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How to Show Up In Relationships

Wishing it was Valentines Day again already? I get it. The romance, the excitement, the intentionality of it all. I can see how it’s appealing. Even I love seeing the photos of all the happy couples come through my Instagram feed; and let’s not forget the adorable father and daughter, mother and son photos. It always seems like on Valentine’s Day there is so much love to go around. People show up in their relationships! But have you noticed how quickly that desire to demonstrate love dwindles after the holiday? 

As fun as it would be to help you recreate that day the truth is that nurturing your marriage takes more. Showing up in your relationships takes more. So you had an awesome Valentine’s Day. Great! Let’s build off that! Let’s use this as an opportunity to set a personal standard of love and friendship in our marriage relationship. 

Practical ways love your spouse and show up in your relationship @mrslotanner http://www.lotanner.com/show-up-in-relationship

I’m not talking about replicating the extravagance of it all, I’m talking about the intentionality of it all. I know (and have been among) both men and women who spend weeks planning and saving for an unforgettable Valentine’s Day only to realize after the fact that there is still work to be done when the day is over. 

A loving relationship still needs to be nurtured. Communication still needs to be fostered. Intimacy still needs to be pursued.
And once a year isn’t going to cut it. 

5 Ways we can we can learn to (demonstrate) love with intention.

So let’s talk about how we can prepare ourselves to LOVE INTENTIONALLY all year around. Let’s put Valentine’s Day back in its place. Let’s let it be the cherry on top, instead of the main substance. 

Learn to recognize how the people around you receive and recognize love.

Love looks a little bit different to all of us. We can recognize and receive love in different ways. I remember the day this lesson was brought to life for me. I’ve written about it before, the day I realized Love Languages do matter. I don’t know if you are familiar with the 5 Love Languages, but if you’re not, I HIGHLY recommend the book! Basically what it comes down to is the idea that there are 5 ways we can communicate love:
 
Acts of Service
Physical Touch 
Words of Affirmation 
Gifts 
Quality Time 
 

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that LastsThe 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that LastsThe 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts

These are called love languages. We all gravitate to a particular language (known as your primary love language) and this is how your mind recognized and receives love. The more people speak your “language” the more adored you feel. The more you use another persons love language to engage with them, the more loved appreciated they feel.So, learn how to speak your loved ones love languages! It will help you know how to demonstrate that you love them in a way they can actually recognize. 

Sidenote: There’s ALove Languages book for parents and children too! I recommend it as well!

Lead with the relationship.

In a strong and healthy relationship; no matter how frustrated you are with a person or circumstance you are committed to responding in a way that reflects unwavering love. No one explains this topic or how to walk out this commitment (with healthy boundaries) better than Danny Silk in his book,Keep Your Love On. We are so used to letting conditional love rule our hearts and create distance between us and our loved ones. Every hurt creates a little more distance and distrust. A relationship can’t bloom like that. We have to be able to say, 
 
I choose you. And I’ll choose you over and over again and over again. Without pause, without a doubt, in a heartbeat. I’ll keep choosing you.”
– (author unknown)

Speak to the good in your partner.

The good moments, memories, qualities, choices, and character traits. Don’t let the good things go unmentioned. And be quick to forgive what hinders you from seeing the good. 

Struggling with how to forgive? Maybe hearing our stories will help.

Be present with one another.

Nothing says, “you matter” likegiving your undivided attention to the loved one speaking to you. Turn down the music, put down the phone, turn off the TV; and be an active participant in your relationships. 

Be their prayer covering.

I’ve heard it said the prayer is the 6th Love Language and I can’t emphasize that enough. Especially in a marriage union. Prayer is the most effective way for you to love on and advocate for people. I have seen it change dozens of relationships including mine. If your relationship isn’t at a place where praying together is possible, I’d encourage you to take it upon yourself to prayer for you and the person on the other side of the relationship consistently. If you aren’t sure what to pray for, 31 Prayers for My Husband by Jennifer & Aaron Smith is a great tool (backed by scripture) for guiding the prayers you pray for your marriage. 

I know these tips sound like the simplest of no-brainers. But you’d be surprised how much effort and care goes into holding yourself to these standards each and every day. But it’s the foundations we build with actions like these that make our relationships great and make days like Valentine’s Day worth celebrating. 

I hope these tips help you prepare for an awesome celebration of love and life. Do you have a piece of relationship advice that has transformed your marriage? Share it with us in the comments!

Want to join other women committed to loving like Christ in their marriage and daily lives? Come visit us at our Facebook Group!

Christian Living & Marriage community http://www.lotanner.com/community @mrslotanner

Resources Mentioned:

Keep Your Love On: Connection Communication And BoundariesKeep Your Love On: Connection Communication And BoundariesKeep Your Love On: Connection Communication And BoundariesThe 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that LastsThe 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that LastsThe 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that LastsThirty-One Prayers For My HusbandThirty-One Prayers For My HusbandThirty-One Prayers For My HusbandThirty-One Prayers For My Wife:Thirty-One Prayers For My Wife:Thirty-One Prayers For My Wife:

 

12 thoughts on “How to Show Up In Relationships”

  1. I really enjoy your encouraging posts on marriage. I think God has been speaking to me through you and a few other like minded bloggers. Your words seem to apply to my season I am in right now. Thank you for your encouraging posts.

  2. Love this post! My husband hates Valentine’s day because he thinks we should love each other all year long. Not just reserve it for one day a year. Sometimes it’s hard to see all the photos of other happy couples on Valentine’s day, but he really does live by that. And I feel loved all year long, which is fantastic.

    1. Hi Amy, you and me both! Sometimes when I write these I feel like I’m preaching at myself. There’s room for growth on my part too.

    1. And its tough some times because there are so many things that need our attention. I just have to remind myself who/what is the priority. Easier said than done some days.

  3. 5 Love Languages is one of my favorite books! We recently redid the test because sometimes due to different seasons a love language can change. Due to a difficult season in life with illness and the death of my momma my #1 love language which was Words of Affirmation changed to Acts of Service. I can see why it changed because there were things I couldn’t do on my own and I needed help. Words were no longer enough my heart craved assistance. It was a great lesson for both of us. Thanks Lo! I appreciate you!

    1. You make a really good point about our Love Languages changing with the seasons. I experienced that same thing when we moved out of Alaska. My Love Languages have changed drastically.

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