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Make your spouse your Valentine

Chris Jones: Greene Publishing, Inc.

Valentine's Day is quickly approaching. Elementary school students are adding names to stacks of superhero and pony valentines, middle and high schoolers are inviting their crush to the upcoming dance, and young lovebirds are trying to pick out the best combination of heart-shaped chocolate boxes, red balloons, and the quintessential dozen roses. But what about everyone else? What are the newlyweds, the honeymooners, and not-so-newlyweds doing to celebrate Cupid's holiday?

Gabe Krell, Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Madison, Fl., has some insight and advice on what married couples can do, both on Valentine's Day and everyday of the year, to keep the spark burning, strengthen their marriage, and avoid the pitfalls that modern marriages face.

Pastor Krell began counseling in Texas in 2004, where he led a counseling ministry. Naturally, all of his positions and recommendations on marriage are based on teachings found in the Bible. “God's Word gives us directions on how to achieve a happy and vibrant marriage,” Krell states. He suggests that the best way to strengthen a marriage and exhibit to your spouse that they are valuable to you is to consider what their needs are, and not only try to meet those needs, but place them before your own. Krell says “The longer you've been together, the easier it is to take one another for granted.”

Valentine's Day provides a wonderful opportunity to show your spouse that you love and value them. A good way to express that value, according to Krell, is to discover what makes your spouse feel loved, and do or say the things that will express your love, particular to their individual “love language.” Maybe your wife needs your undivided attention, and quality time is what will really show her how you feel. In that case, leave the cell phone in your pocket, don't be distracted, and let your actions speak for you. If your husband perceives love through acts of service, it may be a simple gesture like making breakfast (if you normally don't) on Valentine's Day.  Another person might need a gift to feel loved, in which case Valentine's Day provides countless options to choose from. The most important concept though, according to Krell, is to figure out how your spouse feels loved, or, what their “love language” is, and cater to it specifically.

Krell references Ephesians Chapter 5, charging men and women to submit to one another, in reverence to Christ. The Bible says that women need affection and security, and men need honor and appreciation. Krell says that when those aspects of a marriage are lacking, an inner revolt happens in one or both partners. It is important to avoid that revolt to encourage a lasting, meaningful, and strong marriage.

Pastor Krell recommends Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires, the Respect He Desperately Needs, by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs and The 5 Love Languages, The Secret to Love That Lasts, by Gary Chapman to couples both new and old.

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