What A $2 Valentine’s Day Gift Taught Me About My Marriage

“Marriage has the power to set the course of your life as a whole. If your marriage is strong, even if all the circumstances in your life around you are filled with trouble and weakness, it won’t matter. You will be able to move out into the world in strength.”

– Tim Keller

My husband and I knew going into Valentine’s Day that we wouldn’t have anything for each other. Life has been so hectic with foster training, work and other projects that we forgot to plan ahead. We decided to celebrate this weekend when we got to spend time together.

Yesterday, I had a cute story lined up about a dog and his new owner meeting for the first time. The former owners of the dog had wrapped his injured leg in duct tape. When the vet finally got to them his toes had to be amputated. It was the donations from this one consignment store that helped Ducky get the care he needed. So I went to the store yesterday to do the interviews. (It’s one of my favorite stores by the way). As I started to get video of the store I noticed some cool cups sitting on a shelf. One was a gold and white tea cup. I’m collecting them for my lady’s brunch coming up. I was so excited to see it cost $0.59. That’s when I started to look and see if there was a cool mug for my husband.

I knew I had a little over $2 in cash so I had to be thrifty. (We’re on the cash only system because we follow Dave Ramsey’s Financial advise). I almost gave up when I saw this one cup stuck between other mugs. It was a blue and gray striped mug. Perfect for Steven. He doesn’t have a lot of guy mugs so I wanted to get it for him. I was so proud that I could bring him home something for Valentine’s Day. Even if it was a small gift.

If you know Steven and I then you know drinking coffee together has been one of our things since we were friends. At first when I got these cups I was thinking about them just as gifts. But then I realized these cups represent our marriage and love for one another.

Some days in marriage I can’t give anymore. I am overwhelmed with work, life and taking care of Aurora. That’s when my amazing husband pours his strength into me. So when my tea cup is empty he is there to help me get back on track. The same thing goes for him. When he is tired and exhausted I am there to help him.

Now, there have been times we’ve had nothing to give each other. We weren’t keeping our cups filled. That’s when friends and family stepped in to help. Other times we have to fill ourselves up with God’s word just to get through the day. But we don’t stop giving.

These $2.25 cups represent the way a marriage and community should work. If you see your spouse needs to be filled and you keep the contents to yourself then you’re being selfish in your marriage. Marriage does not work when you are thinking about your own wants and needs. You are teammates not enemies.

 “Do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

Most importantly as couples we need to be first filling ourselves with God’s word. We cannot help others if we have nothing to give. If you want to see your marriage improve then invest in your relationship with God. It’s there that you will find how to release those selfish desires and give to your spouse more each day. It’s in God’s word that you will see how you need to love your spouse unconditionally. Marriage is hard. It’s even harder when God is not the center of both of your lives.

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