|A FREE printable you can get here. You color it yourself! Fun!|
I have never been a big Valentines Day girl.
Maybe its because I spent almost all of my High School/University V-Day's without a boyfriend but I think it has more to do with the commercialization of Love.
Since Bob is a youth pastor we spend a lot of time with kids aged 13-18 and I can't tell you how many times I have heard the words "But I just love him sooo much". I know for a fact that when I had boyfriends in High School I definitely never thought I was in love with them... at least not "like, for real" you know? ;)
I think our culture has done a HUGE disservice to our young people growing up in the last few years. The images of falling "in and out" of love are much too prevalent.
I see girls and guys in and out of relationships, they throw around the word 'love' so easily.
But who can blame them. They are being taught, and shaped by the world around them, and the world around them is a consumers world. Everything has a price and everything can be discarded.
I don't see many people standing up for the truth about love. And that truth is that it's hard. Its work. I'll admit that I am completely head over heels in love with my husband. I seriously can't get enough of him. But I also don't live in a fairytale. Bob and I work hard at showing each other both the love and respect that we desire.
Since Valentines Day is coming up and since Bob and I are gearing up to take a 6 week Marriage Enrichment Course, I thought I would share with you some of my favourite marriage resources that have been helpful to us. I don't know about you but I want our kids to be embarrassed of the kind of love that Bob and I have, so we are going to do our best to cultivate that. We desire for our marriage to be a positive example for our children as well as to the youth around us.
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The Book "Love and Respect" by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. I read this book before we were married and then we were fortunate enough to have a wonderful older couple lead a video teaching series weekend retreat for us and 4 other close friend couples. I did find the book itself to be a bit redundant but I really loved the video series. A few things we learned?
-Men desire respect more than love
-Women desire love more than respect
-If you give your husband respect he is more likely to respond in love
-If you give your wife love she is more likely to respond with respect
-If you aren't giving the desired response to your spouse than you can get on the "Crazy Cycle" Im sure you have all been there, and I know we have! Basically lack of respect breeds lack of love and vice versa.
-Someone has to take the step to get off of the Crazy Cycle...
-Marriage is not about your rights.
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The Dating Diva's. This is a website which is an awesome resource for "Date Nights". If you're like me than you can never think of anything to do on a date night. We used to do anything and everything and were so spontaneous and had lots of fun together. Now that we have a baby date nights are much more difficult, or at least take a lot more organization!
The Dating Diva's is a free resource and they have hundreds of dates for you to choose from. They can be a little cheesy at times but I have used lots of their ideas for special occasions, or have at least used the site to generate some of my own ideas that suit us. They have lots of great Valentines Day ideas right now so be sure to check them out! Don't put all of the pressure of V-Day on your hubs!
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The Book "The Sexually Confident Wife" by Shannon Ethridge. I can't say enough about this book. I really love it and have read it twice! I also have loaned it out to at least 6 or 7 friends and they have also all loved it (its sometimes hard to get it back from them!!) I'm not going to lie though, I definitely took the book out of the book jacket when I was reading it for fear that my mom would find it in my house!! haha!
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The "Intimate Issues" book or conference. Really any books by these ladies. You can also get their whole conference on audio, which I haven't done but have heard great things about. Its a tiny bit outdated but its such great stuff. Really deep heart issues.
I hope that some of these are helpful for you!
Do you have any marriage resources to pass along? I would love to hear them!