heaven below you desire for us.

[i] http://blogs.webmd.com/art-of-relationships/2015/10/get-closer-with-this-simple-exercise.html?ecd=wnl_sxr_101015&ctr=wnl-sxr-101015_nsl-promo-3_title&mb=K2VcbkxhrhREAZ5zC2UpheHnVev1imbCHYS8QQY8uqo%3d

[ii] White, E.G.  The Adventist Home, p.112

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And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:3 (NKJV)

If we would come across an exercise program that would tell us that in only three minutes a day we could remain in good health, and shape, we would probably be excited and eager to do it.  Well. Leslie Becker-Phelps[i], who writes for WebMD says that we can have get closer in our relationship with our spouse and learn more about them with a simple three-minute exercise.  It can help you get in touch with what is important to you, as well as to learn what’s important to the other person.

While the exercise itself doesn’t take a long time, it would be best if you do it when you can be together without time pressures. Begin by relaxing with each other for a while.  Don’t feel like you have to push through the exercise so you can get onto your next task.  Once you’re ready, here’s the exercise, as described by Becker-Phelps:

  • Sit in chairs facing each other so that you can make eye contact through the exercise.
  • Set a timer for 3 minutes. (You can set it for 5 minutes if you are really ambitious)
  • One of you will say, “Tell me what you love.”
  • The other person will share their response. (Allow the response to emerge from within you rather than searching for an answer. It might help for you to repeat the request to yourself.)
  • Then start over again – in the same roles – with the first person asking, “Tell me what you love” and the other person answering. Repeat this until the timer sounds.
  • Close your eyes and sit quietly together for a moment.
  • Briefly share thoughts with each other about this experience.
  • Reset the timer and do the exercise with your roles switched.

We will continue with the rest of the exercise tomorrow, so you have time to rehearse these instructions and prepare for the rest.

Father God, help us to achieve and maintain the closeness we need.

[i] http://blogs.webmd.com/art-of-relationships/2015/10/get-closer-with-this-simple-exercise.html?ecd=wnl_sxr_101015&ctr=wnl-sxr-101015_nsl-promo-3_title&mb=K2VcbkxhrhREAZ5zC2UpheHnVev1imbCHYS8QQY8uqo%3d

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Come, let us take our fill of love until morning; Let us delight ourselves with love. Proverbs 7:18 (NKJV)


Shelby Marra,[i] writing for TODAY, shares Dr. Suzanne Gelb’s top tips on how people, particularly women, can become and remain high achievers, particularly in three aspects of their life.  Today: Romance:

  1. Define what a healthy relationship is and recognize if you are ready to be in one. Gelb says that a healthy relationship begins with “two individuals who are whole within themselves rather than filled with emotional holes.” What this means is that many people get in trouble when they need another person to fill emotional voids within them.  However, this isn’t the relationship’s responsibility.  What you need to do is to take care of yourself, love yourself, instead of looking to your partner to fill a need for love that you need to give to yourself.
  2. In order to respect your partner, you must first respect yourself. This means having high standard for what you’re willing to accept or not in terms of a relationship. It also means respecting our differences so that we can tolerate and complement each other.
  3. Take care of your mind, body and soul. When you take care of yourself in all facets of life you allow yourself to bring your best self to the relationship. Daily exercise, good nutrition, breathing techniques, appropriate rest, etc., are important as well as your personal devotional and prayer life. At the same time, don’t neglect your emotional health by monitoring your emotions and being comfortable letting out your frustrations with yourself rather than with your partner.
  4. Make humor a daily part of your relationship. Marra reminds you, “Don’t take yourself too seriously, learn to laugh at yourself and try to find the humor in all situations. Laughing with your partner allows you to let go for a little and enjoy each other’s company. Crack a joke and relish in the moment with the one you love!”

Father God, help me to enjoy a good romantic relationship by being healthy in every aspect of my life.  And help me to laugh more, at myself, and at all the fun things in life.

[i] http://www.today.com/health/how-become-high-achieving-woman-work-your-relationship-parent-t33071?cid=eml_tes_20150718

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You shall not commit adultery. Deuteronomy 5:18 (NKJV)

We continue with the ten questions that German philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm might suggest dating couples would do well to consider before getting married. [i]

  1. What is your stance on infidelity? Consider how you would manage this. Better yet, help strengthen your relationship so infidelity will never happen. One way to strengthen your relationship is by teaming together in the household duties.  “A good wife, who is supposed to be a friend, assistant, mother, family head and housekeeper, and may indeed have to run her own business or job quite apart from her husband – such a wife cannot at the same time be a concubine: it would be too much to demand of her.”  Human, All Too Human

Ellen White wrote to a woman whose husband had committed adultery: “My sister, you cannot please God by maintaining your present attitude. Forgive your husband. He is your husband, and you will be blessed in striving to be a dutiful, affectionate wife. Let the law of kindness be on your lips. You can and must change your attitude.

You must both study how you can assimilate, instead of differing, with one another. . . . The use of mild, gentle methods will make a surprising difference in your lives.”[ii]

Perhaps it is good to remember that while the Bible says adultery is a something God accepts as a reason for someone to seek divorce, it does not mean that they must seek a divorce.  God leaves room for forgiveness and reconciliation.

  1. Are you really willing to stay together until death do you part? Commit to keeping your vows for a lifetime. “We love each other; let us see to it that we keep loving each other! Or did we promise by mistake?”  Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Ellen White compares marriage to a school: “To gain a proper understanding of the marriage relation is the work of a lifetime. Those who marry enter a school from which they are never in this life to be graduated.”[iii]  Marriage cannot simply be a temporary decision but a lifetime commitment.

Father God, seal and strengthen our commitment to each other.

[i] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/skye-cleary/10-essential-questions-to_b_7699300.html

[ii] Ibid., p.345

[iii] Ibid., p. 105

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Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. Matthew 2:21 (NKJV)

Philosopher and author of ‘Existentialism and Romantic Love’, Skye Cleary,[i] suggests that German philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm would recommend couples who are in a serious relationship should consider ten questions before they commit to being married.  Here are two more of those ten questions:

  1. Are you OK with a long engagement? Don’t rush into marriage. . . take time to get to know each other. One to two years should be a minimum. “Give us a trial period and a small marriage, so that we can see whether we are fit for a big marriage! It is a big thing always to be in twos! – Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Ellen White wrote, “Every marriage engagement should be carefully considered, for marriage is a step taken for life. Both the man and the woman should carefully consider whether they can cleave to each other through the vicissitudes of life as long as they both shall live.”[ii]

Long distance relationships, or short courtship periods, don’t really allow the individuals how a person would behave, act, or respond under a variety of circumstances.  How do they relate to their family?  How responsible are they?  What is their character like?

  1. Will you have children? Do you want to have children? When? How many? “You should not only reproduce, but surproduce! May the garden of marriage help you to that!”  Thus Spoke Zarathustra

To this, Ellen White adds: “Before increasing their family, they should take into consideration whether God would be glorified or dishonored by their bringing children into the world. They should seek to glorify God by their union from the first, and during every year of their married life.”[iii]

Some couples don’t understand the added pressure on marriage that children bring.  In fact, some couple who are facing challenges think that the addition of children will be the solution to their problems when in reality they may add to their challenges.

Father God, help us to consider these issues carefully and prayerfully.

[i] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/skye-cleary/10-essential-questions-to_b_7699300.html

[ii] White, E.G. The Adventist Home, p.340

[iii] Ibid., p.162

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