Updated: Mar 10
In honor of the "love month" AKA February, I want to talk about celebrating my husband. Valentine's Day is coming up and it gives me a great excuse to talk about marriage and romance (as if I need an excuse). My husband and I have been together for almost seven years. We dated for two years and have been married for four and a half years. We were babies when we met and got married!
My sweet guy was on the podcast recently and we talked about how we met and how we reach goals together. It was a fun episode and I would love for you to give it a listen!
This week on the podcast, I talked about a gift that I bought Mason that has BEEN SO GOOD FOR US. We have had hours upon hours of conversation, laughs and a lot of competition. Listen to it and let me know if you love this game!
More than celebrating the actual day of love full of gifts and dates, I want to celebrate my spouse every day. I often talk about how I love celebrating everything! Birthdays, anniversaries and L I F E! I am learning so much as a young wife about putting my spouses needs before my own and how I can truly celebrate him. One thought I have been mulling over is that I am called, as a wife, to celebrate my husband even when he isn't at his best. Even when he is grumpy, tired, stressed and maybe walking through a difficult season.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 says, "Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh not evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, beliveth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail, whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away."
These verses constantly remind me that I am called to love, not only my spouse, but others well. I have been married long enough now that I have lost quite a bit of the "newlywed naive syndrome" if you will (I made that up just now btw). There are things that my spouse does that drive me a bit crazy and guess what? I also do things that drive my husband crazy. We are two very different people who love each other more than anything but that doesn't mean it doesn't take a whole lot of work and grace.
So how can we practically celebrate our spouse every day?
I put together a list of ten tried and true tips that have worked great so far for me! I also included the fun game at the bottom that we have been LOVING. I jokingly tell everyone that this item has been one of the best things to ever happen to our marriage.
1. Support his career
When your spouse works hard for your family, try and get to know what he does and support him when things get stressful. My husband works hard and spends most of his day working so I try to get to know what he does and support him the best that I can. If he has to travel (which happens) I try my best to support him and check on him while he is gone. This means a lot to him as he works hard to provide for our family.
2. Engage in his hobbies
Does your spouse love baseball or golf? Or video games? Or maybe he likes to hike? Whatever he loves to do, try and engage in his hobbies. My husband loves baseball and specifically the Atlanta Braves so I try to plan weekend getaways to ATL so we can spend some time together watching his favorite team play.
3. Be his biggest fan
Cheer him on when he succeeds and when he fails. It is not always easy to cheer someone on when they may have just struck out in the ninth inning with the bases loaded, ya know? Still be your spouses biggest fan and go to bat for him when he can't go for himself. I try to always cheer my spouse on and actively support him.
4. Surprise him with his favorite things
Put together a basket (or something more manly LOL) full of your husbands favorite things and surprise him with it when he gets home. Or if you know that he needs a pick-me-up, leave it in his front seat to brighten his day before he heads to work. I would put my husbands favorite candy, snack foods, and possibly an extra phone charger in his basket (since he is always needing one when he travels).
5. Pray for him
This is singlehandedly the most important thing you can do for your spouse. I have seen the importance of this over and over again in my marriage. If my spouse is having a hard time, I am quick to think that I can fix it. I am an enneagram two so I think that I can fix everyones problems and unfortunately, I can't. God has reminded me over and over again that He can do way more than I can. He is the fixer of life's problems and I make it a priority to pray for my husband. I pray for his safety, health, job and that he will stay close to Jesus, always.
6. Learn his stressors
For the first few years of our marriage, I think that I was blind to my husbands stressors. I assumed he was strong and that things didn't really bother him like they bothered me. What a selfish and naive mindset, right?! He always held it together so effortlessly and I was naive enough to think he was always fine. I have realized that he does indeed have stressors. Sometimes its work and sometimes it is just life that is stressing him so I try my best to pay attention to what is bothering him and ask the right questions. Even though my guy isn't a big talker, he will open up if I ask the right non-threatening questions.
-How are you feeling today, babe?
-How can I help you be less stressed today?
-Is there anything I can take off of your plate?
-Do you need some time alone to think?
7. Apologize When You Have Messed Up
I think I have to apologize for being rude and unloving at least once a week... AT LEAST... and it is oftentimes hard to admit when we are wrong. Apologize if you need to and you know that you were in the wrong. Then put your words in action and change your actions to truly remedy the situation.
8. Think Before You Speak
James 3:5-6 says, "Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth. And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell."
I am a writer so you would think that I am always great with words. I am not always great with words. I talk A LOT and I have to really watch what I say because oftentimes, what I am saying isn't what I should be saying. In the heat of the moment when I am frustrated I tend to spew negativity and discouragement towards my spouse. I can spew hurtful words that unfortunately can't be un-said. Think before you speak to your spouse. It makes a huge difference if you mentally count to ten before speaking if you feel as if you're about to say something hurtful. I need this reminder tattooed on my forehead because I struggle so much with this.
9. Focus On Their Strengths
Far too often, we look at how a person is failing and not succeeding. This is especially true with our spouses I think. We see their quirks and faults and let those overshadow their amazing qualities. Focus on all your spouse does right and even write it down for reference as the good most likely outweighs the bad! We wouldn't want our spouse focusing only on our faults (and the good Lord above knows I have a lot) would we? No!
10. Keep Em Guessing!
I have been thinking about this silly phrase the past few days. Are we predictable in our marriages? Do we routinely call to check on them during the day at the same exact time or do we only want to watch a movie and have fun together on Saturdays? Or are we trying the same old techniques to strengthen our relationships? I know I get comfortable with the same ole same ole and have a hard time keeping my spouse guessing. Who cares if it is a Wednesday in the middle of winter? Go have that lunch date or just pick up a sweet "just because" gift on any random day. It doesn't have to be a holiday to keep things fun and exciting! Keep em guessing with all of the crazy stuff you have up your sleeve. Life is too short and marriage is too much of a blessing to forget to have fun with your spouse!
OH... and ping pong never hurt anyone! ;)
These are just a few tips that have worked for me and that might work for you too! I have only been married for (almost) five years so I have no earthly idea what I am doing. However, I try to be a fast-learner and ask God for wisdom daily. It wouldn't be right of me to not share what He has shown me!
Praying that your marriage is happy + healthy and God-Centered!