When you have been married for a while, it is easy to fall into “humdidumness”. That’s not even a word but it sounds like what I am trying to say. You can forget to stay creative and romantic in your relationship. You can get lazy and fail to put effort into communicating how much you appreciate your spouse.
Last Wednesday my mom challenged the ladies in our bible study group to do something creative for our husbands. It was our “assignment.” Since it was Edric’s birthday on July 11, I wanted to make him feel extra special. It was about time I did something for him! (He is usually the very romantic one.)
The kids and I connived a surprise dinner for him. We turned our home into a restaurant called “No Place Like Home” and I made the kids dress up. The boys wore suits and Tiana and I wore black dresses. I spent a good part of the afternoon decorating and cooking a 5-course meal which the kids served. There was a spiel the kids had to deliver as part of their role playing and they got pretty into it.
The children also prepared a magic show for his “entertainment” and they performed on the violin and piano. My younger kids monkeyed around but that was fine. (Titus was climbing furniture and doing acrobatic poses on the couch. Tiana was trying to divert the attention to her, as usual.)
My highlight — Edric said it was his best birthday ever! I was so happy. We did not have any grand, expensive presents, but Edric was thrilled to be served like a king.
His favorite part was opening and reading all the cards and letters we made him. The older boys wrote such touching messages to Edric. One of them said, “Dad thank you for keeping your promises.” Another wrote, “I really see God in your life…I hope that someday I can grow up to be a dad like you.” With this one Edric started to tear. And I did, too.
As a father, what matters most to Edric is being able to instill in our children a love for God. And he understands how important his role and example are in the lives of our kids, especially the boys. So their statements meant a whole lot.
As for me, I wrote “10 Reasons Why I Would Marry You All Over Again.” When I made this list I really fell more in love with my husband. The process conjured up all sorts of lovey-dovey feelings toward him.
This is one of the reasons why I think that exerting effort to communicate how much you appreciate your spouse is a very important habit in marriage. I can lose sight of all the wonderful traits my husband has when I don’t make it a point to, as my mom always tells women, “raise appreciation and lower expectations.”
Expectations are a killer in marriage when a person is dependent on their spouse for happiness and longings. Only God can truly fulfill these things. When a person looks to their spouse, they become a leech. If both are like this, it’s two leeches, as my dad likes to say. Both sucking the life out of each other!
When I catch myself expecting Edric to treat me and love me in the ways that I want him to, I become easily reactive and disappointed when he doesn’t. But the reality is, I need to ask myself, “How am I being a blessing to Edric? How am I appreciating, affirming, and building him up? Why does it have to be about me, myself and I?”
So this “assignment” to creatively express how much I love Edric was a very good reminder that I need to put effort into the romantic atmosphere of my marriage. And I have to do a better job of communication and expressing appreciation.
He really is an amazing husband and father. And on top of my list of desirable Edric-traits is that he loves God with all his heart. This is the core of who he is. It is what makes him a good man – a man I respect, admire, love, and yes…a man I would marry all over again!
An extra bonus for the day was when one of my kids said, “You really love daddy, huh, mom? Because you are doing all of this for him?” Our kids have a microscopic view of our marriage. We are the first examples they will ever encounter of a relationship between husband and wife. It does not have to look perfect but love must abound. It must be obvious and demonstrated in the ways we relate to one another so they will be inspired to generously love their own spouses. And of course, I hope they can someday say that mom and dad were (are) so in love!
An extra extra bonus…my laughable moment…was when my third son saw me kiss Edric on the lips as I gave him my card, and he said, “You are going to have a baby now right? Because you kissed?” Ha ha ha. He sees us kiss often so I don’t know where that came from. Was that prophetic?!!! Just kidding!!! Not yet 😉 (And yes, he will be getting the sex-in-marriage talk from mommy and daddy soon.)