This post is by Ron Furg who blogs over at www.ronfurg.wordpress.com. Ron has been a huge help over at the Peacefulwife.com. Ron is always willing to lend a wise word and provide good counsel to topics that are being discussed over there.
Start by reviewing the Biblical definition of love (in 1 Cor. 13:1-7) and then ruthlessly apply that to your marriage. Any deviation however slight is a failure to demonstrate the kind of love a woman wants and deserves. She deserves that love, based upon a covenant promise, irrespective of how “good” a wife you believe she is.
Next, seriously consider how Jesus lived the life of a servant and ask God to help you develop that same type of attitude and self-sacrificing love and service.
Repent of all shortcomings and ask for Holy Spirit illumination regarding specific actions you can take which demonstrate love. This means more than an occasional taking out of the trash or a dozen roses. It means:
A commitment to reject passivity, i.e., be willing to engage with your wife on ALL issues affecting either of you and have the courage to lead responsibly by prayerfully studying the issues and making decisions as the Holy Spirit guides. In this regard, please note that asking for your wife’s opinion and desires IS a sign that you love her and respect (yes, wives need to be respected too) her. But, ultimately you must lead and when you do that responsibly you can depend on the fact that it will be seen as an act of love. Oh, also in this regard, when making decisions it is helpful to share with your wife the factors you considered and your rational for deciding as you did. Again, she may not agree with you, but she will grow in her respect for you when you love her by rejecting passivity.
Showing love also means being alert for opportunities to go out of your way in performing acts of kindness and consideration.
Demonstrate love in creative ways. Be alert to the way God has created your wife with unique needs and desires. Some acts of kindness and consideration will be much more meaningful and endearing to her than others. Identify the things that she really enjoys and appreciates and do them. And, do them not to manipulate her or to expect anything in return. Do them because you’ve decided in your heart that you love your wife and want to honor her with your entire being. And that includes your mind.
If you haven’t done so, get a copy of Gary Chapman’s best-selling book: The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. Also, there are various “love language” resources on the Internet which might be useful. One little clue in determining your wife’s love language is to notice the things she does to try and please you. What she does to please you is probably her love language. I.e., if she brings you a cold drink while you’re working on a project outside on a hot summer day, she likely has acts of service as her love language. Now, it is great to concentrate on doing things that reflect her love language and NOT the things that you wish she would do to demonstrate her love for you or which you particularly appreciate.
One could generate a list of hundreds of little “love actions” that you could perform to show your love. (E.g., my wife, Shirley, loves receiving flowers. And, she particularly likes cut flowers. They’re less practical than plants, and for her, that makes them special. That goes against my Scottish heritage — but, I love her so that is what I should give her.) I’m thinking the best thing you can do is come up with your own list tailored specifically for your wife based on your attentive observations. Gestures that show that you have been thinking of her and that you’re putting her ahead of yourself will be golden to her.
One wee word of warning. Avoid getting caught in the “last minute” trap when buying gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, etc. Wives can smell that a mile off and are NOT impressed with the gift or its costliness if it can be seen as an act of desperation. You must love your wife enough to plan ahead — and the more thought and creativity that go into the gift the better. For example, if you give a gift that has been engraved it is obvious that you had to plan and purchase well in advance. Likewise, when you plan and make all the arrangements for a surprise getaway you will make a huge deposit in your love account.
You know how God’s grace is a gift — one that we have not earned and could never deserve. Start thinking of your wife as a gift of God’s grace to you. Nothing that you could ever say or do could make her love you — so her love for you is a gift. Honor that gift with a grateful heart and a commitment to love her as Jesus loves His Church.