Imagine this scenario. Peter always gets home at 8 p.m., even though he’s only required to stay at the office until 6 p.m. His wife, Katie, constantly asks him to come home on time; to join her and the kids for dinner. Even so, Peter constantly makes excuses: “We need someone to provide for this family,” or “We can’t get through life without work.” Katie once really appreciated Peter’s tender heart towards others and the way he affirmed her. Now she only thinks about his lack of generosity or selflessness.
Sadly, this has become more common over the last decade. As spouses cope with several demands, children, and their own marital life. They forget the reasons why they love each other––they only see each other’s flaws instead of their positive qualities. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Valentine’s Day can act as a powerful antidote for relationships that have gone awry.
Valentine’s Day reminds people to be thankful for the important people in life. It allows us to step outside ourselves and care for one another––especially that special someone in our life, whether that’s a boyfriend/girlfriend, a best friend, a beloved parent, or a husband/wife.
God calls his children to love one another; after all, love is the mark of a disciple of Christ.
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another,” John 13:35.
Furthermore, marriage serves as a way for humans to understand God’s love for his children and Christ’s love for the church, who is his bride. How grateful can we be for Christ’s love and the things he has done in our lives if we can’t even appreciate our spouse?
Life happens sometimes, and people will yell at each other. They’ll say things they don’t mean out of frustration, anger, or sadness. Despite this, people often hold grudges and can’t forgive each other.
Place yourself in the other person’s shoes and think about what it’s like for them. It’s possible they’re not really angry––they’re just tired and overworked. Or maybe it’s not that they don’t have time; they’re just anxious and don’t know how to cope.
Affirmation is powerful. People need to know that they’re loved, cared for, and cherished. Even a simple “You’re the brightest star in the sky, and I’m glad God pointed me to you,” is enough. Wives, remind your husband how much you appreciate his hard work; husbands, remind your wife how beautiful her love is for the kids.
This Valentine’s Day, sit down with your spouse and make a list of the things you appreciate most about them. Spend at least a good 15 minutes on this exercise. Afterward, read your list out loud to each other.
Feel free to keep this list in your journal or Bible to look at each day and remember why you love your spouse.
Learning your spouse’s love language is another way to let them know how special they are to you. Knowing someone’s love language is crucial because not everyone gives nor receives love in the same way.
Therefore, someone who ranks low on words of affirmation may not receive compliments as “loving,” while someone whose love language is words of affirmation may not appreciate physical touch.
Love is difficult, especially when you live with the same person for the majority of your life. However, beautiful times bloom from hardships, and Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the amazing spouse God has placed in your life.
Jehn Kubiak is a Biola University journalism graduate and current pastoral care and counseling major at the Talbot School of Theology. She is a San Diego native who enjoys distance swimming, coffee, dogs, and painting. She loves researching and writing about people, sports, activities, and more.