MARCH 9

Go Figure

With humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves. PHILIPPIANS 2:3

As a man, I like equations and formulas. Their logic rings true: 2 + 2 = 4. You can always count on that. But while equations and formulas work when you’re trying to figure out how much deck stain to purchase at a home-improvement store, they’re not always reliable when it comes to romancing your wife. The same quantity of flowers and love notes that touched her heart so meaningfully a month ago may not have the same effect tonight.

I know. Trust me. I’ve made this mistake many times. Two plus two doesn’t always equal four. Even though I sometimes I wish it did. This is good, Barbara tells me. Your wife wants you to be a student of her. Part of the intrigue and mystery of marriage is in knowing what communicates love to her at any given time. Does she need to get out of town for the weekend—or just have a break for an hour? Does she need a full-body massage—or just a foot rub? Would breakfast in bed make her day—or is taking her to lunch on the menu?

Sometimes she likes a planned surprise—perhaps something special you’ve cooked up for the weekend. Other times, though, she enjoys it when you’re impulsive—she’s thrilled to know that she just popped into your mind. Sometimes she’s in the mood for a soak in the tub. Or she’d like a walk in the snow after dark, hand in hand. Focus on what she enjoys doing. Make her feel special. Recognize that she’s not a law of physics but rather a puzzle, one that resists being pieced together, solved and framed on the wall. Beware of thinking that passion and romanceare as predictable as 2 + 2 + 2 = 6.

We’re building a relationship here, not a house addition.

DISCUSS
Husband, ask her, “What’s the best thing I can do today to communicate thatI love you?”

PRAY
Pray for a heart that doesn’t take each other for granted, one that knows howto enjoy familiarity without becoming predictable similarity.

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