With Valentine’s day just around the corner, I thought this would be the perfect time to discuss the topic of gift giving. The kind of gift giving I’m talking about goes beyond the box of chocolates, roses or any material gift. This kind of gift is intangible; the kind with a lasting effect. I’m talking about the gift of nourishing your marriage.
There are many ways to express love however, not all of our well-intentions are meaningful to our mate. Marriage is an art, we have to study our spouse, learn and practice putting love in action so that we are able to produce a beautiful master piece. Let’s take a look at 5 ways in which to nourish a marriage:
Make time for a monthly date night.
I know there are different seasons in our lives in which it may seem almost impossible to fit any thing into our schedule but remember when it comes to marriage we must be intentional. Resist the thought that everything on the calendar takes precedence over nurturing your marriage. Establish your marriage as a priority! Jot down a date night on the calendar and make plans to get out and connect with your spouse. If you are not able to get out for whatever reason get creative and improvise, plan a date night at home. You get what you put into the relationship, so make time and nourish well!
Surprise your spouse.
It is so easy to get wrapped up in the day to day monotonous responsibilities. Change things up a bit. Surprise your spouse. Slip a love note in his lunch, buy him that special treat he loves and place it into his lunch, or send him a text durning the day letting him know how much you appreciate him and all his hard work. It’s the little things that make a big difference in our daily routines.
Learn to speak your spouses love language.
Nourish your marriage by speaking your spouses love language. There is communication and then you have effective communication. Be intentional, communicate love in ways that are meaningful to the person not in ways that are convenient or meaningful to you. Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages describes the five basic love languages: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time and Physical Touch. If you’re not sure what your spouses love language is, carve out a little time to read the book together. It’s a short read. Read aloud to one another one chapter a night, take the five love languages assesment toward the end of the book and start speaking in ways which are meaningful to your spouse.
Read books together.
Learn and grow together. Read marriage building books that help to grow and nourish your marriage. Take turns reading out loud to each other. Discuss, share and respect each others ideas. Reading is a great way to improve knowledge and increase intimacy. Some of my favorite reads are:
Love and Respect By Dr.Emerson Eggerichs
The Five Love Languages By Gary Chapman
Sacred Marriage By Gary Thomas
Hold your spouse daily.
Holding your spouse can increase a surge in oxytocin, a hormone known as the “love hormone” or the “cuddle hormone”. Research indicates that a surge in oxytocin can decrease cortisol (a stress hormone), as well as lower blood pressure. So make it a point to hug and hold each other daily!
In what ways do you nourish your marriage?