TWENTY WAYS TO SAY, “I LOVE YOU” – Part 1 (by Janine Mick Wills)
“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.”
Elizabeth Barrett Browning knew of what she spoke! She wasn’t privy to the following list of twenty ways to say “I love you,” but I think she’d approve!
God blessed me in the husband-department. I call him my “North Star”. As willy-nilly as I sometimes get, he keeps me grounded and points me in the right direction. Not that I deserve him. I have earned nothing outside of my Lord. But I do show and tell Jeff I love him often.
Whether you’ve been married a few days or more than a few decades, your husband needs assurance of your love. A husband, who knows he’s loved, walks a little straighter, works a little harder, and loves his wife a lot more.
Your husband needs assurance of your love.
We can often get in a groove (or a rut!) and forget to show our husbands how much we love them. And Satan likes nothing better than to keep a person from trusting Christ and to weaken and ruin a marriage.
We all are different, so adapt these ways as necessary. Pick a couple or all of them. Just start using them today.
- Praise him in public
Don’t do this to be “seen of men” (Matthew 6:5), but do this to express your sincere appreciation for your husband’s talents and abilities. Let the world know how much you love and adore him. And watch your husband start bragging on you.
- Leave notes for him to find
I leave notes all over the place for Jeff.
- In his socks and underwear when he packs a suitcase
- At the breakfast table
- In his packed lunch (These include an encouraging Bible verse and a Noteworthy Thought)
- On the sink where he shaves
- Taped to his car window
- On his desk
It only takes me a few minutes to write “I love you. Be careful at work,” thank him for something he recently did, and praise for him being a great guy. He often modifies the note and leaves it for me to find.
- Look presentable for him
I need to work on this one. I’m a country girl, who works in a stable. Neither one lends itself for being “dolled” up. Plus, I’m more comfortable in my glasses than my contacts. But Jeff tells me I look pretty when I put effort into my appearance. I should do it more often!
Proverbs 31:22 tells of “coverings of tapestry” and clothing of “silk and purple”. The Lord approves of a regally dressed woman. Your husband will too.
- Be prepared when he comes home from work
This pairs with #3. When your hubby walks through the door, you, the children (if applicable), and the house should be in order. You can add dinner on the table if that’s important to your husband.
God excels in order and expects the same of His children (1 Corinthians 14:40). Not perfection; just order.
It’s not easy to keep up with everything if you work outside the home and have small children. Ask your husband what he expects and aim for that plus a tad bit more.
I plan my day, so things are in order when Jeff comes home. He appreciates a clean house, dinner ready, and a wife who’s glad to see him. Before I pillow my head each night, I also make sure everything is ready for the next morning. It pleases Jeff and makes it easier to begin each day.
- Don’t neglect the sexual side of your marriage
This one happens more often than it should. We’re tired by the time the dinner dishes are washed and put away and the kids are in bed. All we want to do is don our flannel pajamas and crawl into bed … to sleep! But as our emotional side needs met, our husband’s physical side needs the same. God wired men that way. 1 Corinthians 7:5 admonishes both the husband and wife to not “defraud” one another except for time of prayer and fasting, lest “Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” A sexually-neglected husband does not feel loved. He’s also prime real estate for Satan’s temptation!
So, burn those flannel pjs (or determine to wear them only on frigid nights) and make some under-the-sheet-time for the two of you. A husband with a Rolls Royce in the garage, won’t steal a Volkswagen off the street.
- Share his outside interests
It’s true. “Men are from Mars and woman are from Venus”. Our interests aren’t always the same. But your husband’s interests should interest you. Pay attention when he talks about them (This one “kills” me. I hate standing still, and Jeff wants me to look at him when he talks and hang onto his every word!).
Find out more about your husband’s interests. Check out a library book, surf the Internet, and if possible, participate in them. You may find a new interest you can enjoy together.
- Go to bed when he does
I admit. I don’t always do this. When my husband works 1st shift, he goes to bed around 8:30 p.m., so he can get up at 4:30 a.m. If I tried that, I’d be wide awake at 2:00 in the morning, ready to start my day! But the other nights of the week, I try to go to bed when Jeff does. We recap the day, share things we might not otherwise, tell each other “I love you”, and I get to warm up my feet (OK, refer to #5!).
A woman’s busyness can keep her up past the time her family slumbers. We need to heed Psalm 127:2. “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.”
- Make his favorite foods/meals
It’s true. The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Men love to eat, and they love to eat food they love. If you consider your husband’s palette when preparing snacks and meals, he’ll love you even more!
Whenever I go outside, the cat meows and comes up to me. The chickens run over to the gate. And when I had a horse, she whinnied and pricked up ears. They think I’m bringing something to eat. To this Jeff says, “Well, I get excited when you feed me too.”
- Spend time alone together
Another toughie if you work outside the home and/or have children. But if you don’t cultivate your relationship now, you will find sallow ground after the kids grow up and leave home (And trust me! That day approaches faster than you think!).
I appreciate my daughter-in-law. My son Jason works hard during the day as an electrical engineer and then works hard at night on his Master’s Degree. His wife Natalie endeavors to schedule a date night with him every month. I particularly like this because it means a Mamaw-sleepover with my two grandchildren.
You and your husband may not have the luxury of an overnight one-on-one, but make sure you include alone time just for the two of you. No kids, no phones (!), and no distractions!
- Do unexpected and exciting things together
A marital rut is a grave with the two sides kicked out! Unfortunately, it sneaks up and squashes the spontaneity out of our marriages.
“Keep ‘em with what you got ‘em,” it’s been said. Do the two of you still do the varied and exciting things you did when you first met? Or is a frantic search for the remote your only mode of excitement?
Think back to your “courtship” days. What did you do for fun? Which one of you made the plans? Did you try new things? Revisit some of those “old” ways and add some new ones. Plan a romantic dinner for two. Have someone watch the kids and go for a long, uninterrupted walk. “Kidnap” your husband and take him to the place you’ve only talked about. The ideas are limitless. They just take some effort on your part to execute. But they will be worth it!
Your efforts will be worthwhile!
I started with ten ways to say “I love you” to our husbands. But I ended up lengthening the list to twenty. If you have time. Swing over to “Twenty Ways to Say ‘I Love You’ ” (Part 2). If not, start using these first ten ways and come back later to peruse the rest.
Before I let you go, let me share the best way to say “I love you” to your husband. Just say, “I love you” and mean it. A sincere and heartfelt affirmation of your love goes a long, long way.
Share how you show your husband you love him in the comment box below.