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Uh Oh! Valentine’s Day is on Ash Wednesday!

This year, the most romantic day of the year is the same day as one of the most solemn. It is the beginning of our penitential season of Lent. No nice steak dinner for the hubby; no decadent chocolates for his dear sweet wife. Now what? A card with an IOU?

Time to get creative.

First, let’s think of our spouses’ love language. If you don’t know what it is, here is a little quiz the two of you could take to discover the way you most feel loved. Do not assume his way is the same as yours. You may enjoy receiving gifts, while he just craves quality time with you.

Below are some ideas that I received from my friends at the Marriage and Relationship Education Center. They came up with some unique ways to show your love this Valentine’s Day that do not involve fancy dinners, flowers, or chocolate. Inspired, I tweaked some of theirs and added a few of my own.

If your spouse’s love language is Words of Affirmation, then he is motivated and feels loved when you speak words of encouragement, love, compliment, or appreciation to him. Consider one of the following ways of showing your love as suggested by MREC.

  • Place sticky notes around the house with sweet and loving messages.

  • Sneak a love letter into his lunch.

  • Call or text him to tell him of your love and that you are thinking of him.

  • Create a personalized playlist of songs that make you think of your spouse and share it with him.

Maybe your spouse likes receiving Gifts, a visual symbol of your love. “The key is that these gifts are meaningful and reflect the intimacy in your relationship,” says Rebecca of MREC. With this in mind, perhaps you can:

  • Put together a little photo album containing your favorite pictures and memories.

  • Make a journal with Bible verses handwritten to remind him that he is truly a man of God and the man you love and appreciate.

  • Is there something he has been wanting to get but hasn’t for one reason or another? Have you noticed him eyeing something at a store? Can you get it for him?

  • Socks, gloves, or a hat are fun gifts in which you can hide other, smaller gifts or gift cards. Plus, there are some really cool (or should I say warm?) socks out there!

Many guys love Physical Affection. For a man whose love language this is, feeling your touch is very important. So,

  • Shower him with more kisses than usual today.

  • Take a walk and hold hands the whole time.

  • Treat him to a back rub.

  • Don’t walk by him without giving him a hug, a kiss, or a squeeze of the hand.

Someone whose love language is Acts of Service feels loved when his wife goes out of her way to do something to help him. Can you:

  • Get up early to make him breakfast before he goes to work.

  • Pour a cup of his favorite coffee made just the way he likes it.

  • Do his household chore for him.

  • Fill his car up with gas.

  • Work on a home project together.

My husband and I happen to have the same love language, which makes it nice. We enjoy Quality Time, just spending time together, making memories, and being fully present to one another. If you husband is like mine, he may like it if you:

  • Sit and watch his favorite movie with him.

  • Play a board game together, or better yet, his favorite video game.

  • Get a babysitter, but since it is Lent, instead of going on a fancy date, just drive around and play 20 questions or retell your favorite memories together and plan your next real get-away.

  • Make a video together either showing your crazy home life or recording your story of how you met and sharing your dreams for the future.

A wonderful way to honor St. Valentine is to show true love for our husbands in a way that they most cherish. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, but thoughtful and sincere. After all, the lesson of Lent is that love is totally self-giving. It is amazing what one genuine act of love can do.

This Ash Wednesday/Valentine Day, may we experience the power of a simple act of love.

What are you doing to celebrate this year’s sacrificial St. Valentine’s Day?

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