I’ll use “him” or “her” interchangeably in this post for ease of reading.
1.Knock out that item on her to-do list she just hasn’t gotten to.
2.What little touches could better make your home a “prepared place”–like God creates for us–that’s comforting, encouraging, and uplifting, so family and guests feel embraced? For guests, it may be the basket of extra toiletries next to the cozy towel in the bathroom; for kids, you could have a favorite snack ready when he arrives home; help him remove his backpack.
1.Put an arm around his or her shoulder.
2.Hug them in the morning, or when they arrive home, or to wish them good night.
3.Sit next to each other while watching a movie.
4.Throw your arms around their neck while they’re sitting in a chair.
5.Give them a foot rub.
6.Ask to massage their hands while you chat.
7.Give a home pedicure: Soak her feet, then rub, lotion, and varnish while you shoot the breeze. (I love doing this with friends on my back porch while we enjoy a cup of tea.)
8.Surprise your spouse with a massage before hitting the sack.
9.When coming up behind him or her, place a hand gently on the small of his or her back.
10.Grab his or her hand while you’re out and about.
11.Romantically grab your spouse (hello–not like a piece of meat, but demonstrating your desire).
12.Cuddle up whiile reading a book together.
13.Slip an arm around his or her waist while you’re running errands.
14.Give a scalp massage.
15.Surprise them with a gift certificate for a massage or pedicure.
16.Shower with your spouse, and soap him or her up and wash your partner’s hair.
17.Allow your child to sit on your lap and tell you about their day.
18.Rub a child with lotion-preferably a scented one, to help create great memories!–at bedtime while you debrief about life and pray for him or her.
19.Touch your spouse’s face affectionately.
20.Kiss him or her for no reason at all.
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Scrawl a note on a napkin in their lunch: Praying for you today. So proud of you.
Use a dry erase marker on the mirror, or on glazed wall tiles: You rock my world. Thanks for being you.
“I respect you so much for your ability to __.”
Send a text after the big day, meeting, presentation, or test, checking up on how it went and reminding them you were praying. (Set a reminder on your phone or computer if you need help remembering!)
“Even on days when you’re ___, I’m so glad you’re mine.”
“Am I making you feel understood?”
Leave sticky note on their steering wheel or in their backpack. Just to let you know that I love you.
“Your _[personality trait]_ is so just what our family needs.”
Send a love note or, for a child, a letter through the mail, just letting them know what you appreciate about them. Be descriptive and sincere.
Get specific: “You do ___ really well.”
“Tell me more about what that was/is like for you.”
On small strips of paper, write or type things you love about them and great memories you have. Wrap them around individual candies of his or her favorite kind!
“When you did ___ for me, it made my day go so much easier/made my day. Thanks for doing that!”
Remember: Go for quality of words more than quantity. Communicate that when you affirm them, your words aren’t inflated; they’re trustworthy.
“Looking at circumstances, I’m getting the idea that you might not be feeling very ___ lately. Wanted to let you know that I see so much _[character quality]_ in you, and at the risk of sounding corny–I’m proud of you.”
“You make me so happy just by being you.”
Send an e-mail or Facebook message: Just wanted to let you know that I’ve seen the way you’re trying so hard to ___. I love it, and I love you.
“Got a minute to tell me how you’ve been–really? I’d love to get the inside story on what you’ve been thinking about and going through.”
“I respect you so much for the way you ___.”
“I realize you and I haven’t been completely on the same page recently. Just wanted to let you know I’d never trade the privilege of being your[mom/dad/husband/wife]. And I’m totally committed to working on our relationship so we can understand and enjoy each other.”
Really glad you're here. Welcome to a lingering conversation--about a head-turning, undeserved kindness that's turned my life on its head. This site's about Jesus in a pair of well-worn Levi's: faith walking around in our sneakers, scuffing up against real life and real people.
I hope you'll find some questions worth asking, conversations worth engaging, compassion that's compelling, and practical ideas to knead genuine love into relationships. (...With a side of slightly irreverent humor.)
After five and a half years in Uganda, my family and I have recently returned to the U.S., where we continue to work on behalf of the poor. I write and love on my family from Colorado.