This reflection is addressed to husbands. A song of some years ago, sung by Garth Brooks, had this haunting refrain: “If tomorrow never comes, will she know how much I loved her?” In our second reading today St. Paul says, “Husbands, love your wives.” How will she know how much you love her?
She will know if you tell her. So use these three words frequently, “I love you.” And use other words, like, “You look marvelous.” “That was a great meal.” “I appreciate all you do.” She will know how much you love her by your positive words.
Not a person of words? Then service. Cut the lawn, wash her car, do the shopping, take out the garbage, etc., etc. By making her life easier, she will know how much you love her.
Is she still not convinced? Then try gifts. Flowers, candy, jewelry, her favorite meal, a movie, etc. She will know the message.
No money for material gifts? Then give the gift of time, quality time. Do fun stuff together. Enjoy each other’s company. Make her laugh. And give the most difficult gift, the gift of listening. Put aside the “I” word and say instead, “Tell me more.” Listen until you fully understand. The gift of attentive listening is a priceless gift.
And be sure to hold hands, embrace, kiss, and do all you can to make her know she is Number One, the only one in your heart.
With the frequent use of words, service, gifts, quality time and touch, you will nourish your wife and care for her as Christ cares for the church. And your wife, in turn, will know how much you love her. (Cf. The 5 Love Languages, by Gary Chapman.)
What does the reign of God resemble? In the Roman Liturgy of Canada, we read, “Marriage… is the most powerful symbol of God’s love for the world.” A little spark of love can grow into the beautiful flame of marriage that illumines the world with the truth of who God is.
Fr. Alan Phillip, C.P. is a member of the Passionist Community at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California. http://www.alanphillipcp.com/.