Romantic Tips

Don’t feel like you’re the romantic type? Romance is simply “love made obvious.” Let us help you kindle those flames of romance!

Our treasure trove of Romantic Tips can be selected by Love Language. So whether your mate’s love language is Time, Touch, Affirmation, Service or Gifts, you can find a tip especially tailored for him/her. If you want to know more about love languages, see Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages.

After you’ve read these, watch our FREE webinar “Seven Secrets of a Great Lover” for more helpful tips!

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Select Tips for yourself (Husband or Wife) and then choose your mate’s Love Language

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    Here’s a really easy tip for you, guys. But it’s one that will score big points with your wife. Simply write the following on a card-sized piece of colored paper: Good for 30 minutes of conversation. Use whenever you like and as often as you like. Have the card laminated and present it to your wife. She will think you are the sweetest husband in the world.

    It’s a whole new year! It’s a great time to start a new habit! For the next 30 days, set your phone reminder to do something for your wife every day. It might be as simple as making a special point to tell her how much you appreciate what a wonderful mother she is, or what great meals she cooks. Or it might be a card you buy or make and slip under her pillow. Take TIME to study your wife and appreciate who she is. And tell her so every single day!

    For the next two weeks at least, ask your wife every day, "What burden is on your heart that we can pray for today?" Then take her hand and spend time right then and there to pray for that burden together. The time you spend with your wife in this significant way will build your love in a way that nothing else can. If you do this for two weeks and realize how good it is, you will hopefully keep on doing it and form a habit that will draw you two closer than you could ever believe. Try it for two weeks, guys!

    Give your wife the first 15! The first 15 minutes when you wake up in the morning. Set your alarm earlier if necessary and spend those minutes cuddling and welcoming the new day together. Check her schedule for the day with her and ask if you can do anything to help her that day. Ask her how you can be praying for her while you’re apart. And the first 15 minutes when you get home from work are hers…not the game, not the news…hers. Talk about her day and yours. Tell her you thought about her today and are glad to be back with her at the end of the day. Just a half-hour a day, guys. But it can mean the world to your wife!

    Sometimes you may think of time with your wife as not as important as time you spend on other things...like work, watching sports, or even playing with the kids. But TIME is very important to your wife. She may even spell love T-I-M-E. So this month's tip for you guys is to treat time with your wife the way you would treat time with Joe Montana or the quarterback of your favorite team. Remind yourself that every moment you get to spend with the love of your life is precious. I know this is a little mushy, guys, but, believe me, your wife will notice the shift in your attitude and will like it.

    Some evening this month, turn the lights down low, put on some soft music, and dance with your wife. You may not be able to dance well, but you can still hold her in your arms and sway to the music. Tell your wife how much you love her and give her a long, slow kiss. If you feel adventuresome, dip her at the end of the song. (Caution -- don't drop her!) Believe me, you will make your wife feel very special!

    Locate your wife's high school or college yearbook, get it out and open it with her. Ask her to tell you all about the pictures she is in. Ask her about her favorite teachers, her friends, her classes and all the things about it that she liked...or didn't like. This can be an opportunity to explore a part of her life you've never explored before, so listen closely.

    Find a quiet moment and ask your wife, "What one thing would make this year the best year of our marriage?" Talk in detail about how you two working together can make it happen, and set about really making this year the best year yet!

    This one is going to take some determination, guys, but it will be well worth your trouble. Scope out some art galleries and/or museums in your area you think your wife would like to visit. You may have grumbled about the possibility of going to one of these in the past...but now.... That's right...now you are going to show her how much you love her by taking her to one of them without a single complaint or growl. Make it a fun time. You'll be glad you did...trust me!

    Pack a picnic lunch for the two of you to share. If you're not good at making sandwiches, pick up some at your favorite sandwich shop. Add some cookies and fruit, and you've got it! Now here's something that will make it even better. Check your local happenings, and, if possible, enjoy that picnic at an outdoor concert or play. Downtown parks often have special events this time of year. This will be a mighty sweet memory for your wife!

