Several folks have asked me a question lately. Sometimes I ask the question of others when we’re talking about life because, well, it’s important. Really important.
“How do I show my wife that I love her?”
When asked this, I consider the question giving it the weight that it should enjoy and then answer with the same question that I always ask.
”Do you tell her?”
”Well Sure! All of the time!”.
”Really? How often, exactly, is all of the time?”, I ask.
”Well, I uhh… I mean. I guess a couple of times a week? But she knows!“
”Yeah, I guess, when you put it like that…”
It takes more than, “I love you” but that’s a good start. A really good start. Life is about the practical and there’s often not enough time to share everything when I’m talking to others. Here are some of the practical things that I try to do regularly to show my wife love. Not necessarily always but often. These little things are just as important as the words. Sometimes they’re more important because they put proof to the words.
I open doors for her. Sometimes the greatest compliment to me is when my wife has become so accustomed to me opening doors for her that she pauses in front of a door to wait for me to open it rather than doing it herself. This is love.
I hold her when she’s sad. This is love.
We don’t have a “date night” because we can go out any time we want. People who are parents should ABSOLUTELY have a date night. It should be sacred. At least one a month. One a week is better. If you need for me to keep the kids let me know.
I hold her when she’s happy. This is love.
When going up stairs I try to let her go first. When going down stairs I try to go first. The thought is that if she should fall I’m always where I can catch her because that’s my job. To catch her when she falls. (That sounds like a platitude, “to catch her when she falls” but it’s not. A platitude delivered with a hammer and work gloves isn’t really a platitude at all is it?) When I get to the bottom of the stairs I often offer her my hand to help her down. She doesn’t need it but sometimes she accepts it anyway and that brings me joy. This is love.
Sometimes I take a minute to hug her for no reason at all. This is love.
I kiss her on the forehead.
I kiss her on the lips.
I kiss her on the neck.
I kiss her in the parking lot at the grocery store.
I kiss her in church.
I kiss her and I don’t care who sees it. I don’t have much of a filter at all when it comes to kissing my wife. Sometimes I have to remind her, “It’s ok. We’re married!” This is love.
I post mushy “I love you” notes on her Facebook page for all of her friends to see. It feels really goofy sometimes but I don’t care and that’s the point isn’t it? This is love.
My phone has a “favorites” list under contacts. She’s the only one on it. This is love.
I study my Bible regularly. I apply what I learn from it and teach her those things. This is love.
I learn from her. This is love.
I back her up and encourage her when she loves others. When she says, “we should buy the cashier a flower to make her day better.” I say, “pick one out.” Everybody smiles. This is love.
I watch her get undressed. Even if it’s a really good book. This is self-serving (she’s hot) but it could be love too, I reckon.
When she asks me to do things that I don’t want to do I sometimes do them anyway just for her.
“I need for you to hold the baby so that I can take a picture.”
”No. They smell funny, they’re noisy and they’re expensive!”
”Don’t be silly! It’s just one picture!”
”Would it make you happy if I held the baby?”
”Yes. It would.”
I tickle her. She pretends that she doesn’t like this but I know that that’s a lie.
I’m clear that having sex with her is a top priority.
”So… do you wanna?”, she’ll ask as I’m buried in something on my computer.
”Yes. Yes I do wanna.”, I’ll respond emphatically as I drop my keyboard on the floor with a clatter and lead her to the bedroom.
This is love.
I run her a bubble bath and take the time to stir it halfway through so the bubbles don’t all end up at one end. When I post about this on Facebook, I ignore my friends when they accuse me of writing posts for Pinterest. This is love.
I take the time to help her shower sometimes. I am very thorough. We might need a larger hot water heater. This is love.
I adjust her clothing so that it looks pretty. This is love.
I push her hair back so that I can see her face. This is love.
I wave at her when I see her. Always.
I write mushy and embarrassing love letters like this one (and this one) and post them on the internet. This is love.
Sometimes, I wash her hair. I’m good at it. This is love.
I hold her hand when we’re together. This is love.
Sometimes none of this is enough. That happens. Sometimes she’ll say, “I need for you to love me”, and I’ll respond, simply and quickly with, “how?” This too is love.
Sometimes, I cook for her.
I want to spend time with her and I’m clear about that. Sometimes I ask her to do something with me and she’ll say, “wouldn’t you rather ask Rob or Matt or someone to go?” When she does this I say, “No. I wouldn’t. I would rather spend my time with you.” This is love.
Sometimes she says, “I really don’t want to cook”, and I reply with, “well, I really want to eat so I guess I’m buying you dinner.” Even if we’re broke. This is love.
If I’m with her and I post a status update on Facebook I tag her.
I consider my words before I tell her that I love her. I think about what the words mean. I prepare my heart to share them. I stop what I’m doing and look her in the eyes and say, “I Love You.”
Sometimes I catch myself doing it wrongly. Sometimes I toss out, “love you” as we’re going different ways in a parking lot. As I walk away I consider that I really do love her and that the passing comment just wasn’t enough so I turn back and shout, “HEY!”
When she looks around to see what I’ve forgotten I’ll say it again:
“I Love you.”
Sometimes I even reassure her by shouting across 30 yards of confused mall walkers:
”AND THIS TIME I MEAN IT!”
She smiles, a little embarrassed, and walks away knowing that I do. This is love.
The same works both ways I should note. She loves me by pretending not to like it when I tickle her. She’s really good at it too! Gotta give her credit for that one.