Ephesians 5:33 (NIV) However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
A few days ago I was at the grocery store. As I stood browsing through the buy one get one free bins, I noticed a man meticulously going through every flower in the flower section. He touched the bulbs and lifted the vases to smell the floral scents. I found myself looking up at him a time or two just fascinated with how much he paid attention to detail. We made eye contact and smiled respectfully at one another. He said, "I’m looking for the best flowers for my wife." To which I replied, "That’s so nice. I’m sure she will appreciate them." I began to wonder if she might be sick. As if he heard my thoughts he said, "I enjoy buying fresh flowers for her a few times a month and she doesn’t seem to mind that they are from Publix. I enjoy this simple way I can show my love for her and how much she means to me." I knew in that moment, I’m talking to a man who understands how to love his wife as Christ loves the church. After I told him how I thought he should receive one of the husband of the year awards (after my hubby of course), I then said, "You sure do love your wife as Christ loves the church." He smiled and replied, "And since you could sense that, you must also have a husband who loves you as Christ loves the church." To which I replied graciously and with tears in my eyes, "Yes, I do and I thank God for him."
We began to speak with compassion about hurting married couples. I discovered that he and his wife pray for others as my husband and I do. That’s so important. I often share with people that whatever area of your life you are fortunate in, continue to pray covering over that area and never forget to pause and pray for others who are hurting and who need a touch from God in that same area. Prayer is an incredible way to bless others. We should never take our blessings or the ability to bless others for granted.
Later that evening the phone rang. It was hubby telling me he was heading home, a call I’ve received for 22 years no matter where I was or what I was doing. A call I grew to rely on and pray to always receive. As we chatted a moment he paused and said, "You know I was thinking about you and just how much I love you and I wondered if you had any more of your honey because I would go to Whole Foods now on the way home to get it for you so you don’t run out." Now, let me pause here and say I have to use Manuka Honey +16 for a situation I deal with. I use it often and it’s unfortunately expensive, and Whole Foods is out of the way for his car ride home. I shared all of that to say, that’s a simple way to show his abundant love for me just as that man said at the grocery store, and as far as I’m concerned it’s the simple love that is so beautiful. It counts.
It’s that simple love that is most enduring. It’s a love that says I’m with you for the long haul. I still need you and desire to make you happy. I want you to know that I care and I’m here for you. Never understand the simple love your spouse shows to you.
All too often I see and hear women talk about all the fancy and extravagant things their husband never does for them but I encourage you to look for the simple love–the ways he is showing you how much you mean to him. When I get in my car and the gas tank is full, that’s a simple and beautiful love hubby displays because I normally get my gas and I don’t mind doing it; I appreciate the times when he surprises me in that and many other ways. And ladies, just as our husband’s love on us with simple beautiful love, we must do the same willingly and eagerly. I enjoy showing that simple beautiful love to my hubby as well.
When a husband and wife think about each other and put the others needs first that makes for a blessed and fulfilling marriage covenant.
Here are some tips for men and women on showing that simple beautiful love to your spouse:
1. Don’t wait for birthdays, Valentine’s Day and other special occasions to give those gifts of love. A loving greeting card on a regular day to say, this is just because I’m thinking of you and love you is sweet! Find other ways to love on each other daily and often.
2. Do something for your spouse that he or she normally does for themselves and do it without telling them. They’ll be surprised and smile when they find out.
3. Speak lovingly about your spouse in front of him or her. Don’t save all the kind things you say until they are out of ear shot. Be respectful and use wisdom in what you say and to whom you say it, but do say encouraging things.
4. Leave Scriptures to edify them in Christ in their car, briefcase or pocketbook with a little note: I love you and I'm praying for you.
5. At the end of a long day, greet your spouse with not just a hug but make eye contact and smile and tell your spouse how thankful you are you can come home to each other at the end of each day.
Look for those simple beautiful ways to say, I love you. It counts. Praying with you on our marriage journey's of love.