Valentine’s Day is coming up, and of course, we’ve been surrounded by the commercialized reminders of its pending arrival. Stores are decked out in reds and pinks. Flowers, stuffed animals, and chocolate hearts fill our line of sight everywhere we turn. Entire aisles are devoted to glittery cards with sentimental messages and declarations of love.
I suppose I’m starting to sound a bit cynical. Don’t get me wrong — I have nothing against Valentine’s Day. I fully intend to celebrate the day. I picked out a present for Levon that he is going to love, and I am so excited to give it to him. I love celebrating love!
I just don’t understand why we make such a big deal out of celebrating it on one day.
Love is wonderful, and my husband is 100% worth celebrating in a big way. But it’s so much more than a single day of romantic gestures, expensive gifts, or flowery words. Love is shown in the daily choices. The everyday efforts. The little things that add up.
And if you’re not doing that, nothing you do on Valentine’s Day is going to magically make up for it.
So today I’m sharing nine of my favorite (or Levon’s favorite) ways I show love to my husband. Most of these are little things in and of themselves, but together they make a big impact on our marriage.
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9 WAYS TO SHOW LOVE TO YOUR HUSBAND
Support him and help him achieve his dreams
I can’t speak for all husbands, but I know this one is huge for Levon. He’s a visionary and an achiever with lots of ambition. Sometimes that can be a bit exhausting for me, and I have unintentionally squelched that side of him when it overwhelmed me. And I’ve seen how demoralizing and frustrating that was for him.
The more I learn about our different personalities, however, and what drives him as a man, a husband, and a father, the more I have tried to lend my support. And it has meant the world to him.
It has also, in turn, made him more willing to support my dreams, but that’s just an added benefit. I don’t do it for reciprocation, I do it to show my love.
Take an interest in his hobbies (and encourage him to pursue them)
There’s a very well-known Christian marriage author who says that couples should only engage in hobbies shared by both parties. Sorry, but I think that’s bologna. Levon and I could not be more different, and if we could only do things that we both enjoy … well … we wouldn’t do much! I’d have to give up reading, and he’d have to give up hunting. And we’d both be miserable together.
No, I actually think encouraging Levon to do what he enjoys (like hunting) is a big way that I show my love to him. And, while I have zero inclination or desire to go deer hunting with Levon (hello, you have to be quiet for hours. That’s not happening.), I do take an interest in learning about it because he loves it so much.
Express love in his love language
My love language is words of affirmation, hands-down, no contest. So sometimes I like to give Levon big flowery speeches listing all the reasons I love him. And they’re usually met with glazed eyes (they might get a little too long) and a simple “thank you.” Because words of affirmation are not his love language.
But cuddling up in the evening or giving him a random hug (or better yet, getting a little handsy) really fills his love bank. So does cooking his favorite meal or doing one of his chores or errands. Because physical touch and acts of service are his primary and secondary love languages.
Have fun with him
Love doesn’t have to be all sacrifices and solemn vows (though there is a place for them). Showing love can mean letting loose and having fun! I can get really focused on my tasks and to-do lists sometimes, but I can see how Levon comes alive when I set them aside for the moment and get playful. It’s as though I can literally see the love bank filling right before my eyes. Unconditional, I-choose-to-love-you kind of love is absolutely necessary in a marriage, but sometimes you need to show them that you still enjoy them, too.
Brag on him – privately and publicly
Even though Levon isn’t a words of affirmation guy, he still loves it when I talk him up. This probably has more to do with showing respect than showing love, but I’m sure it makes him feel loved, too. I don’t think I’ve met a man yet that didn’t want to feel respected by his wife, and bragging about him is a fantastic way to do that. (By the way, criticizing him, making fun of him, or cutting him down very quickly has the opposite effect. And I say that in love because unfortunately, I’ve learned that lesson from experience.)
Pray for him
I pray for Levon on an almost daily basis, and I know he greatly appreciates it. It makes him feel very loved when I pray for specific frustrations or struggles. There are a lot of ways to pray for your husband, but if you’re not sure where to start, or if you want to develop that discipline, I HIGHLY recommend Stormie Omartian’s Power of a Praying Wife. It literally changed the way I thought about and prayed for my husband, and it worked wonders in our relationship.
Hands down, this is Levon’s favorite way I show love to him. Trust me, right now I’m very aware that my mother and mother-in-law read this blog (sorry guys!), but I had to include it because it’s a pretty big deal. I’d even go so far as to say that without it, the other items in this list won’t mean much of anything to him.
Not because he’s some kind of sex addict, but because physical intimacy is directly linked to emotional intimacy for him. He feels connected and loved emotionally by our physical love-making, just as I, as a woman, am more inclined to feel more connected in our physical intimacy when I feel more loved emotionally.
Don’t misunderstand me — I’m not suggesting any kind of manipulation. It’s wrong and dysfunctional when one spouse starts requiring one form of intimacy in exchange for the other. But freely offering can be a great way to show love in a meaningful way.
Cook or buy his favorite foods
“The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” This is a well-known saying for a reason — most men I know love their food! Maybe your husband isn’t into food, but mine most definitely is. And he loves it when I cook or buy his favorite treats. It shows him I’m thinking about him, I’m prioritizing him, and I’m putting forth effort for his well-being.
Watch your tongue
One of the best things about marriage is that you grow so comfortable with each other that you don’t have to put on an act or presentation. They know the real you, and you can be free to be yourself. The trap in that, though, is that you can become so comfortable that you take their unconditional love for granted.
Have you ever noticed that we say things to our families that we would never say to other people? They’re the ones who should get the best of our words, and yet oftentimes they get the worst.
So one great way to show our love on an everyday basis is to watch. our. tongues. Not everything that can be said needs to be said, even if it’s true. Does he really need that criticism? Does that smart retort really need to be said? Will those comments help the situation, or make it worse? Keeping these kinds of thoughts in mind, as well as being quick to pepper our speech with words that edify and encourage, will go a long way toward making your husband feel loved.
I’m no marriage expert, and certainly, every man is different, but these are tried-and-true demonstrations of love that my husband eagerly receives. I’ve seen them energize him, make him stand a little taller, and put a sparkle in his eye. (And, it should be said, I’ve seen how neglecting some of them has made the opposite true.)
So while Valentine’s Day is fun and certainly a day worth celebrating, one day can’t do what hasn’t been done the other 364. It’s the everyday expressions that matter most, and I think these 9 ways to love on your husband are a great place to start!
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