On Building a Better Marriage {with a Note for Men}

I found this morning’s note left on my nightstand a bit humorous:

Hope you have a better day today.

I love you.

Peace out

Love Joe

Several weeks ago he started leaving them for me. It hasn’t cost him one cent. He’s used the letterhead notebooks he had stuffed in my stocking this past Christmas that he’d received from a customer. Underneath Upholstery Limited, LLC and its contact info he scrawls his love. Surprisingly, they’re never the same. Sometimes he includes Scripture. Always, his love.

It’s not that he’s never written a note to me before. He’s always carefully handpicked greeting cards. But through the years the love notes tend to fade away. The consistently written notes of late couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.

Our marriage hasn’t been immune to difficulty. No marriage is. But we’d hit a rocky place. Rocks in uncharted waters forced us to dig deep. And I’m forever grateful for those rocks. In the most difficult of places you can find an intimacy rare. Romantic newlyweds cannot know it. It requires a clinging together as if you’re holding on for your very life.

In the Christian walk, when we encounter difficulties we’re given the opportunity to walk our talk. And why is it that after years of learning the Scriptures and quoting them to others so quickly we find ourselves taken back when reality hits and we must walk those Scriptures out? We’ve been given the instruction manual yet we refuse to use it. And around the mountain we go, wandering in the wilderness like the children of Israel.

But what happens when we become doers of the Word? When we let the Lover of our souls draw us close during those times of struggle? When we cling to Him in desperation knowing that we need Him more than the very air we breathe we find intimacy more beautiful than any artist could paint, than the most romantic lover could portray.

We’re given the perfect picture of marriage through Christ and His love for His Church. His love letters keep us breathing, keep us alive. And this is what a man does for His wife when he pours out his love with ink. It doesn’t have to be ink. It could be in the ways he knows her spilling out into her cup of coffee just the way she likes it. It doesn’t have to be the price of a dozen red roses. Just his time.

Husbands, what she’s really crying out for is a simple act of love. An intentional act of letting her know you see her, you hear her, you love her. And it could be written down on a scrap of paper. Because, really, is there a better way to let her know?

I’ve kept the letters I’ve received over the past few weeks. I’ll cherish them forever. They’re building a stronger marriage. They’re stepping stones, a mosaic of unity and intimacy. It’s a two way street, I well know. Give and take. Not at all 50 – 50 as Ann Says. It’s an intentional giving when it’s needed, not necessarily when deserved.

And men, I’ll let you in on a little secret: it’s worth the payoff!

So here’s a suggestion for this Valentine’s Day. DaySpring has a collection of Mr. & Mrs. gifts including this Two in One Inspirational Journal:

 

 

This had our names on it!!! Well, really, it does. Mr. & Mrs. 

But you can start today. Even if it’s written on an Upholstery Limited, LLC notepad, your words can be just the thing that sparks a dying flame in your marriage. Even if they’re corny.

Especially if they’re corny.

If we want better marriages it’s time we follow the instructions written in the greatest Love Letter of all times. And isn’t that the best way to love—to write our love letter down?

Love is always hard because dying to self is, but I want to do it—because I want you.

We don’t have to try to arrive anywhere or climb anything or try to figure out how to make it—

Just make our lives a living sacrifice and let the days makes us like gold, to arrive before His throne.

~ Ann Voskamp

**I’ve received no compensation for my shout out to Day Spring for their amazing Valentine’s gifts. But I certainly wouldn’t refuse them.

 

  • Rene’

    AMen sister!

  • Jason

    I’m listening! My wife LOVES the little notes I have occasionally left for her. God please help me to think of it more often! It truly IS in the little things that she sees my love for her.

    Jason
    @SongSix3

  • http://jenniferdorhauer.blogspot.com Jennifer@Adam’s Rib

    I love the idea of little notes each day, just like when you were dating (or when I was dating!). Good stuff!