Accountability, Commitment, Dating Your Spouse, Love

4 Ways to Prove to Your Spouse You Love Them (Part 1)

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:

1: Honesty/transparency

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.

Love is quick to apologize and fast to forgive.When I opened up about my problemswhen I really confessed to herSelena 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:

  1. When I travel alone and temptations abound, Selena doesn’t have to doubt whether or not my integrity is in tact.
  2. I need not worry about who she’s talking to on Facebook or if an emotional affair is developing.
  3. We rely on each other to keep our marriage “affair proof“.

open1Being 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?

The best times to show true love are when it isn't easy and it requires personal sacrifice.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.

Question:
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.

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  • Jim Bob Haggerton

    After healing from an affair in our marriage (I had an affair with my wife’s best friend) and going through the long process of redemption and healing….I truly learned what it meant to be loved UN-conditionally and to love Cindy through our differences and her faults. Her weaknesses became areas for me to support her and lift her up and pray for her. When I feel frustration…..I go back to a quote I learned from Rick Reynolds at AffairRecovery.com: “My spouse is never my problem. My spouse only reveals the problem within me.” When I get frustrated or mad at Cindy….I ask myself: “Why am I mad?? What is it in me that needs to change??” and I let the Spirit do his work. #myGodisamazing #redemptionsrocks #mywifeisamazing Jim Bob H.

  • Frederick titus

    Very true thank you. My wife and I have been having problems for awhile due to trust but recently we vowed to not let anything get in the way of such a wonderful marriage. I love my wife and even when I couldn’t stand her I could only think of all the fun and love we shared I told her this and we talked all night about how great our life was before our fighting and we opened up about a lot to each other. We cut all the weeds out of our garden and now we are even stronger than we were before we both no longer have any doubts about how we feel about each other and that to me is the most amazing feeling.. when I know no matter what my wife loves and understands me more than anyone else thank you for this post.

    • That’s what devotion looks like: loving each other even when you’re unloveable! Jesus shows us this, and it’s truly rewarding when we put that sort of love into practice in our marriages. Blessings to you both.

  • This morning we had a situation that could have turned into a fight. It was about something small, that I had failed to do for my husband and he mentioned it. Normally I would begin to defend myself and he would get angry. But I just simply said Sorry, I will surely do it today. And I have to keep my promise this time. I just felt so good about the way we, or I, managed to deal with this small, but can-become-big issue. :)

  • Pingback: 4 Ways to Prove to Your Spouse You Love Them (Part 2) » Fierce Marriage()

  • Alicia

    My husband lied throughout our first year of marriage, even though I felt distant and questioned his lying he still did. I found out about the lies one month after our sons birth. I feel dooped about the lies but more hurt is from the fact that he didn’t come to me and be honest after I had the proof he lied. Can liars really change and is it possible to really trust him again. I wish he would be transparent and honest not just about the issue we had but about life. How can I feel unity if he can’t be honest. I feel like I question everything .

    • Amy Jones

      I hope things have been going better for you over the last two months, but I know that recovering trust after it’s broken can be a long, difficult, painful process. Yes, someone who lies can change if they choose to. Is it possible to really trust him again? If he becomes an honest person, then over time he’ll show that to you, and yes – it will be possible to trust him again. If he chooses to continue to hide his true self, then no – it will never be possible to safely trust him again. It might be a good idea (if he hasn’t done this already) for him to find himself a counselor who can help him learn the skill of honesty. Until you feel confident that you can trust him, remember that you can trust yourself. Don’t get caught up in knowing perfectly every time if he’s being honest or not, it just saps your energy. Make the best judgement you can and act accordingly. If it comes to light later that you judged him unfairly, apologize, but don’t get wrapped up in it – one of the consequences of lying is that people won’t believe you when you’re telling the truth.

  • Betty in Kentucky

    I’ve been married for 21 years and have known my husband for 35. When we did decide to marry, he was an over-the-road truck driver. I had known him for so long and knew his standards, I had no fear of him doing anything to hurt our marriage. We spoke every single day he was out there. (should have seen our phone bill for the first few years). He knew I was at home thinking about him and no other. So, the honesty and transparency has been around even before we were married.

  • Brandyfo

    I married a man of Muslim faith four months ago….I had to walk out on him because he is so mean. I bent over backwards trying to please him. I cooked clean cared for his and my children but he is never satisfied no matter what! I finally left because he kept acting like he was gonna hit me and then calling me a coward when I flinched. He then started laughing. I know this sounds crazy but I love him and I don’t wanna lose my marriage but it seems more like a dictatorship and I am scared to go back but staying away is making him angry. What should I do?

    • Brandyfo

      My sister says dont go back but I miss the good times that we had and I am lonely. I am not allowed to have alot of friends even other Muslim women so please help!!! I just need advice because he keeps blaming everything all on me saying that I caused his behavior by being disobedient!!!!

      • NG

        I’m so sorry for you. No one should have to feel frightened at home. I pray that God will give you the strength and guidance to be on the path he has laid out for you.

    • Serdee

      Brandyfo, I’m not even married but i have heard others share about similar circumstances. My understanding is that tolerating physical abuse due to loving him is a normal feeling, but one you shouldn’t have to bring yourself through. There’s a lady who shared about her experience in a book she wrote, and it’s quite in depth. With heart felt honesty she shares about the abuse she went through, and how she wrestled with it for years. It’s called “Is she dead yet?” by Lawana Lynn Campbell. Hopefully that helps.

  • liad

    someone sabataged my relationship with my wife and now if i dont prove myself within the next 3 days shes gone forever. what do i fking do ive nothing else and noone to fall back on