Valentines day and the celebrations around it has led many to believe that a unique (or cliché) expression of love in a bottle of wine, expensive getaway, flowers, chocolate etc. The more unique, the better, and the more you can brag. Most interesting is the school of thought that once the gifts have been spread for her, her legs will open up faster than the google home page. On the other hand, some have taken to labelling 14th Feb as International Singles Awareness Day.

My wife and I are coming up on our 11th Valentine together. I remember one of the earlier valentines we had together we trudged the whole CBD looking for a coffee shop no matter how small. it was all about the day, the flower, the red balloons etc. Slowly things changed to being about the time we spent together and how often. I grabbed this off a post I read the other day and thought to share with you.

Daniel and Debbie fell deeply in love and married eight years ago. About five years later, however, they found themselves drifting apart. Their hectic schedules and the responsibilities of raising a family had stolen the joy from their relationship. Equally disturbing was the fact that their two young children were becoming increasingly irritable and anxious.

Both parents realized that a change was needed. They committed to each other that they would go on a “date” together every Sunday, even if it was something as simple as relaxing over a cup of coffee at the mall. Gradually, those weekly dates made a difference. Daniel and Debbie began to talk, to enjoy each other again, and to spend more moments together in the Word and in prayer. At the same time, the attitude of their children improved dramatically.

Granting love and attention to your kids goes a long way toward establishing a stable atmosphere at home. But the best way to foster security in young hearts and minds is to cultivate your relationship with your spouse. When children see, close-up, your ironclad commitment to each other—as well as your unshakable faith in Jesus Christ—they’ll begin to develop a sense of assurance about their own future that is likely to stay with them for the rest of their lives.

From Night Light For Parents, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson

Much like Dr Dobson has mentioned, as kids, we then begin to reflect what we see in our parents. I watched my parents a lot as I grew up, they were the perfect example of keeping it old school but fresh. Dad would bring mum a bouquet of flowers on the oddest days that she wasn’t expecting. He would take mum out on random weeknights and collude with my brother and I to ensure that we can take care of ourselves that night. The only way I knew how to love my wife is to be spontaneous, keep things fresh, keep her elated and actively involved in the marriage. Granted, marriage is not a bed of roses and there are the occasional thorny times, but even in those times I look at my son and I see it in his actions, speech and mannerisms, he has picked up on a thorny moment and he will react accordingly.

As human beings we crave attention. We crave recognition. One day, no matter how rough your partner looks, look them straight in the eye and tell them that you love them (with meaning). On another day, tell them that they look great and land a soft kiss on the cheek.

Keeping each other engaged in the relationship with the mid morning texts, random date nights, and occasional gifts has taught me to think less of myself and think more about her. And similarly for her. We find ourselves consumed with thoughts of our partner and how best we can support them in their dreams, ambitions and desires.

Marriage is ours to work on, don’t give someone else a reason to make your partner happy.

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