If you’re married, did you know you get to spend the rest of your life with the perfect Valentine’s Day gift? I’m not talking about that shiny, new, virtually-indestructible tool set or the pretty, diamond necklace from your spouse. Husbands, I’m talking about your wives. And yes, wives, I’m talking about your husbands. Do you consider your mate a precious, priceless gift from God? You should, for that is what they are.

Men need to love their wives — physically, emotionally . . . and unconditionally. And vice versa for you, ladies. What does real love look like, and how can both marriage partners demonstrate it towards one another?

Here are 14 ways we can show our love for our mates:

  • Tell them so.
  • Love the Lord with all your heart.
  • Appreciate the value of their character. A wise spouse comes from the Lord (Proverbs 19:14).
  • Listen to them. Give them your undivided attention when they are speaking to you.
  • Act as if you are in their presence even when they are not present. Make it clear to others that you are already “taken.”
  • Stay faithful to your covenant vows of fidelity “till death do us part.”
  • Constantly give of yourself — your time, energy, and insight — to meet their needs.
  • Forgive them when they hurt you.
  • Fulfill your God-given role in the relationship well.
  • Help them mature spiritually.
  • Work with them to help them turn their weaknesses into strengths.
  • Apologize when you offend them.
  • Don’t hold suspicions against them.
  • Learn to keep chasing them even after you have been caught.

You are blessed to have the husband or wife God gave you. Never devalue this gift. Stop to smell the roses — and buy a dozen of them. Let your marriage provide the world with an ideal of Christ’s relationship with the Church.

Love is the only service that power cannot command and money cannot buy. — Unknown Author

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.