“Simple Acts of Love”
by Cindi McMenamin
I once heard a disgruntled wife say she thought Valentine’s Day was hypocritical. “Why can’t he just treat me that special every day?” she asked. She had a point. But I wonder if the question has ever been turned around at her. “Why don’t you treat him that special every day?”
I’ve found that the special treatment –whether it’s Valentine’s Day or not — is often in proportion to how well we can dish it out to the other.
Think about it.
While my husband and I were writing our book, When Couples Walk Together, we talked about ways that we could treat each other every day as if it were Valentine’s Day. It wasn’t about gifts or chocolates or exchanging cards. It was more about……what we call “simple acts of love.”
No matter how long you’ve been married, simple acts of love — those things you used to do to express your love to one another — keep you both knitted together in love.
In Colossians 2:2, Paul prayed that believers in Christ would be “knit together in love.” In other words, he prayed that a common love for Christ would have them so intertwined that they wouldn’t unravel. What if we took that principle to heart in marriage, as well?
Our brother-in-law, Bob, had a mother who would knit him thick wool sweaters. Bob remembers one time when she was knitting and noticed a dropped stitch about 20 stitches earlier. She seemed really upset about that one dropped stitch and undid several minutes of work to go back and pick up that one stitch.
“I asked her why the fuss about one stitch, and told her to just forget it, no one would notice it anyway,” Bob recalls. “Mom said: ‘Because that one dropped stitch is where your sweater will start to unravel.’”
Bob and his wife, Mary Beth, have been married 37 years and they are the best of friends today. That’s because Bob learned a lot about watching his mother knit sweaters.
“We are to be knit so tightly together – as a couple – that we don’t unravel…not one dropped stitch.”
We can unintentionally drop a stitch by doing something careless – forgetting to do something we promised to do for the other, making an unfair accusation, failing to say a kind word when it was needed. There are a million different ways to drop a stitch in your relationship with your spouse and to cause the unraveling to begin.
But, there are also a million simple acts of love to pick up the dropped stitches in your relationship so you two can be tightly knitted together once again.
I surveyed several wives and asked them what simple acts of love they practice toward their husbands:
- When my husband comes home for lunch I try to have everything ready for him so he doesn’t have to bother.
- He likes to have my hair a little longer. I prefer it short, but I’ll wear it longer for him.
- Just sitting on the couch and being together instead of one of us being on the computer.
And what are some simple acts of love that husbands love to receive?
- When my wife talks me up in front of others, that makes me feel admired and loved.
- When she takes time out of her busy schedule to call or send a text just to tell me she loves me or to thank me for something.
- When she makes me something special for dinner that she knows I like.
What simple acts of love can you practice?
Here are ten some ideas:
- Hug and kiss each other every morning before one of you leaves the house. (Research indicates that marriages that practice this simple discipline are much healthier than those that don’t.)
- Make your husband coffee in the morning before he heads off to work.
- Send an intimate personal text message.
- Reach across the table, the front seat of your car, or the couch to hold his hand, even if only for a few moments.
- Go an entire day without saying anything to your husband except praise…affirmation for who he is, what he means to you, and so on.
- Go to bed at the same time for a week. Talk, read, or share the quietness together.
- Call or send an email or text message mid-day just to see how the other is doing.
- Fix his favorite meal without him having to ask.
- Brag on your husband in public.
- Compliment him in front of your children.
- Find creative ways to tell him “I love you” in code.
- Add a candle to the dinner table as a way of telling your husband you consider the evening special and romantic, simply because he’s there.
- Simple acts of love are just that – simple. They don’t take time to prepare or money to maintain. They are mostly impulsive. Perhaps pretty soon, they’ll be habitual.
Cindi McMenamin is a national speaker and the author of several books, including When a Woman Inspires Her Husband, Women on the Edge, and When Couples Walk Together, which she co-authored with her husband, Hugh. For more on her books or ministry, or for free resources to strengthen your soul or marriage, see her website: www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.