    This one is worth a lot of extra points, guys, so listen up. Take a trip to your local Christian bookstore and buy a book about how to make your marriage stronger and happier. (Or you can order our "Experiencing Oneness" book online.) Then not only give the book to her, read it out loud together...not all at once, but in several sittings. This will be a very special gift for your wife. And who knows, you may enjoy it too!

    Do something together as a team. You could help at your local Food Pantry, or serve dinner at a homeless shelter together. You could canvas your own community for a food drive benefitting your town's Rescue Mission. There are so many helpful projects you and your wife can accomplish together, and I bet she'll be thrilled you wanted to volunteer as a team!

    This one is so SIMPLE - but hard, more so for some than others - TURN OFF THE TV THIS WEEK! Spend that time with your wife and family, engaged in conversation and activities. You may find entirely new and novel things to do together. You've heard of 40 Day Challenges. This is only a 7 Day Challenge - Can you do it?

    You may or may not be a jigsaw puzzle guy, but here's your opportunity to spend some great quality time with your wife. Buy a big 2,000 piece puzzle with a theme that fits with your wife's interests. A history buff might enjoy a puzzle with a picture of our founding fathers or a gardener would like a puzzle with flowers or a garden scene. Set up a card table for your project and enjoy times of closeness finishing the puzzle together. Even if you can only spend a few minutes here and there, working on it together will remind you both what a great team you make!

    Set aside some special time with your wife and talk about what upgrades each of you would like for your home. Don't be afraid to dream big. Take notes because these dreams can grow legs. Once you have a list, get practical and note the steps and finances necessary to make each happen. Then agree on one project within your budget and set a project start date. As a man, you may consider this time merely a practical planning meeting. But to your wife, it'll be time you are willing to invest in dreaming together. Very sexy, guys.

    Set aside some special time with your wife and talk about what upgrades each of you would like for your home. Don't be afraid to dream big. Take notes because these dreams can grow legs. Once you have a list, get practical and note the steps and finances necessary to make each happen. Then agree on one project within your budget and set a project start date. As a man, you may consider this time merely a practical planning meeting. But to your wife, it'll be time you are willing to invest in dreaming together. Very sexy, guys.

    Whether you have already planned a vacation for this summer or not, you can plan a one-day vacation in your own hometown. Pick up a bunch of tourist brochures about the area you live in (or live kind of close to, if you live 5 miles past the middle of nowhere). The night before your excursion, huddle together with your wife and look at all the fascinating places, museums, natural scenic drives or walks and attractions available. Together, plan your day of hometown fun. Then go play tourists...even dress like tourists. And don't forget your camera!

    Why let the kids have all the fun? Plan a fun date, with the first step being to arrange for the children to stay at friends or family for an afternoon or evening. Then tell your wife that the dress code for the date is bathing suits. (If you have privacy fencing or live waaaay out in the country, you can get more creative.) If you have a pool, you can have your own private pool party. But even without a pool, you can still have fun running through the sprinklers or playing in the water from your garden hose. Take turns now! Let your wife squirt you as much as you squirt her, and have fun like a couple of kids.

    Give your wife a "Time Coupon." Simply take a 3x5 card and write "This coupon is worth two hours of time together and is redeemable any day this week." Your time - undivided attention time - is very valuable to your wife. In fact, many wives spell love T-I-M-E! We would suggest two parameters for you to keep in mind for your time together: (1) Do something that leaves you free to talk to one another; and (2) allow yourselves some amount of privacy [no double date].

    Give your wife the gift of listening. No kidding - this is really important to her. When you show her you are truly trying to listen to her, she interprets that to mean she is important to you, that you value her enough to pay attention to what she has to say. So the next time your wife tries to talk with you (about her day, about the kids, about her whatever), mute the TV, put down the remote, and look her in the eye...even if the ballgame is in extra innings.

    Want to rack up some major romantic points with your wife? Then plan an evening at home she'll never forget. After the children are in bed, the two of you can curl up in front of a warm fire (if you have a fireplace, that is) and reminisce over your wedding album. Talk about each photo as you remember your wedding day. This will bring back some mighty sweet memories.

