Here is the continuation to part 1 that asked: Want to spice things up in your marriage? Want to introduce a dynamic of love that will revolutionize your intimacy, communication, and happiness? Want to build a relationship that will stand the test of time and the trials of life? Try these 10 ways of surprising your spouse with love. They come from the One who demonstrated the truest expression of love. Each reflects how He loves. As you discover and experience how He loves you in these 10 ways, you will be filled with the desire and strength to give the same love to your spouse.
6. Give leaning on love given to you.
The key to satisfying, long-term relationships is in having a source for love to continually flow into the relationship. There will be times of miscommunication, misunderstanding, and tension. It is in those moments that it will be necessary to lean on a source greater than yourself and the other person for motivation.
God is that source.
As we experience on-going real love from God in our daily life, we gain a source for continuous motivation. Jesus said that those who believe in Him – who believe in forgiveness, forever love, acceptance, and in receiving the gift of righteousness from Him will have a source of life well up within them. They will as Paul described “reign in life” and be able to give what has been given to them.
John would later write in his letters in the New Testament that those who love know God for God is love. They experience Him and pass along what they experience. He also said that those who do not love, do not know God for He is love.
You can introduce a new wellspring of life into your marriage by leaning on God’s love for your motivation to love. The one who drinks from His love will be an overflowing source of love. Set your partner free from having to be your source. Receive love from the One who always love and revolutionize your marriage!
Dear friends, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Whoever loves is a child of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. 1 John 4:7-8
7. Give when it costs you.
The most meaningful expressions of love come from great sacrifice. When you know that the gift, the words, the time given to you by someone came at great expense, then it heightens your view of how much they love you. When little is given or when what is given comes with complaint then your heart sinks with knowing there is not real desire behind what is given.
Again, Jesus serves as the ultimate picture of sacrifice. He shows by His own sacrifice as well as being the sacrifice of the Father to show us His love. We have no reason to doubt the depth of His love when we see the weight of the sacrifice.
Bring a deeper definition of love into your marriage experience by choosing to intentionally sacrifice for the one you love. Give up your time, your energy, your rights, your expectations, and your preferences. Sacrifice and do so without making a big deal about it. Don’t brag about it. Don’t flaunt it. Don’t expect great return. Don’t use it as an opportunity to make the other person feel guilty.
Serve them. Humble yourself. Go the extra mile. You’ll be infusing your marriage with a revolutionary definition of love.
This is how we know what love is: Christ gave his life for us. We too, then, ought to give our lives for others! If we are rich and see others in need, yet close our hearts against them, how can we claim that we love God? My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action. 1 John 3:16-18
8. Give expecting nothing in return.
Real love is one way. It gives without expectation of returned love. It also gives without expectation of having to be thanked, appreciated, or noticed. That really changes the definition of love. This is the essence of how God loved us. Many assume that He gave His Son with the expectation that we had better respond – or else. A more complete reading of the New Testament reveals quite a different story. The gifts of forgiveness and righteousness are ours so that our hearts might be free. If there was an expected or demanded response then that response could not be love or worship. It would be a coerced or manipulated response. The heart that is truly set free from the pressure to have to respond is able to respond with genuine thankfulness and love.
In marriage, the spouse that chooses to give love without expectation of anything in return will introduce something completely different into the relationship. Love given with freedom and without expectation brings change to the spirit of a marriage. Free your spouse from the pressure to have to respond. Let go of complaining, list-keeping, demands, and watch change happen. Let it flow from the way God loves you!
Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
9. Give something they desperately need.
The purest expression of love is focused on what the other person needs. The one who loves becomes a student of the other. They seek to know their interests, their desires, their longings, their fears, their needs. As they discover what the other needs, they do their best to fill and meet that need. Love like this will revolutionize a relationship.
The gift of Jesus to man was not for the sake of the Father. It was for us. The sacrifice for our sins and the gift of righteousness was for our need, for our benefit, for us to know that we could know the wonders of God. He gave because of our need, not His.
Love your spouse by becoming a skilled learner of their heart. Be driven to know what they want, need, and long for. Help them know they have all they need first in the grace that has been shown in Jesus Christ. Then do what you have greater ability to do above anyone else on the planet – know and meet their deepest needs. What you bring to your marriage as a result will inject fresh life, love, and oneness.
This is how we know what love is: Christ gave his life for us. We too, then, ought to give our lives for others! 1 John 3:16
10. Give with immense joy.
The heart that is full overflows with love and joy. As a marriage partner one of the greatest choices you will ever make is in finding your joy first in what God has done for you in Christ. You cannot look to your spouse to be your joy, your hope, your life, and your source of love. They can provide those things for you from time to time, but if you look to your spouse to provide those for you, you will be disappointed. As you regularly receive full forgiveness, complete acceptance, all grace, righteousness, hope, and love from Christ, you will discover a new source to draw from in loving your spouse. Looking to Christ will also free your spouse from having to be the source for you. What happens as a result will be an eruption of joy in you. You will find greater motivation, greater desire, and greater enjoyment in loving. Sincerity will overtake duty. Desire will overtake obligation. Joy will overtake how you relate. Your relationship with your spouse will be filled with the fruit of knowing who you are in Christ.
But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control. Galatians 5:23t
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