From Tell to Show

Have I told you lately that I love you? Have I told you there’s no one else above you? — Rod Stewart, “Have I Told You Lately”

I have one question that—if asked every morning and lived out every day—could cause the most stagnant marriages to grow again. Let’s rearrange the song lyrics above and instead ask ourselves: Have I shown you lately that I love you?

When you open your eyes in the morning and see the person beside you, ask yourself: Did I demonstrate love to her yesterday? Did I invite the Holy Spirit to love him through me yesterday?

Doing this invites us to live out a daily demonstration of love. It’s not perfect, mind you; but it’s purposeful, and our marriages will reap the benefits.

Let me share a small exercise to go along with this question. You can start this today and anticipate the changes over the next week.

In 1 Corinthians 13:4, we see Paul define love as patient and kind.

The Greek word for patient has two roots:

  • Macro = large, long
  • Thymeo = hot, anger, or wrath

So this word patient means to love with a loooooong fuse. How is your fuse today? Do you have a longer or shorter fuse than you did when you got married?

The Greek root for kindness in this text means “useful.”

How useful are you in love? Are you eager to make life easier, or do you begrudge any effort that is inconvenient or time-consuming?

Here’s the challenge: You can change your marriage this week by picking one of these two words, long-fused or useful.

Don’t tell your spouse which word you picked. Instead, pray the Spirit would demonstrate love through you this week in accordance with the word you chose.

Every morning, for the next seven mornings, awake with the question: Did Jesus demonstrate love [patience or kindness] through me to my spouse yesterday in a way that was useful?

Why? Because nothing wakes a dormant marriage like a demonstration of love—true love—that flows from God, through us, to another.

‘Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, ‘ 1 Corinthians 13:4

God, it is entirely possible that I’ve wrapped my love in words only. Perhaps showing love hasn’t even been on my radar. Thank You for teaching me that the best way to grow in marriage is to show love. As I choose my word above, I pray Your strength will fill me so that, together, we can love my spouse well this week. Today, and every day, show me specific ways You want to love through me. Amen.

  1. Am I willing to allow the Spirit to love my spouse through me—even in ways that may be inconvenient or time-consuming?
  2. What season of marriage are we in, and how can I invest in my marriage to ensure a successful next season?
  3. In what ways might the Holy Spirit want to demonstrate love to my spouse through me?


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