This Valentine’s Day couples young and old will strive to prove their love via candy, poems, songs, flowers, and helium balloons. It’s funny though, do these things actually do anything to convince our spouses of our love? Yes and no.
If your marriage is healthy, Valentine’s Day gestures will extend an already present sentiment during a festive time of year – which is great! If your marriage is struggling, they may provide a quick kick of fun/excitement, but I doubt they’ll do much long-term edification of your spouse if true love is absent from your everyday lives.
So, how can I prove to Selena I love her?
Last year I explored the history of Valentine’s Day and discovered new reason to celebrate. This year I asked myself: “How can I prove my love to Selena?”. In another sense I also asked myself “how do I really know Selena loves me?” Here’s what I realized:
Selena is my primary accountability partner. If you’ve read our blog for more than a few weeks you’ll know we emphasize transparency; and for good reason. Early in our marriage we weren’t completely honest with each other: I had sin, Selena had doubts, and we had problems.
When I opened up about my problems – when I really confessed to her – Selena was hurt (naturally), but she also saw that I was coming to her for help. She felt loved through my honesty and refusing to “sweep it under the rug” any longer. I cared too much for her to let wounds fester, and she saw that. When we discussed it and got accountable to each other, the wound was cleaned and we could start healing.
Ok, we’re certainly NOT perfect because of transparency, but it leaves little room for doubt about whether or not we love each other. Here are some examples:
- When I travel alone and temptations abound, Selena doesn’t have to doubt whether or not my integrity is in tact.
- I need not worry about who she’s talking to on Facebook or if an emotional affair is developing.
- We rely on each other to keep our marriage “affair proof“.
Being honest about struggles has a way of making you vulnerable…truly vulnerable. And it’s only when we’re open and vulnerable (here’s a great book about this exact topic) to each other that we can move forward.
Honesty without love is cold and love without honesty is shallow. We must both be honest with each other, in love, if we’re to experience full, deep love.
2: Love your spouse when they’re unloveable
The mark of mature love is when it doesn’t depend on emotion to exist. What does that even mean?? Basically, it means loving when you don’t feel like it. Why? Because you promised you would. Also, that’s what love is. Love that has conditions isn’t love at all, it’s selfishness. Selfish love says, “I’ll love you if you act a certain way, otherwise I’ll stop loving you.” Does that sound like love?
This is why marriage is a covenant relationship where love is a promise. It’s two-sided: each of you promised to “have and hold”, to “honor in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, until death do us part.” It absolutely takes two to have a happy healthy marriage, and when one or both spouses stop loving (as an action), that’s when the covenant breaks down.
Marriage does take two, and two starts with you. There is no better opportunity to uphold your marriage covenant than when your spouse is being unloveable. Note that this doesn’t mean you need to subject yourself to abuse in the name of love (nor is that Biblical).
Part 2 Preview
In the second part of this post, I’ll explore the concepts of dreaming together and gentleness on all occasions. I understand that “proving love” is a bit of a daunting task for anyone, but I do hope to get you thinking about what it means in your marriage.
Expressing true love starts with truly experiencing it; and the only true source of love is God.
With God’s grace we can love our spouses just they way they need it most, and in doing so, prove to them the depth of our love toward them.
What is a time when you feel you have “proven” your love to your spouse?
Encouraging Marriage Quotes and Images
Sharing openly with friends is a great way to encourage others and reinforce to yourself what you believe. Just click an image and select where to share it – the quote will be pre-populated. There are many more images to share available here.