    Do you know your wife's favorites? Her favorite color? Favorite flower? Favorite movie of all time? Favorite dessert? Favorite time of day? Favorite characteristics of her sweet husband? Take your wife on a "Favorites date" some quiet place where you can talk uninterruptedly. Have pen and paper handy and ask her what her favorites are. Write them down so you can remember them. Taking the time and effort to compile such a list will give you mega deposits in her love bank - AND you will have ideas for great gifts for your wife until you're both old and gray.

    Do something new and different! Have you ever taken your wife bowling? How about to a museum? Or a bicycle ride? Are your dates same ol' same ol'? Then try something different ? something you've never done together before. Even if it's a bomb, it can be something you'll laugh at for years to come.

    Go fly a kite? Together! Have fun running hand in hand, letting your kite fly as high as it will. What a great way to spend time together on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Make sure you touch your wife a lot (non-sexually) - hold her hand, give her a quick hug, a shoulder massage, etc. While you're at it, take a blanket and thermos of iced tea if the weather is nice enough, and relax after all that exercise.

    Did you know that watching a romantic movie with your wife not only puts you both in a romantic frame of mind, it also affects hormone levels in your bodies? That's right! Levels of progesterone, a hormone that promotes bonding and relaxation, increase in both men and women while watching a romantic flick. And long-term, loving relationships can make your real age as much as 6.5 years younger!* There are a lot of sweet, romantic movies (you might have been calling them corny) on TV this time of year, guys. Take advantage of them. She'll love it, and you'll both benefit. * RealAge, Inc

    Well, here it is Spring again! This is a romantic time of year, so take advantage of it while the buds and blooms are new and the grass is so green it hurts your eyes. What a great time to take a ride through the country! Plan a leisurely drive on a sunny afternoon, stopping to drink in some special scenery. Have some sparkling cider stashed in a cooler, and dare to be corny enough to make a toast to your relationship.

    Escape the March madness! Take your wife to an auction - collectibles, antiques, furniture, or whatever interests her. Agree on a spending limit that won't bust your budget and have fun.

    There's nothing quite so sexy as conversation -real pay-close-attention conversation. Some evening or weekend day, set aside a quiet hour (without children whirling around) to talk. (If you have a fireplace, a warm fire would make a nice touch.) Ask your wife what her favorite dessert is, her favorite time of day, her favorite flower, favorite vacation spot, favorite cartoon character, favorite??? you take it from there. These are things you should know and cherish about each other, but very few couples have ever talked about them. So here's your chance.

    Grab some time this month for just you and your wife when you can sit alone and talk. No TV, no movie or sports event - just the two of you with no distractions. This time doesn't have to be complicated or profound, don't even plan what you're going to talk about. Your wife really needs your undivided attention sometimes. So look her in the eyes and listen and talk. She'll think it's very romantic, and maybe you will too.

    Do you have boxes of memories stored somewhere in your house? The basement? The attic? Go on a hunting expedition together. Find those old love letters or pictures. Reminisce over mementos of forgotten vacations or the kids' school plays. Relive your history together. It may sound boring, but your wife will think it's a treasure hunt - a very romantic treasure hunt.

    When you think of going on a date with your wife, I bet you usually think of going to dinner or a movie or concert. Right? Well, here's a date idea that will let you off real cheap but will be worth a whole lot to your relationship. First, find a scenic place to relax together - a blanket on the beach, a bench along a park trail, a big rock up in the mountains - someplace quiet and romantic. Then talk . Wait, don't panic. I'm going to give you four specific questions to talk about. (This is going to be easy, guys.) Here are the questions: (1) If you could either be rich or famous, which one would you want to be? (She answers, then you answer.) (2) If someone gave you $1,000,000, but with the stipulation that you couldn't spend it on yourself, what would you do with it. (She answers, then...you know the drill.) (3) If we could take a vacation anywhere in the world, and money was no object, where would you like to go? (4) What would you do if you knew the Lord was coming back next Saturday?what would you do this week? You, of course, can think of even more questions to talk about. But you might be surprised how simply talking about such things will help you listen to each other's heart.

