Americans are expected to spend $19.6 billion on Valentine’s Day. That’s a lot of cards, candy, roses, stuffed animals and steak dinners. It is estimated that the average person will spend just over $143. Men will spend more on Valentine’s Day than women, but the average married man will spend less than his single counterpart. The gap between what a person dating will spend this week vs. what a married person will spend is the result of a variety of factors. However, perhaps the most dangerous reason for the difference in spending is complacency among married couples. Time brings about familiarity. And with this familiarity comes a tendency to put the relationship on auto-pilot.
In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul addresses the multi-faceted dimensions of singleness and marriage. In 1 Corinthians 7:32-34 we discover that there is an expectation that husband and wife pay attention to each other. Jeffrey Osborne put this idea into music when he sang, “The secret lies within our minds. The love we share and the time that binds helps me concentrate on you.” The Bible teaches that husband and wife should concentrate on each other. They should demonstrate the proper affection in the proper direction.
If Christians are going to be good husbands and wives, we must be concerned about pleasing our spouse. We should attend to and have an earnest thoughtfulness for one another. Additionally, we should actively adapt to our spouse. Husband and wife should have hearts that are softened toward one another. We should be accommodating in meeting the needs of our spouse.
This sacrifice of self-interest is directed toward your spouse. Husband and wife cannot seek to please themselves. When you actively adapt to your spouse, your behavior towards your spouse changes based upon his or her changing needs. It starts with understanding those needs and then prioritizing those needs. Asking questions like, “What do I do that lets you know I love you?” or “What do you wish I did more often?” can help you identify your spouse’s need.
Prayer:“Father, help me to have the right affection towards my spouse. Instead of focusing on what I am not getting from my spouse, open my eyes that I may shift my attention to what I am not giving to my spouse. Empower me to love my spouse with Your love, for Your love covers a multitude of flaws, faults, and failures. Let the me that I am be lost in the me that you want me to be. Amen.”
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