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Sunday, January 6, 2013

What does it mean to put on love?

I promised last time that I would continue with a few practical suggestions for how you can "put on love."  It is what we are called to do in Col 3:14. In case you missed that post, here’s a reminder:

"The most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony." (Col 3:14 NLT)

Want harmony in your marriage? Put on love!

Putting on love is not donning fake emotions or trying to wamp it up when you don’t feel it. Putting on love is a decision to give of yourself, generously and frequently, no matter what.

Ten Ways to Dress Yourself with Love

Here is the promised list of tips for putting on love. Before I give the list, though, be aware that your spouse’s love languages play into this greatly (see suggestion one!). What looks like a really nice love outfit to you is likely not the same to your spouse. To wear love well, you have to be a student not only of Jesus and how he loves, but of your husband or wife and what love means to them. This is HUGE!
  1. Take the five love languages quiz together if you haven’t already. Do something specific this week to meet your spouse’s top need.
  2. Pursue your husband by wearing something sexy to bed or by initiating sex. Pursue your wife by asking her on a date and making all the arrangement or paying her genuine compliments on her appearance. More pursuit tips on this post.
  3. Choose to make a sacrifice of your own preference in order to honor your spouse’s preference, like picking a movie they would rather watch or a restaurant they would rather go to. But don't play the martyr!
  4. Do something to serve your husband or wife. Do a chore of theirs they’ve been meaning to get to for a while. Serve him or her breakfast in bed.
  5. Put your love down on paper. By this I mean write a love letter (not in an email, but using real paper, written by hand). Do it out of the blue, for no special reason except to convey your love. Husbands without the gift of prose can check this link from The Art of Manliness. Here is a link of suggestions for wives from The Intimate Couple.
  6. Share the gift of non-sexual touch. Hold hands. Walk arm in arm. Hug. Give a neck or foot massage while you are watching TV. Be generous with your touch.
  7. Ask an intimate question and be ready to really listen. Husbands, ask “Is there anything I do that makes you feel unloved?”  Wives, ask “Is there anything I do that makes you feel disrespected?”
  8. Give public praise to your spouse. Brag on him or her in front of others. Post a picture of something great they did on Facebook. Tweet your undying devotion.
  9. Practice listening well. Make eye contact. Be empathetic. Don’t try to fix everything, but be willing to just be a compassionate shoulder.
  10. Say it!!  Regularly tell your spouse how much you love and adore him or her. Say it often. Don’t assume they know. And say specifically why!

Of course this list is only a small starting point. Hopefully it got your own creative juices flowing and you will be able to come up with many more ways to put on love for your spouse.

Help my readers!  Leave a comment with your own specific ideas on how you put on love for your husband or wife!

In truth, the rest of this series is also about putting on love in various ways. Kindness, patience, forgiveness, etc. are all expressions of love. So be sure to come back for the rest of the series. Better yet, sign up to get my posts sent directly to your inbox by entering your email address below (will not be shared with anyone, ever).

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photo credit: You can buy the print in the picture directly from the artist at this link 

Next in the series: Put on Kindness


Angela D. Meyer said...

Forgive. Big stuff and little stuff. Keep short accounts. Work through the hurts. Get help if you need it. It's really hard to do all the other stuff if you let resentment grow in your heart.

Scott said...

Thanks, Angela. You are exactly right! I'll be touching on forgiveness as part of this series. It's a super-important topic.

Jade said...

My husband comes from a HIGHLY traditional home, where the wife cooked, cleaned, did laundry, etc. I've never been a domestic kind of woman, but I do these things for him, to make him more comfortable! I want him to know that I love him more than I love my own "comfort zone."

Scott said...

Jade, Thanks for sharing your story. Yes, sometimes we do have to step out of our comfort zones to show love to our spouse the way they need it shown. Not easy, but so rewarding!

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