1 Corinthians 13:13 (ESV) “So now faith, hope and love remain in these three. But the greatest of these is love.”
Good old battle. A husband or wife’s “love tank” is depleted by the stress and busyness of life, and they begin to feel the pain of wanting to feel loved. They want their spouse to do certain things or make certain gestures to show that love, but as the days and weeks go by, that doesn’t happen. Bits of resentment and passive-aggressive tactics start to grow bitterness until a full-blown fight blooms.
“I just want you to show me that you love me!”
“But you never do XYZ.”
“But I did ABC and you didn’t notice!”
Look. you were there Ultimately, it is not a case of one spouse ignoring the other or refusing to meet her needs. The most common problem is that one spouse is not aware of what those needs are.
Enter the language of love! What I love most about the Love Language System, created by Gary Smalley, is that it teaches you to give love the way your loved ones truly receive it. No more misunderstandings, assumptions or blame. When each spouse recognizes how the other best receives love, it becomes easier to shower them with that way of love.
1 Corinthians 16:14 (ESV) “Everything you do, do it in love.”
There’s no perfect formula, but the five love languages provide an excellent map for expressing our affection. And with Valentine’s Day approaching, gift-giving in this same sense can be difficult. What does your spouse really want?
For example, I love receiving small items, so naturally I want to give them. Nothing makes me happier than receiving a gift customized to my tastes and interests at Christmas. This includes book earrings, Gilmore Girls merchandise, coffee mugs with Starbucks gift cards, and figures from your favorite movies and novels ( alice in wonderland, officeSuch). I love having cute Funko He Pop figures on my office bookshelf or workstation.
But my husband’s worst nightmare is that his desk is full of gadgets! It misses his mark. Gifts are not his love language, so the gifts I’m excited about become a burden. He is delighted when I carry a flashlight for him while I accompany him on his errands. That’s because he better receives his love as an act of service and quality time.
You know how confusing it can be? I may have hurt my feelings because he didn’t react the way I wanted to the gifts I chose for him. I’d go crazy for Lorelei Gilmore Funko in the same way that I wouldn’t mind washing my hair.
When we understand each other, we are able to show our love in a deeply accepting way and keep each other’s “love tanks” filled, not just on Valentine’s Day, but all year long.
Proverbs 3:27 (ESV) “Don’t withhold good from those who deserve it when you can do it in your power.”
If you truly love your spouse, you’ll want to show your love the way they naturally receive it. It’s not very loved to insist on doing things our own way when we know it won’t work for them.
If you don’t know your spouse’s love language (or your own love language), here’s a link to a free online test. https://5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/love-language.
And just in time for this Valentine’s Day demonstration of ideal love, here are multiple gift ideas in each of the five love languages:
words of affirmation
1. Appreciation Diary
Write down a few things in your journal that you like about your spouse or what you think he or she is good at, and give the book as a gift. You can take it a step further and dedicate yourself to writing it all year round.
2. Handwritten letter
There’s a reason love letters were so popular back in the day! Treat your spouse to a handwritten love letter and wrap it like a present. they will be impressed.
3. Compliment Box
Decorate a shoebox, cut an opening in the top like a homemade mailbox, and write 30 things you like about your spouse on 30 strips of paper. Then, every day for a month, your spouse can pull out a new piece of paper to get encouragement and affirmation.
1. Do chores
You know it—something he’s been avoiding because he’s tired of even thinking about starting it! Whatever it is, get it done for him and surprise him on Valentine’s Day!
2. wash his car
Hand wash the car inside and out and surprise him with every detail. he will love it!
3. Arrange for him to take care of things he doesn’t like
If you can afford it, all you have to do is commit to three months worth of lawn care, a subscription to a local car wash service, or take over litter duty for a month.
If your spouse likes receiving gifts, nothing beats the gift of a bag of chocolates, beef jerky, or a few of his favorite snacks. Stock up on your favorite candies at the stand.
2. Custom ones
Like I said, Funko Pops, his favorite TV show and movie merchandise, and the latest novel in his beloved series. The sky really is the limit! Not only will he enjoy the gifts, but we’ve chosen ones that are to his liking to surprise him, so he’ll feel special. When giving a gift to the recipient, remember that it’s important to make the gift intentional. (Both are expensive, but they’re not random!) It should be tailored to your individual tastes and preferences. Otherwise, you will miss the target.
1. Coupon book
Create a booklet with coupons for spending quality time together, such as running errands, walking the dog, or visiting a park or museum.
2. Plan a date
Present him with a detailed list of the days you will entertain him! Or, block his calendar and surprise him all day with each new outing you plan. eating dessert on the spot) is a fun way to make a date last longer.
3. Gift cards
Give him money for his favorite places. Does he like Starbucks? Give him the gift card your company promised as a package deal. Whether you’re visiting a gun range, his favorite comic book store, or a restaurant, this gift will show him that you want to spend time with him.
1. New lingerie
No need to say anything else here! ::wink::
2. 30 days of 30 second hugs
Men also like hugs. If your spouse is blessed with physical contact, touch him! Coupons for his 32 hugs for 30 days His book is a sweet, affordable gesture to acknowledge his need. A half-hour hug can not only refuel and reconnect as a couple, but it can also fill his personal love language tank.
3. Massage gift card
Not all contact has to be sexual or affectionate. A gift card for a professional massage will be a relaxing gift for your spouse and will be greatly appreciated. Or gift him a coupon book for multiple massages to make it more personal or spice it up.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Rawpixel
Betsy St. Amant Haddocks is the author of more than 20 romance novels and novellas. She lives in northern Louisiana with her husband, two daughters, an impressive coffee mug stash, and a shaggy Schnauzer toddler. Betsy has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and she has a deep-seated passion for seeing women come to the truth. When she’s not writing her next book or trying to prove that unicorns are real, Betsy can be found anywhere near iced coffee, and she regularly posts to her iBelieve.com. He contributes extensively and provides author coaching and editing services through Storyside LLC.