Do you need to do more than just show up on those special days? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
I did an interview with Chris Tilling recently that unfortunately due to malfunctions with recording equipment didn’t record, but I remember one thing distinctly. Tilling has a claim about the NT that if we look at the Pauline epistles, we can see a high Christology that puts Jesus on a divine level showing up consistently. I made an analogy that he liked that this approach works better because with most approaches, you go through and see a key verse and then pop that out and then there’s nothing for awhile. It’s like a husband who thinks he’s a romantic husband because he does something on her birthday, Valentine’s Day, and their anniversary.
So that’s something I’d like to talk to you about today. One important aspect I’ve found in marriage is that proper affection must be something consistent. There’s an old joke that if a wife wants to get a loving husband, she should marry a nerd, because nerds are not expecting to get anyone and when they get someone, they will want to continuously show how happy and appreciative they are. It’s certainly true in my case and by all standards, I am a nerd.
Now granted as you know, we don’t have much money, but when we do have something come in, I do try to do something. I am involved with a number of programs to help me get Amazon gift cards for free. Of course I want to get myself some books, but usually, I wind up getting something for the Princess.
You see, Allie’s love language is gifts and when we’re out in public and I hear her say something about something she’d like to have and I don’t think it’d be bad for her, I make a mental note of it. She can be absolutely stunned when that random item she pointed to at Wal-Mart arrives in the mail about a week or so later. I also try when I go by a crane game at a grocery store to win her a prize if I have a couple of quarters in my pocket. It might be small, but if I win, she’s happy. If I don’t, she at least knows that I tried.
It’s also important that whatever you do, it be something that really speaks love to your wife. Gifts is by far the highest for Allie. I could do acts of service all day long and it just wouldn’t really register as much. It’d be nice and appreciated, but it’s not really what gets her to feel the most love and affection. Affection must be something that the other person appreciates or else it’s just something nice and if they don’t appreciate it, it’s just annoyance.
Usually, men are much easier to do this with. Last Valentine’s Day, I made the remark to Allie that when you look at stores, all you see are pretty much gifts for the women. You don’t see them for the men. She responded with what I already knew. They don’t sell gifts for the men because the men want the same thing.
Valentine’s Day? Celebrate with sex.
Labor Day? Sex.
Arbor Day? Sex.
You get the idea.
Of course, men do have other things that they like and appreciate so if you’re not married, you can still do something for the man in your life. It could be you might show a little bit extra physical affection that day. A great step would be for you two to go through the love languages together and learn how to speak the language of the other person.
The important step to emphasize today is that this should be something regular in your marriage. You don’t need to wait for a special day. Do you really think you’re a loving spouse if you do something loving on a day where you’re expected to do something loving? By all means do something special on the days meant to celebrate the other person specifically, but don’t do it on just those days. The facet that is special is not so much the day but the person, and that person is special 24/7.
“Well my spouse isn’t doing all the things that I want.” Yeah. I get that. You know what? That’s their problem. Is your idea going to be “I’m going to do the same back!”? Be the better person. Be the one who does what you’re supposed to do regardless because you don’t do the right thing just because of the benefits you get. You do it just because it’s the right thing to do. Maybe your spouse will change in response to what you do. Maybe not. Either way, when you stand before God, you will have done the right thing.
If you had a garden, it would not survive if you only tended it on special days. Your spouse is your garden. Make sure you tend to them and keep them going well so that they can bloom the best they can. If they don’t, at least you have done your part.