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True Romance on Valentine’s Day

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This Valentine’s Day, use flowers, chocolate and cards to heighten your romance, but spend your time being curious and asking questions.

One of my most memorable, or should I say, most humiliating, Valentine’s Day experiences happened in 2014. The chain of events started with an innocent conversation I had with my wife, Erin.

I was embarking on my annual attempt to crack the code for the “right” combination of Valentine’s Day gifts. I wondered if I should get Erin flowers, chocolate, jewelry, lingerie (although that would probably be more for me), perfume or maybe a spa day.

So in addition to the gift that I already had in mind, I asked Erin if she would rather have flowers or a gift card in the amount that I would have spent on the flowers. A dozen long-stemmed roses can run about $50 on Valentine’s Day! Erin quickly replied that she would much rather receive a gift card to her favorite store than some flowers that would die anyway.

Fast forward to Valentine’s Day, and Erin found herself at the grocery store. She bumped into a large display bucket full of flowers. Innocently, she thought about how beautiful the flowers were and decided to buy herself a bouquet.

In light of her having picked the gift card option, this wouldn’t have bothered me — except that Jim Daly, the president of Focus on the Family and my boss, was standing right behind her buying his wife a dozen long-stemmed, red roses. His only question to Erin was, “Why is your husband, the vice president of our marriage department, making you buy your own flowers?”

Since that day at the grocery store, Jim likes to “graciously” remind me (especially if we’re in front of large crowds) that I made my wife buy her own Valentine’s Day flowers.

True romance

Trying to figure out what gift to buy or where to go on Valentine’s Day is not easy. Flowers, chocolate, cards, gifts, dinner reservations — is this really the meaning of Valentine’s Day? Our culture seems to think that these things are the essence of true romance.

I understand that taking advice from a guy who made his wife buy her own flowers on Valentine’s Day might seem suspect, but I want to tell you one of the greatest truths I’ve learned about romance. True romance isn’t about flowers, chocolate or the perfect candlelit dinner. These things can enhance romance, but they do not define it.

Instead, true romance is about curiosity, fascination and intrigue. It’s about being truly interested in your spouse and your spouse being captivated by you. True romance is a deep, life-long fascination with your mate.

The gift of curiosity

Sadly, many couples feel dissatisfied in marriage because their relationship slips into the mundane — they become so accustomed to one another that they stop being curious. And this creates boredom.

Boredom is the opposite of true romance. Boredom involves the belief that you know everything there is to know about your spouse. However, an entire lifetime is not enough  to truly get to know someone. Every season of marriage is different because both people keep changing. The great mystery of marriage is that you never know what’s going to happen next. Not only is change inevitable, but it’s also a part of what makes marriage so enjoyable.

A line from one of my favorite ’80s songs says, “I get the joy of rediscovering you.” And author Mignon McLaughlin explains it this way: “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” When you make curiosity one of your goals in marriage, you get the joy of falling in love with your spouse again and again.

The initial excitement of getting to know your spouse when you were dating doesn’t have to fade. Boredom and routine don’t have to be your reality. All it takes is a decision to remain fascinated and interested in your husband or wife. Because your spouse and your marriage are always changing, there’s something to be discovered every day. This is exactly why I believe the greatest gift you can give your spouse on Valentine’s Day is the gift of curiosity.

Developing the art of curiosity is simple. Curiosity is the strong desire to know more about something or someone. The key is to daily pursue knowledge about your spouse. Ask questions. Seek out information. Deepen your understanding. Make your goal to “stay current” with your spouse.

This Valentine’s Day, use flowers, chocolate and cards to heighten your romance, but spend your time being curious and asking questions. Take joy in rediscovering your beloved as you fall in love over and over again.

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There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
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Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part online video experience. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional tools and resources to help spouses reconnect.

Next Steps: Marriage Assessment

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take the free Marriage Assessment from Focus on the Family to learn how to strengthen your bond with your spouse and get the tools to help you need to grow closer together. 

Next Steps: Fruit of the Spirit Devotionals for Couples

The Fruit of the Spirit Devotional is a free series of nine short videos to get you into God’s Word and inspire you to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in loving your spouse.

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