MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Thursday, February 11th. We’re so glad you’ve turned to WORLD Radio to start your day.
Good morning. I’m Mary Reichard.
MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: And I’m Megan Basham. Valentine’s Day is this weekend—hopefully that’s not news to you.
Over the next few minutes, we have some encouragement for both husbands and wives on ways to cultivate loving relationships.
REICHARD: Let’s start with husbands, shall we? WORLD’s Paul Butler recently spoke with a marriage counselor about some helpful ideas for men. Good advice not only for this weekend; it’s good for the rest of the year, too.
ADAMS: I’ve never found a woman who did not want to be dated by her husband.
PAUL BUTLER, CORRESPONDENT: As an elder, missionary, and marriage counselor, Todd Adams spends a lot of time mentoring men—particularly husbands. He’s been at it for a quarter of a century.
ADAMS: It actually can be very enjoyable to find ways to bless your wife. And you need to study her. We need to study our wives, and understand what it is that really blesses, what really makes them shine and glow.
When Valentine’s Day rolls around each year, many men struggle to know exactly what gift will best communicate love to their wives. Perhaps that insecurity stems from poor selections in the past. And while there are dozens of helpful online gift guides this time of year, every woman is different. So what’s a man to do? In his many years of counseling, Todd Adams has discovered a gift that never fails.
ADAMS: I believe, one of the greatest gifts that we can give to our wives is to celebrate them and the way we think about them, and the way we pray for them. Because as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. And we know from Scripture that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks, so we start with cherishing our wives in our thoughts.
Over the next 48 hours, many husbands will agonize over Valentine card selections. What’s the best approach? Humorous? Romantic? Sarcastic? It’s difficult to find the perfect card. Todd Adams has a practical suggestion. Skip the card this year. Instead, write a love letter.
ADAMS: I think a physical letter is a wonderful thing. And, people today, when they get a letter, are deeply blessed because it’s just, it’s not something that’s done much anymore. So, to write a physical letter to your wife is a tremendous blessing. It’s a statement of value of her…
Sounds good, but many of us struggle to know what to write…
ADAMS: When they’re pouring themselves out, which our wives do in their role in the home as, as wife and mother, ways that they are investing their energy and their attention, their focus, their love. So many selfless acts. And I think they need to hear that from us, that we’re noticing those things.
A good starting point is a heartfelt compliment.
ADAMS: Things that are character things and behavior things, things that represent her values and her uniqueness as a person. What I like about you. You know you could start a sentence with that: “some of the things I enjoy, or I appreciate, I like about you…” and just just start writing, just let your heart flow.
Todd Adams has been married for 34 years. He hasn’t always gotten it right, but he learned early on how important it is to not just do these things on Valentine’s Day. Your wife is expecting kindness and affection this weekend, but about March 7th? Or April 17th? Or November 3rd?
ADAMS: It is important. Events like Valentine’s Day, birthdays, anniversaries, those are important. But what almost has with some women more impact is when there’s just a random Saturday morning or something and you leave a letter of love on her pillow…
Adams acknowledges that Valentine’s Day can be a struggle for some husbands—as it’s a reminder that their marriage isn’t exactly what they want it to be.
ADAMS: There are men that are so discouraged, and feel so beaten down, or depressed about the state of their marriage, because I hear the same thing from enough men that I realized that there are times when a whole segment of men feel like it’s kind of hopeless…
But it’s not hopeless. Adams has seen over and over again how many times God works through a man fighting for his marriage.
ADAMS: I want to take us to Philippians 4:8. Whatever is beautiful, whatever is true, whatever is virtuous, whatever is good report, etc. Choose to focus on the good and the beautiful, and the strong in your wife. And if you feel like that’s like 10 percent of what you experience and the 90 percent is hard, well focus on the 10 percent and pour yourself into that. It takes discipline of thought. It takes some real going to the Lord seeking for the spirit to transform the inner person. Really the first place to go is to the Lord in prayer and ask him to stir love, affection, like even appreciation, all of that friendship, companionship, stir that in your heart that is the first place to start.
So this weekend, buy that gift, write that letter, have a nice dinner, but make it truly special with a fresh start.
ADAMS: It’s a project to practice all around the year—by project I mean, you know, a focus on something to make a priority—and I find that men who dig into that, find it’s actually very enjoyable to ratchet up their romance in their marriages by…thinking outside the box and being attentive apart from just the almost dutiful expressions of you know, of Valentine’s Day and so forth.
MUSIC: [LOVE LETTERS by COLE PORTER]
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Paul Butler.
REICHARD: Later in the program, Kim Henderson has some thoughts for wives this Valentine’s weekend.