10 Ways to Love Your Lover

This Sunday, August 14th, my love and I will celebrate 18 years of marriage!

God has blessed our marriage and family but it’s easy to take those blessings and each other for granted. We made marriage vows in the beginning but in our 40s I’ve noticed it’s easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of thinking and living. (I know you married folk can relate.)

I’m vowing anew “10 Ways to Love my Lover.” I was going to make 18 vows for 18 years of marriage but these 10 will keep me humbled enough, not because my husband is difficult to live with but because I’m as selfish as they come!

“…Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37.

1. I’ve been seized by God’s great affection for me. He beautifies me on the inside, as my physical beauty is fading. He loves me unconditionally, despite my imperfections. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ is love everlasting for me. I vow to love God in return with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.

2. When we love God, we can love his people (including our husbands). I vow to love the most important neighbor in my life: My husband! I vow to treat him like a VIP! When I do something for myself, like have my nails done, take a nap, etc., remember to do something for him as well. Be intentional.

3. Loving self includes self-talk. I often find my thinking is self-critical which turns into others-critical. I have to remind myself, “I’m a fearfully and wonderfully made. God loves me and delights in me.” I vow to see myself as God sees me, so I see my husband as God sees him.

4. Fight for joy! I tend to see the cup half empty and that can frustrate my husband. I vow to find joy in the moment and the simple pleasures of life.

5. Fight for passion and intimacy! With two teenage boys in the house and a busy life, these times can be hard to come by. I vow to fight for passion and intimacy.

6. With that said, I vow to give my husband my best. When he comes home, I will step away from the computer, kitchen, whatever, and give him eye contact. I won’t halfway listen to how his day went but truly give him my best attention and even my best kiss!

7. I vow not to compare. It’s easy to look around at other couples and think they have a better relationship, job, car, dog, yard, life…. The grass is not greener on the other side and the American dream is just a façade to what really goes on behind the closed doors of other’s lives.

8. I vow to be grateful. I have been blessed with a sweet home and a husband who has worked hard allowing me to nurture our home and family for 15 years without working an outside job.

9. I vow to respect my husband verbally and with my attitude. I vow to verbally compliment and encourage my husband at least once a day. Difficult issues always have to be communicated but they can be sandwiched between two compliments.

10. I vow to pray for my husband physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I Peter 5:8-9 says, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith…” There is a very real enemy that wants to destroy marriages and families. I vow to be aware in prayer for my marriage and family.

I don't like my hair in this picture. See I'm already fighting being self-critical!

 

What are some vows you can make to better love your lover? I encourage you to make some vows today!

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