Today is Valentine’s Day. This sort-of holiday seems mostly like a chance for retailers to make money during an otherwise commercially dry season. But even a “minor” day such as this is a chance to do something good. I challenge you to take this as an opportunity to ask these five important marriage questions.

If you’re seeing this and you haven’t yet thought of doing something special for your husband or wife, let this be a reminder. It doesn’t have to cost a lot or be elaborate. Leaving him a surprise “I love you” note where he will find it. Handing her a red rose when you come home from work. A text message; “I just might have some warm fuzzies for you tonight.”

But these five questions go a little deeper. And Valentine’s Day can simply be the stimulus to think about and talk about some really important things.

  1. How Well Am I Loving My Spouse?

We all need a “love checkup” from time to time. Do you love your spouse for how they make you feel? (If so, when your spouse isn’t making you feel good you stop loving them.) Or are you loving your spouse for who they really are? What’s it like to be married to you?

This is a chance to evaluate your own heart with some honesty. No self-contempt; that’s never from God. But just a pause for a little self-reflection. Are you being the person God needs you to be to your spouse? Are you staying filled up so you have something to bring to the relationship?

  1. Does My Spouse Feel Loved by Me?

If you know your spouse’s love language this will be easier to answer. Asking this question with honesty requires you to get out of your own head for a bit and put yourself in your spouse’s shoes, looking at the world through their eyes. This doesn’t excuse bad behavior, but it’s an invaluable perspective if you want a healthy relationship.

If you don’t really know the answer, ask. Follow up a kiss or a card or a note or a flower with, “Honey, you are so special to me, and I care about how loved you feel by me. What makes you feel loved? What could I do better in loving you well?”

  1. How Does God See Our Marriage?

The union of two sinners in marriage will always be a setup for disaster–but for God. What’s His perspective on your marriage right now? God sees all the mismatched expectations, vulnerabilities, and prickly spines you both brought to marriage. And He also sees the beautiful demonstration of His love and grace that He is creating your marriage to be.

Take time to thank God for your marriage today. And then, together with your spouse if they’re willing, spend a few minutes in quietness inviting God to speak to you about how He sees your relationship right now and what He might be wanting to do in you in the coming season.

  1. What Beautiful Thing do We Want to Create Together?

As Dr. Curt Thompson has said, we are people of desire. God created us out of His desire for a family, and created us with desires in our souls–for beauty, for connection, for goodness, for creativity. Yes, those desires are often marred, derailed, and covered up, but even if buried they live deep in our souls.

God sees you and your marriage not as a problem to be fixed, but as a thing of beauty on the way to being formed. What desires are buried in your soul? Do you know the desires in your spouse’s soul? Have you talked about them? Have you dared to imagine together what beautiful thing you might want to work toward creating? It’s worth dreaming in this way.

  1. How Are We Together Working On Our Oneness?

The need, desire, and capacity for intimacy is something God put within the soul of every human, and He intended marriage to be an object lesson, a demonstration of the intimacy He desires with each of us. That intimacy is whole-person; physical, emotional, and spiritual. As humans we only approach that kind of intimacy imperfectly. But are you working on that?

What’s the state of the union between you? What kind of investments are you making regularly in building the oneness between you? Do you need to invest in some new things to experience more of the oneness God designed you for? That might be learning communication skills, planning specific times to be together, a marriage retreat, regular prayer together, etc.

Happy Valentine’s Day! And may the state of your union grow ever closer and more beautiful.

Your Turn: How have you demonstrated love to your spouse recently? How will you show them love today? Which of these questions seems most challenging to consider? Leave a comment below.

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