1 John 4:9-11 says In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another
Most of us will spend time and money to get that right Valentine's gift for that special person in our lives. We want it to have meaning and we want to somehow express our love through it. To show this kind of love is important on a special day like today.
BUT..... more important than flowers or chocolate or that romantic supper you have planned for your spouse, is the love that you show everyday. Flowers and chocolate will have very little meaning if that love you claim to have for your spouse today is not lived out tomorrow, next week, next year and the rest of your life!
So what is important?
1) exclusive love - The love we have for our spouse must be exclusive. Our spouse is the only one that holds "the spot" in our heart. No one else will be offered that spot ever nor will we allow anyone to steal that "spot ever"! It belongs to my spouse alone.
2) faithfulness - Faithfulness to our spouse is extremely important. If we fail in this area, our whole life will be destroyed. There is no sensible woman who will accept being "one of many". No, the fact is true love demands faithfulness, and exclusive love till death do part. No other option is acceptable.
3) in good days as well as bad - Someday either you or your spouse will have a bad day, perhaps due to circumstances beyond your control or due to illness. Exclusive faithful love is what is required here - there is no plan B. In these times of hardship, your spouse may not be able to meet all your needs but real true love is not selfish. True love is a serving love. The needs of your spouse become the focus and your own needs and desires are put aside. You are not going to fill your own needs and desires with any other thing or person - like I said , there is no plan B.
4) encourage your spouse - Lavish your spouse with words of affirmation and encouragement. Tell him/her about the love you have in your heart and the feelings you have for him/her. Open your heart up and tell your spouse the deep things inside your heart. Tell your spouse about the exclusive love that you have for him/her. Tell your spouse that you will be faithfull all the days of your life.
5) go public about your love for your spouse - Let the people around you know that your spouse is the only one for you. Say it verbally, out loud for everyone to hear! Even if you have been married for years, be public about this regularly. Hold hands with your spouse. Put your arm around her in church or other public places. Catch the twinkle in her eye that says I love you.
6) issues that need resolving - do it privately and seek help from your pastor when necessary. Never put down your spouse in public even if you are upset. Show respect one toward another.
7) give your kids a Valentine's gift - the gift of showing love to your spouse everyday of the year, it will help them immensely to see Dad loving Mom and also Mom loving Dad!!
8) forgiveness - There are no lasting relationships without forgiveness. That is a quote from James McDonald. How very true it is. We must be willing to forgive each other. Forgiveness can be hard but it is worth it and the relationship you have with your spouse will be stronger for it.