    Plan a "laughing date." The first thing you will need to do is buy a really funny book of jokes. Then plan a date night at home. After the kids are tucked into bed for the night, lay out your wife's favorite snacks and drinks in the living room. Then cuddle up and read jokes to each other. You will laugh together for hours! Remember, God says that laughter is good medicine. Laughing together is good medicine for your relationship.

    It's almost Christmas! For some of you, I know the thought of Christmas shopping strikes fear and dread in your hearts. But let me tell you a little secret, guys: there is something your wife wants from you that would mean more to her than a diamond necklace or a fur coat?.It's your time. Now connect the dots and put "your time" and "Christmas shopping" together. That's right! Take your wife Christmas shopping! For three hours take her anywhere she wants to shop ? not Home Depot or the tool department at Sears! Carry her packages with a smile and tell her how glad you are just to be with her. Believe me, this will be a priceless gift to her!

    On a quiet evening sometime this month, plan your dream house together. Lay several pieces of construction paper out on the table. Talk about what you both want the outside to look like, then take turns sketching it. Then, on another sheet, sketch the inside. How many rooms. How big. What each room is for. Take as long as you like dreaming about your future together. Then pray together and turn your dreams over to God.

    Take your wife on a "Memory date" anywhere you can sit and be alone. Talk about the "special places" in your lives. The special restaurant you went to on your anniversary, the park where you like to take romantic walks, the porch swing, the diner that plays sixties music. These are your places - they're part of your history as a couple and bring back great memories of your coupleness. Pick out one of your "special places" to revisit this month. Being there will have a deeper meaning than before. It will mean a lot to your wife and to you.

    Have some fun with a Love Scavenger Hunt. It can go something like this. Leave the Yellow Pages out for your wife with a note taped to the front: "Look on Page 102." Say it's the page for florists. Have one of the florist shops circled with a note by it: "Look in the bath tub." When she looks in the bath tub, there's her favorite color rose in the tub with a note saying: "Yellow Pages, page 122." You can keep it going as long as you like. Just make sure the last Yellow Page is the restaurant page or somewhere else you both like to go. This is a great way to 'Hunt for Red - Hot Summer Date.'

    Summertime? Flower time! Discount stores and home improvement stores are full of beautiful blossoming plants. Take an excursion to your favorite store and pick out some together. When you get back home, make it a joint project to "pretty-up" your home outside and in with brilliant color. It's the "joint" part of any project that makes it romantic.

    It's Spring! Take advantage of the great weather and break out the bicycles or rent a couple. Plan a bike ride for two through an esthetic setting - a park or out in the countryside. If you don't live near such, a bike ride around your own neighborhood will do. The point is to spend some quality time together. You can even take along a blanket and special dessert, candy or drink for a romantic break.

    You may not consider yourself a "culture vulture." In fact, you may be the one who moans the loudest when your wife suggests a museum or historic home tour. Now's the time to make your love obvious by taking her on just such a cultural excursion. There may an old, historic town nearby, a museum of art, or even a plantation - look through your state's tourist guide book until you find something you think she would find interesting. Then capture her for an afternoon of surprises and discoveries together. Be sure you wear comfortable shoes and a big smile.

    Plan a Treasure Shopping day for your wife. Note: this is not a "hunt" where your goal is to track down the "prey." This is Shoooopppppppping - where you enjoy the process of finding what you're looking for. The treasure can be anything she really wants where a bargain can be found in flea markets, Goodwill, discount stores, or even pawn shops. And, of course, it has to be within your budget. Keep a smile on your face and maintain an air of interest in this excursion, even if it kills you. Share her pleasure with the process, whether she finds what she wants or not. Remember, this is HER Shopping excursion - help her enjoy it as much as possible.

