Tuesday I will celebrate 14 years of marriage to my precious wife. I cannot begin to tell you how undeserving I am of her. I can only tell you that she is my daily reminder of how merciful God can be to a great sinner like me. As my anniversary approaches tomorrow, I am challenged to make sure I am deliberate about communicating to her how much she means to me and how my love for her has truly grown every year. Through many mistakes and failures, I have learned over the years that it is not so much what I plan on our anniversary that communicates my love for her, as much as the creative, thoughtful, and deliberate efforts I made since my last anniversary.
Here are some ways I have tried to achieve this. Though I don’t know your wife…I’m willing to bet there is something on this list that your wife would appreciate from you if you made a similar effort. Notice the one common denominator…surprise for her and sacrifice from you:
Surprise day away. Take a day off work, but don’t tell her. Then, the night before or early that morning, spring it on her that you are taking the kids for the day and that she can go and do whatever she wants. Don’t forget to give her some funds for the day. This is especially a blessing to those wives who are stay at home moms.
Unexpected date night. Find babysitters. Make the restaurant reservations. Plan the night around what she would love to do. Don’t reveal your plans until you absolutely must. Spend a large portion of the evening encouraging your wife in all she does to serve your family and why you love her.
Bring her flowers on YOUR birthday. Our birthdays are all about us. If your wife is like mine, she wants it to be special for you also. I tried this last year and it was great. Talk about the time when your wife is least expecting flowers. Anniversary…sure. Her birthday…yes. But to do it on your birthday when you are to be the focus…it was great. I am aware that there is a risk that your wife could feel bad as she is trying to honor you. My wife is hard to surprise and sometimes it requires drastic measures to do so. As you let her know you “couldn’t help yourself” to do this, I trust it will be received warmly.
Unexpected money or gift. If you are a pastor, most of our budgets are tight. If anyone knows that as well as you, it is your wife. Commonly it is our wives that scrape to make our finances go as far as they do. That is why an unexpected gift to her, or just an envelope with some cash will be very meaningful. Attach a note that says, “Thank you for all you do! Please do whatever you wish with this. The only requirement is it must be spent on you.” I assume all wives will be moved by this effort.
I hope this will create a zeal in you to study and know your wife so that you will serve her in a way that communicates clearly the gift from God she is to you. I am convinced one of the best, most effective ways to communicate that message is when you surprise her with something that demonstrates you sacrificed to make it happen.