With Valentines’ Day around the corner, store aisles tempt us with pink greeting cards and heart-shaped chocolates. But are those the only gifts we should give our sweethearts this time of year? Of course not! Consider blessing your spouse with these five priceless gifts that cost you nothing but humility and love.
Prayer—Do you pray regularly for your spouse? This month, keep a journal of your prayers for your husband or wife. Make note of your requests and, where possible, God’s answers to your prayers. Then give the journal to your spouse as a lasting reminder that you are entrusting your relationship to God.
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)
Forgiveness—If you’ve been holding a grudge or grievance, will you let it go today? Ask God to help you give your heartache to Him, and don’t take it back. Pray daily for the Lord to free you from the trap of unforgiveness. Then see how that might open new doors to growing and healing your marriage—and in your relationship with the Lord.
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:13)
Encouragement—When was the last time you built up your spouse with your words? Write a list of traits you respect or admire about him/her and tuck it into that pink greeting card. Thank your husband for playing a board game with the kids. Tell your wife she makes a fantastic casserole. Text a random “I’m proud of you” or “I’m so glad I married you” and allow such encouragement to become a habit in your relationship.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29)
Acceptance—Are you expecting your spouse to be someone he’s not? Holding our spouses to high standards is healthy; constantly criticizing or expressing disappointment when they don’t meet those standards only leads to heartache. This Valentine’s Day, perhaps the greatest gift you can give is freedom—for your spouse to be fully who they are. And for you to embrace that person just as God created him.
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” (Romans 15:7)
Time—Spend intentional time together, truly focusing on one another’s interests and needs. Or give your spouse time alone, away from the pressures of parenting and work. However you choose to spend it, time is the one thing we all have in equal amounts. So share yours wisely. Your marriage—and your family—will be stronger because of it.
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)
This post originally appeared on For The Family and was republished with permission.
Becky Kopitzke is the author of “The SuperMom Myth: Conquering the Dirty Villains of Motherhood” (Shiloh Run Press) and the upcoming “Love Forward: Discover the Joy of Living Generously” (Bethany House, April 2018). Becky lives in lovely northeast Wisconsin with her husband and their two daughters, where her home office is overrun with bouncy balls and tween craft supplies. For weekly, keeping-it-real encouragement, visit Becky at beckykopitzke.com.