Well, it’s almost Valentine’s Day. Thus, it’s the season to celebrate our romantic love, consider the depth of our commitment to our spouse . . . and then scratch our heads and wonder what on earth to get this year that communicates how we feel. Would flowers do it? A box of chocolate? A night of passionate sex?
You can access past posts from me with specific gift ideas, as well as taking a look at Christmas stocking stuffer ideas that might work for Valentine’s, but I thought I’d share some of the best “Go Big” gifts I’ve personally heard about: Big-impact ideas people I know have successfully carried out. Maybe the rest of us (especially non-romantic types) can learn a thing or two.
The Getaway Weekend.
“Come, my beloved, let us go to the countryside, let us spend the night in the villages” (Song of Songs 7:11).
Getting away from your daily demands and household stresses can be a lovely gift for your marriage. Having an entire date weekend can provide the opportunity to enjoy one another’s companionship and remind yourselves exactly why you two fell in love. (Hint: It wasn’t because he kills the spiders. The Orkin man does that too.)
Think about whether your spouse is one who likes surprises or wants time to prepare, and plan your weekend accordingly. You could scoop up your spouse, hand them already-packed luggage or give them a short time to pack, and then sweep them off to a surprise destination. Or you could have several possibilities picked out from which he can choose, or gift them with a certificate for a getaway weekend.
Make sure you also consider what kind of weekend you and your spouse would enjoy. You may think staying in a cute cottage inn near quaint shopping venues is marvelous, but if your guy is partial to hunting, fishing, and the Great Outdoors, only one of you will be happy. Plan a weekend that meets your mutual interests, or even leans in favor of your spouse’s desires. In fact, bless them with a generous offer to attend an event you wouldn’t prefer, but you’re willing to do to spend time with your spouse and give them greater joy.
The Vow Renewal.
“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame” (Song of Songs 8:6).
About 90% of wives I’ve polled said they would do their wedding differently if given a second chance. (Most would do something simpler, less costly, more intimate.) A few couples have done exactly that: Taken a second chance to say their wedding vows through a renewal ceremony. This can be a formal event or a casual experience. In fact, at one marriage retreat I attended, the speaker led all the couples through reciting their marriage vows again.
You can book a location and a minister and invite friends; make it a small ceremony with just you, your beloved, and an officiant; or merely create a romantic setting and repeat your vows in private. If your spouse would rather be part of the planning, provide a gift certificate for the renewal ceremony of her choice.
Also consider this opportunity to promise specific things you’ve learned you should work on, such as “I promise to kiss you every morning and hold you close every night” or “I promise to pray for you daily.” Tailor the vows to your particular marriage and recommit to however-many more years of pursuing marital bliss.
The Childhood Memory.
“And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven’ ” (Matthew 18:3).
One of the things you signed up for when you said “I Do” is hearing your spouse’s stories. Sometimes they even tell the same story from their childhood two, three, or fifty times. Hopefully some of those stories are wistful ones that reach back to a simpler time of childhood when fresh wonder and deep laughter came easily. Now how about a gift that lets your husband (or wife) know you listened and you value their good memories?
I know one husband who gifted a vintage board game his wife used to love playing as a child, and another wife who (rather competitively) bid to get a toy her husband had once owned and regretted giving away. Another couple took a trip to the wife’s childhood home and let her soak in the memories as they toured her old stomping grounds and she related even more detailed recollections.
What happy events does your spouse talk about from childhood? What possessions did they treasure, or what objects or experiences did they long to have? What created a sense of wonder and joy in their youth, and what gift could represent that? Perhaps you can give a childhood memory.
The Love Letter.
“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24).
I’m partial to the written word. (Can you tell?) One of the couples I know who experienced a love letter as a gift was this one right here — me and my husband. Spock (logical hubby’s nickname) stepped way outside his comfort zone and wrote me a love poem one year. It remains my favorite gift from him, because of how heartfelt and meaningful it was.
The poetry wasn’t good, so don’t worry about your writing skills. Simply express your heart on the page. (By the way, I cover How to Write a Love Letter more in Sex Savvy.) Or if the page isn’t your thing, make a video love letter, serenade your beloved with a song, or put together a slide show expressing your beautiful memories and/or future dreams. However you wish to deliver your message is fine; simply make the effort to be personal and passionate with the love letter.
The Sensual Body Experience.
“How beautiful you are and how pleasing, my love, with your delights!” (Song of Songs 7:6)
How awesome would it be to come home to a candlelight dinner, or a trail of clothes leading to the bedroom, or rose petals on the bed? How nice would it be for your spouse to delay their own gratification to spend additional time plunging you into a feast of sensations through deep massage or a foamy bubble bath or feeding one another delicious fruits or chocolates? How about an extra-long, head-to-toe lovemaking session that focuses on exploring and arousing one another’s bodies as much as possible? Anyone like these ideas?
I’ve only heard hints from couples I know about this gift of the sensuous body experience, because we really don’t need to be sharing details. But I know some have gone to great lengths to prepare the atmosphere and create a romantic setting for their intimate time together.
What would bless your spouse in this regard? What activities stimulate their five senses and demonstrate your higher-and-deeper love? Remember to make this a gift for both of you. You can create not only a beautiful, intimate experience, but a memory that will bring smiles to both of you for years to come.
These are some of the best “go big” marriage gifts I personally heard about, but there are many more. What ideas do you have for Valentine’s Day or any other gift time in marriage?
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What does the Bible say about sexual intimacy?
Quite a lot actually. From marriage-specific scriptures to biblical principles, Intimacy Revealed: 52 Devotions to Enhance Sex in Marriage guides Christian wives through weekly devotions that shed light on God’s gift of marital sex.
Each week includes a Bible passage, application, questions, and a prayer. These short devotions will deepen your understanding of God’s design of sexuality and encourage you toward a holier, happier, and hotter marriage.