Gifts that Give Back

10 surprising ways to affirm your mate-and reap the benefits!

Admit it. When someone appreciates you, it feels good. We're honored and valued, which makes our workplace woes, parenting perplexities, and everyday enigmas fade. And if carefully chosen words, deeds, or small tokens encourage and inspire us, we can be certain they'll do the same for the one we love.

When our mate feels highly esteemed, we reap the benefits. Home-front harmony becomes the norm rather than a wishful thought. Physical, spiritual, and emotional intimacy blossoms. Sounds great, doesn't it?

It's not difficult. Validating our spouse can be simple and satisfying. Here are 10 easy tips for an imaginative boost.

1. Let your spouse pick

Spend an afternoon with your mate doing what he or she chooses. If the activity isn't exactly your idea of a good time, try it anyway! But do it cheerfully—you'll communicate respect for your partner's preference. In certain instances, you may consider compromise, but discuss and settle it beforehand.

For example, if your Mr. Super-Fisherman husband selects an afternoon at the local fishing hole, but the mere thought of snagging a helpless trout sickens you, ask for a compromise. Ask if you can accompany him, but with your favorite book in tow. Then once you're there, ask about various hooks and techniques, and applaud his catch. In other words, acknowledge and support his interest in fishing. But feel free to enjoy a good novel as he does his thing.

2. Appreciate the mundane

Make a mental note of the mundane tasks your mate does, and give a verbal reward of encouragement the next time he or she does one.

Write and place notes where they'll be discovered—your spouse's dresser drawer ("Thanks for doing the laundry. I appreciate your consistent effort to provide me with clean clothes"), the lunch box or briefcase ("I appreciate your hard work to support our family. Thank you for loving us!"), on the baby's changing table ("Thanks for loving our children. They're blessed to have you as their parent, and I'm privileged to parent with you").

Or try this: purchase 30 empty gel capsules at a pharmacy. Write 30 short appreciation notes on narrow paper strips, roll, and insert into the capsules. Put them in a recycled vitamin or pill bottle. Invite your spouse to read one per day for a month.

3. Express your pride

Wives, in word and attitude, tell your husband you're proud to be his missus. Affirm his sexuality—respond to his advances and whisper in his ear, "You're the world's best lover. I'm so blessed!" Let him know he's desirable by initiating lovemaking. Set the mood. Early in the day, invite him to an evening party for two. Tell him he's the guest of honor. That night, after the kids go to sleep, slip into a sexy negligee, light a candle, and sing the Song of Solomon!

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Gifts; Marriage; Rewards
Today's Christian Woman, Spring, 2004
Posted September 12, 2008

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