    Put some thought into choosing a gift for your mate that takes into account the way they best get the message that you love them. They may prefer you give them gifts - this one is easy. Just pick out a great gift, making sure that you have given it more than a little thought. Ask your kids what they think Mom or Dad would like. Kids can have a lot of insight. They may know you love them best when you touch them. Just use your imagination a little and get them a gift that will require a little touching in its administration or operation (i.e., a gift certificate for a massage, sensuous nightwear, etc.). They may realize you love them most when you let them know how special they are, or affirm them in what they are and do. The gift you pick should communicate approval for them in some way (i.e., if they love cooking, consider getting the set of cookware they've been drooling over; if they love playing tennis, get them a new racquet, tennis wear, etc.) Your mate may best see love when you spell it T-I-M-E. If so, make sure you give a gift that will require your time (i.e., it may be a gift certificate for a nice dinner, it may be an evening/night away from kids, friends and distractions that you arrange for). Finally, your mate may best see your love when you DO something for them. If that is the case, make sure you give a gift which includes an element of your service (i.e., a breakfast in bed, a certificate for a house-cleaning, babysitting, etc.).

    When is the last time you had a "Dream Date"? We're talkin' dreaming together. Take your wife to a romantic place where you can be alone - the beach, a park, or even your front porch swing. Cuddle her in your arms and dream a little dream or two together. Here are some suggestions to get you started. "If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you want to live?" "If someone gave you $1,000,000, what are the first 5 things you would do with it? "If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?"

    What does your wife like to shop for most? Or where does she like to shop most? Together set an amount which your budget will allow and take her on a shopping date. No grumbling or detached non-verbal signals are allowed for this to work. Put on your smiley face and show a great degree of patience. Let her know that a little waiting on your part is well worth it for the joy of "being together." It will earn you BIG love bank credits!

    Make a commitment of time to your mate (I suggest not less than 60 minutes) in which your mate can choose the allotment of the time for any activities in the list below. Print this out and have them fill it in: I wish I could spend all day ___________ (name the day for her). But since I cannot, I want to commit _______ minutes with you doing whatever you want to do. Please write an amount of time next to each activity you would most like to do. I'll take the responsibility of seeing that we stay on schedule. (This idea was found in Doug Fields' book Creative Romance.) Activity # Minutes Activity # Minutes Talking _______ Playing with kids ________ Reading _______ Making love ________ Walking _______ Listening to music ________ Eating _______ Playing games ________ Praying _______ Driving around ________ Hugging _______ Cleaning House ________ Shopping _______ Hunting/Fishing ________ Other: _____________________________________________

    Do a House Swap with close friends. Get as elaborate as you want, keeping it a surprise (as suggested on page 76 of 52 Ways to Have Fun, Fantastic Sex by the Penners) or even planning it together. Here's a quote from the Penner's House Swap chapter to give you a few ideas: "Sometime before the evening pack a bag with pajamas, lingerie, and a change of clothes for the two of you. You may want to include scented bath soaps, candles, some tapes or CD's (be sure your friend has a stereo system for these) with your favorite music, and two crystal goblets. Go by your friends' house (if they have already left) and stock it with tasty snacks and drinks and drop off your bags. "Meet your wife or husband after work with a mysterious smile and the promise of an evening of surprises."

    Can you remember you and your wife's first date? You can rack up a lot of romance points by recreating that date with her. Even if you don't live in the same location as you did then (and you probably don't), you can closely recreate that magic moment. Maybe you took a walk along a beach, but the best you can do now is a stroll along a creek. Hey, it's water! You can take her to the same type of restaurant you did back then, or rent the video of the movie you saw that night. During your date, reminisce about that very special memory.

    I don’t care if you think Hallmark movies are sappy. Watch at least one this month with your wife. When the couple kisses at the end of the movie, ask your wife what grade she would give that kiss. Then add, “I bet we can do better than that.” Then show her what you mean. Then she will know that she has her own “leading man” right there on the couch with her!

