If you want to make this Valentine’s Day special, forget the lingerie and chocolate, and spend some time worshipping God.

  • It’s not that I have anything against chocolate or lingerie, but nearly a quarter century of marriage has taught me that personal worship is an absolute must to sustain a strong marriage. It comes down to this: if I stop receiving from God, I start demanding from others. Instead of appreciating and serving others, I become disappointed in them.

But when my heart is filled with God’s love and acceptance, I’m set free to love instead of worrying about being loved. I’m motivated to serve instead of becoming obsessed about whether I’m being served. I’m moved to cherish instead of feeling unappreciated.

Who or what is your source of happiness?

I’ve heard women complain about their husbands not being spiritual leaders and husbands complain about their wives’ lack of initiation. But the reality is, whenever we place our happiness in the hands of another human being, we virtually guarantee some degree of disappointment.

That’s why worship sets us free; it meets our most basic needs – to rest in the fact that we are known, loved, have a purpose and our eternal destiny is secure – so that lesser needs serve the role of an occasional dessert rather than our main meal.

If you expect your marriage to make up for your lack of spiritual intimacy and connectedness with God, you’ll bury it with your expectations and disappointment.

Less Me + More God = a Stronger Marriage

Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve found a constant formula at work in my life: the less I receive from God, the more I demand from my spouse. The more I receive from God, the more I am set free to give to my wife.

The best thing you can do for your marriage this Valentine’s Day is to fill your soul with God. Offer a divine Valentine first, and then watch your earthly relationship take on a new delight.

© 2009 Focus on the Family (Canada) Association. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Gary Thomas

Gary Thomas is the founder and director of the Center for Evangelical Spirituality, a writing and speaking ministry that integrates Scripture, church history and the Christian classics. He is the author of many books, including Sacred Marriage, Sacred Parenting, Cherish, The Sacred Search and A Lifelong Love, and co-author of Married Sex: A Christian Couple’s Guide to Reimagining Your Love Life.

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