Friday, February 10, 2012

10 Sweet Ways to Love on Your Sweetheart

 Earlier this week, in anticipation of Valentine's Day, I posted 10 sweet ways to love on your kids, and as I brainstormed ideas for loving on my husband, I realized how much I really slack off at showing my affection, gratitude, and respect for the special partner God blessed me with. I could easily make the excuse that by the time my husband comes home from work, I am "all touched out" and in general need of a retreat behind a locked door, but that excuse just doesn't cut it.  He isn't the one who has followed my every step all day.  Nor is he the one who made the countless messes I had to clean up.  Yet, all too often, he is the victim of my fatigue, frustrations, and achy pregnant body.  Poor guy!

If you can relate or if you are just looking for some sweet but frugal ways to show the man in your life that he still has your heart, then I invite you to consider these 10 ways to love on your sweetheart on Valentine's Day and every day. 

(1) Let him know you're praying for him.  I pray for my husband daily, some days even hourly, but I rarely tell him that I am lifting him up to the Lord. How do you feel when a friend tells you that she's praying for you?  I don't know about you, but I feel blessed beyond measure.  So also will your husband feel loved and respected when you share with him each day your prayers on his behalf.

(2) Plan a special date night--just the two of you!  You don't have to hire a babysitter and make reservations at a swanky restaurant to enjoy some one-on-one time as a married couple.  Fix an easy meal for the kids and get them to bed early.  Then, get dolled up--for me that means get out of my sweats and t-shirt and put on something that fits :)--and set a romantic candlelit dinner for two.  Afterwards, snuggle up on the couch and watch a movie, catch up on your goals as a couple over dessert, or do whatever suits your mood and interests. Just enjoy each others' company.

(3) Serve him without his having to ask.  What does that mean?  Well, if your husband routinely requests for you to fix his lunch and fill his water bottle every morning, then start doing it without being asked. What better way to show your spouse you care than to meet simple needs without his needing to ask. It also shows him that he has priority over the kids and you, something we as busy moms have to remember.

(4) Write him a love letter.  Recently, my husband found several letters I sent to him when we were dating and lived in different states. While those letters were over-the-top sappy, he kept them. {Honestly, don't ask me why although he claims he plans to show them to the girls when they're grown as an example of how not to act.}  Still, the idea of bearing your heart and detailing the things you love about your sweetheart will boost his ego and reassure him that he still possesses your heart.

(5) Be spontaneously romantic. Maybe this comes natural to you but it doesn't me. My day revolves around a to-do list, and if it isn't on the list, then it doesn't happen.  Needless to say, I'm not a romantic person, so when I make a romantic gesture, my husband is very pleasantly surprised. Consider your mate's love language (quality time, touch, words of affirmation, service, gifts), and come up with a creative way to refill his love tank.  And if you're a list-Nazi like me, then just add it to your list!

(6) Give him space. I mean this both literally and figuratively. It's common for me to disappear as soon as my husband walks through the door, relying on him to watch the kids while I take a break.  Consider that maybe he, too, has had a rough day and needs a break.  Give him have some time to change clothes and unwind before releasing him to the wolves--I mean, kids :).  Also, inquire about his day and give him a kiss. The literal space I refer to is a man's need for his own domain (e.g. a man cave, office, shop, garage, any place where he can relax undisturbed). My poor husband has no space of his own because we just don't have it, so I try to give him the living room in the evenings to watch the TV programs he likes or to read in peace and quiet. Help your man find that space to unwind.

(7) Prepare his favorite meal or take him to his favorite restaurant. Everyone knows that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, so perhaps when you plan your special date night or any other time--it may be breakfast or even lunch one day--decide to put your husband's most loved foods on the menu. Mine is a meat and taters kinda guy, so a steak dinner with a side of mashed potatoes, some veggies, and rolls would be perfect for him. Or if you prefer, take him out and let him choose the restaurant.

(8) Give him your undivided attention. My husband isn't one for gifts, but he does appreciate when I put the laptop away and spend time with him. Just like our kids crave our full attention, our spouses feel loved and respected when we set aside special time for them. As I mentioned before, I struggle with really being available to members of our family because I'm a loner; yet, I know that my husband and children strongly desire to talk to, play with, and love on me just as they want to be talked to, played with, and loved on by me. Give your husband that time and attention he desires and deserves.

(9) "Play" with your husband. I love Christian writer/speaker Sheila Wray Gregoire.  On her amazing website, Gregoire lists 14 ways to "play" as a couple because, she says, physical fun often leads to sexual fun. Some of her ideas would be right up my fun-loving man's alley: water fights, wrestling, boxing, tickling contests, and food fights. Check out Gregoire's list here for more ideas.

(10) Be a flirt. Do you remember how you used to act when you were still dating the man who stole your heart?  Did you bat your eyelashes, wink, smile coyly, even buy a new dress to impress him? How long has it been since you flirted with your husband?  Why not relive those early days of your courtship and recall the reasons why you both fell in love with each other?

The ideas in this post are those that I personally need to work on to show my spouse how special he is to me and how blessed I am to have someone so hopelessly devoted to our children and me.  I pray that this list will also help you identify areas where you can improve as a wife and give you some suggestions for being sweet to your sweetheart this Valentine's Day and every day!

Additional recommended posts on loving your husband:

I pray God's richest blessings on you as you continue to grow in His glory!

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