    Remember how you and your wife used to gaze into each other’s eyes when you first fell in love? Kids, home responsibilities, work, busy-ness…they’ve taken their toll on those moments, haven’t they? So now you’re going to have to intentionally take time to look into each other’s eyes and remember why you fell in love, and how wonderful your wife really is. This may seem like such an unimportant thing, but take my word for it, guys, this is a powerful connection for you both. Especially for your wife.

    Make it a point to kiss your wife before you leave for the day. And kiss her "hello" when you get back together at the end of the day. We never know what a day may bring, so you want to make sure you and your wife intentionally connect with each other every day. You never want to live with the regret of leaving her for the day and not being able to go back and say "I love you. Goodbye." if, God forbid, that "Goodbye" should be final. And besides, Guys, you just can't ever get too much kissin'.

    When’s the last time you and your wife took a walk together? A simple walk, talking and holding her hand, enjoying the scenery together. You’d be surprised at how precious simple things like this are to your woman, especially when you take the initiative to make it happen. So this month’s tip is to do just that. Grab your wife’s hand and say, “Honey, let’s take a walk – just you and me.”

    Some evening this month, turn the lights down low, put on some soft music, and dance with your wife. You may not be able to dance well, but you can still hold her in your arms and sway to the music. Tell your wife how much you love her and give her a long, slow kiss. If you feel adventuresome, dip her at the end of the song. (Caution -- don't drop her!) Believe me, you will make your wife feel very special!

    No matter how long we've been married, we all need reminded of the deep love that brought us together. This month's tip will help remind you and your wife of that love in a dramatic way. And I think you are really going to like it! Every day - when you first wake up, or leave for work, or get home from work, whatever time works the best for you and your wife - give her a long, sweet 10-second kiss. Little pecks are OK once in a while, but they don't stir the senses like a 10-second kiss can. Remember, guys, ten whole seconds.

    Make it a point, guys, to kiss your wife goodbye every time you leave the house, even if it's just a gentle kiss when she's asleep. This is such a simple action, but it means a whole lot to your wife. For women, a kiss is more than just a simple touch of the lips, it involves her whole heart...seriously. It's an assurance that you love her, it's a promise you are going to return to her, it makes her feel wanted...in short, guys, it probably means more to her than it does to you. So do it!

    Is it foot-play or foreplay? It's both! Did you know the area of the brain that feels your feet is right beside the area that feels your genitals? This means a soothing foot-rub can also be an effective form of foreplay. So, I recommend you cultivate two new habits. #1 - Graciously offer to rub your wife's feet often. #2 - Jump at every chance to go shoe shopping with her, taking the opportunity to help her find just the right pair as you slip each shoe on her dainty feet. Now you know why people like to play footsy!

    (I call this tip: "Chores That Keep On Touching.") Is your wife starting to talk about "Spring cleaning" or working in the yard? Don't let Spring chores get you down...instead make a game of them. Working side by side to get the chores done can be, believe it or not, a very bonding experience. And I challenge you to make it even more bonding by reaching over and gently patting your wife on the shoulder or knee...or even on her rear end. See how many times you can touch her before she starts touching you back. You just might find yourself laughing and even enjoying yourself as you complete those Spring chores together.

    Women consider their face and hair private territory, so only special people can touch our face or stroke our hair. To us, it's a very intimate touch. So this month, make your love obvious by giving your wife a scalp massage. Make it slow and sensuous. Start massaging the crown of her head and work slowly to the base of her neck. You don't even have to set aside special time for this. Some evening while you're watching television together, reach over and run your fingers through her hair, then start gently rubbing her scalp. Take my word for it, guys. This is a winner!

    Turn an ordinary piece of paper into pure thoughtfulness. Simply write the following, leaving plenty of room for your wife to fill in the blanks: "Dear (Her Name), If I could take you anywhere you wanted to go on a date (within our budget), it would be to __________. The day we would go would be ________. At the precise time of _____. I would wear _________. You would wear _________. We would eat _________. And not come home until _______. (Just fill in the blanks, Honey. I'm at your service.)" Then sign your name and leave it somewhere she's sure to find it. Once you have her answer, follow through and make all the arrangements to create her dream date. You'll warm her heart for sure!

