Our society puts so much pressure on couples to think of the perfect gift to bless our spouse on that special day. Men resent it and women delight in it, but both often fail to get their loved one what they had their heart set on.
In my family, we have found that giving our time to shop with our spouse is the best idea on those special days. We are giving our time and effort, but allowing them to choose exactly what they want as a gift.
We go to the thrift stores, but you may want to go to the mall. We look in our favorite section of the store and choose the item that catches our eye and feeds our soul or supplies some physical need we may have.
This prevents CEOs from turning the gift choosing over to their secretary or from having to hire a professional "gifter" to make it happen. It also eliminates the muss and fuss and disappointment of receiving a gift we are less than excited about.
Oh, we do try to express our gratitude for their thoughtful gesture, but it is hard to fake the enthusiasm we do not feel. When we are allowed to pick out exactly what we want, it is so much easier to express excitement.
This method of shopping accomplishes the same goal of making our special days feel special; and we let our spouse know that they are very special to us as well.
Another way to make our spouse feel special is to care about their family - even the family members to which they are estranged or have issues with, or those who dislike us or mistreat us.
Our interest in our spouse's family touches that place deep within them, beneath the hurt accumulated over the years, and they especially appreciate our effort to give their family's abusive behavior toward us to God.
Father God, help us to set our affections on things above, not on things of this life (Colossians 3:2). As we dedicate our life to You, teach us that our second priority is to nurture our marriage and family. Supporting them financially, spiritually, mentally and emotionally is very important. Meaningful hugs for our children at unexpected times, heart-felt kisses for our spouse, thoughtful gifts - not only for special holidays, but also just because we love our family members, etc.
Help us to bear with one another with love - accepting differences and idiosyncrasies, keeping our vows with enthusiasm and diligence, honestly discussing changes we need in our relationship without blaming and belittling, never insisting on our own way but willing to compromise to meet everyone's needs. Help us to establish the goal to find a way for our family to grow in love and service to one another, rather than to manipulate circumstances and people to win every argument.
Thought for the Day:
If we neglect our spouse and children in the pursuit of career, hobbies or community involvement, we sever our self from one of the most fulfilling and meaningful relationships in our life.