So it’s the week of Valentine’s day and we are all trying to plan something fun to surprise our loved one. (If you want to see of list of gifts to stay away from, check out my earlier post Worst Valentine’s Day Gifts Ever!) I love this day because it is one of the days in a very busy year that we are all forced to spend time thinking about how much we love our spouse. But how sad is that? Do we really have to be forced to think about this? When you think of your marriage, is Valentine’s day one of the few days in the year that you actually spend time totally dedicated to each other and spend actual time thinking about how much you love that person?
What if every day was that special! Every marriage has the potential to be a “Valentine Date” every day. Of course we all get busy with our schedules and it’s not that I am saying we need to have some romantic date planned every night, or even every week. But there are some things we can do every day to make our marriage the number one priority in our lives. To help your love for each other blossom and be something so tangible in your home that you can almost wrap your arms around it!
I am grateful to have a marriage like this. John and I are very much alike and we work very well together so we do have an easy time getting along. But we also have to work hard at our marriage. We do this every day in lot’s of different ways. Some take no time at all and are easy and natural and others take some time and effort. Here is a list of some ideas that you can do to help strengthen your marriage. As you turn these things into habits, you will start to feel your love for your spouse grow more every day! And who doesn’t want to celebrate Valentine’s day every day!
1. I’m starting with my favorite which is flirting! I really do think this is what makes my marriage so much fun! You should flirt with your spouse every single day. It can be something simple like giving a compliment with a little wink! What’s fun about this is you can be as creative as you want and the more comfortable you become with flirting, the more fun you can have. Touch is so important to feel loved. Make sure to incorporate touch into your flirting. There is something about a small touch that makes you feel so loved. TRY IT!! I promise this will light a fire in your marriage.
2. This can go along with flirting but second on the list is kissing. I love it when my little girl plays “house” and she is the mom and her brother is the dad and she tells him, “come here we have to kiss on the lips.” So they kiss and they both run to me giggling saying “we just kissed on the lips like you and daddy!” I want my children to know how much I love their father and kissing him shows them exactly that. Plus as they grow into teenagers, won’t it be fun to gross them out! Studies show that failing couples stopped kissing long before they had major problems. Even after you just had a fight, KISS and make up! This is something we only get to do with one person so make it special and do it a lot!
3. So speaking of my kids, number 3 on my list is love your kids but don’t be consumed by them. One of the best examples I’ve seen of this is when I was pregnant with my first baby, John and I were eating at a buffet style restaurant and the couple in line ahead of us had a child about 4 years old. We were actually behind them for awhile and not once did I ever hear the husband or wife talk to each other directly. They talked through their child! The mom would say to the child “ask dad if he wants to stay and eat here.” After the child would say that to her father he would reply, “tell mom yes I do.” And it went on and on. They were all happy and acting as if that was totally normal. I remember looking down at my big pregnant tummy and thinking as much as I love this little baby inside, I will never loose my relationship with my husband by being consumed with my children. Now it has been 6 years and we have three children. I stay home with them and my day is all about them. It can be hard to not become consumed with them and when John comes home we do spend awhile talking about the kids and how their day was. But then we always make sure to talk about us and other hobbies, goals, and interests we both have. Our kids are everything to us but we also have such a deep connection that is just ours and I love that!
4. Strengthen your testimony that you are sealed for time and all eternity. I have always had a testimony of this but over this last year I have really spent a lot of time thinking about it. If you and your spouse were sealed in the temple, you will be with that person forever! In today’s world it is just so easy to give up on a person and move on. The world says, “if we don’t want to try we will just give up and move our separate ways because we want to have an easy life and that’s all I am committed to you for. Until death do us part.” I truly believe that knowing I will be with my husband forever really makes me try even harder to make him happy and work with him on our goals in life. He is my forever partner. Eventually in this life we will have to be separated for a time by death. But how great a reunion it will be when we get to be back together again knowing we will never have to be separated again! Really try to look at your partner as your forever companion. They are not going anywhere! Your love will deepen as you keep this on your mind.
5. You and your spouse should constantly be trying to lift each other’s burdens. A marriage is not about who does what and who does more. It is all about service and compromise. If we start keeping a mental list of all the times you’ve had to take out the garbage compared to your spouse, you will always feel a little resentment. The more you do this the more resentment you will start to feel and this just invites Satan into your marriage. Don’t keep tally’s for anything. Instead, think about how you can make things easier for your spouse. Think about different ways you can serve your husband or wife. If there is something that is bothering you, talk about it as a couple and make a compromise. Try to think about things from your spouse’s perspective. If your husband is tired when he get’s home from work, it’s probably not the best time to remind him of completing his share of the house work or if your wife feels like she is constantly doing dishes, try to do them for her as many times as you can throughout the week. All the little things do add up in a marriage. If you are always trying to lighten each other’s burdens you will find that your own are also much lighter!