    Be on the lookout for every opportunity to hold your wife's hand this month. When you're walking into, out of and through stores. When you're walking into and out of church. Make it your mission to reach over and take her hand every chance you get. And while you're holding her hand, gently rub the soft skin of her wrist with your thumb. You will be reminding her that you are a team, that you are one. And she will feel loved and cared for and most likely will respond accordingly.

    Your wife will probably enjoy any kind of massage, but a foot massage may prove to be one of the most relaxing and enjoyable. Set up a special time when you two won't be interrupted, and have some sweet smelling lotions at your fingertips. If your wife has not just showered or bathed, you can wash her feet as part of the massage. Wow! Will she think you're wonderful!

    Go fly a kite? Together! Have fun running hand in hand, letting your kite fly as high as it will. What a great way to spend time together on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Make sure you touch your wife a lot (non-sexually) - hold her hand, give her a quick hug, a shoulder massage, etc. While you're at it, take a blanket and thermos of iced tea if the weather is nice enough, and relax after all that exercise.

    Help get the children to bed, then run your wife a soothing hot bubble bath. While she's relaxing in the tub, place her feet one at a time on a towel in your lap and give her a slow, sensual foot massage. Ask her to tell you about her day while you massage each foot. You'll be letting her know how much you appreciate the way she chases after children all day (or clients, or customers).

    Sometime while you're sitting on the couch with your wife, see if you can touch her 20 times before she asks you what you're up to. Try different touches and stay around the shoulders and above or the knees and below. Rub her neck and shoulders, play with her hair, touch her check and behind her ears (most women really like their heads touched - it's very personal without being sexual). If she suspects your motives, you can tell her you're just touching her because she's so touchable, that your motives aren't sexual (your thoughts might be, but your motives shouldn't be.)

    Put some thought into choosing a gift for your mate that takes into account the way they best get the message that you love them. They may prefer you give them gifts - this one is easy. Just pick out a great gift, making sure that you have given it more than a little thought. Ask your kids what they think Mom or Dad would like. Kids can have a lot of insight. They may know you love them best when you touch them. Just use your imagination a little and get them a gift that will require a little touching in its administration or operation (i.e., a gift certificate for a massage, sensuous nightwear, etc.). They may realize you love them most when you let them know how special they are, or affirm them in what they are and do. The gift you pick should communicate approval for them in some way (i.e., if they love cooking, consider getting the set of cookware they've been drooling over; if they love playing tennis, get them a new racquet, tennis wear, etc.) Your mate may best see love when you spell it T-I-M-E. If so, make sure you give a gift that will require your time (i.e., it may be a gift certificate for a nice dinner, it may be an evening/night away from kids, friends and distractions that you arrange for). Finally, your mate may best see your love when you DO something for them. If that is the case, make sure you give a gift which includes an element of your service (i.e., a breakfast in bed, a certificate for a house-cleaning, babysitting, etc.).

    This romantic tip, guys, will help you communicate to your wife that you value her, her suggestions, and your time together. It’s easy and just might save you from the dog house a time or two. Here it is: whenever you wife asks you to do something with her or go somewhere with her, and budget or scheduling won’t allow it, be smart and reply, “We can’t do that right now [our schedule or budget whatever] won’t allow it. But we can do this.” And substitute something you CAN do together instead. “Just saying no” in these situations does not work and can feel very hurtful to your wife. This seems so simple, but I guarantee you, it will work.

    Catch your wife doing something – anything – good and affirm her for it. “Thank you. I appreciate your doing that.” Those are powerful words, Guys! But you have to be aware of what she’s doing. No taking for granted anything she does for you or the children! Does she make your coffee? Thank her for it. Does she fix your meal? Tell her you appreciate it. Does she get the kids off to school in the mornings? Well, that means you don’t have to, so thank her for it. We can get so used to all the things our spouse does around the house. But just think for a minute what life would be like if you had to do everything all by yourself. Hard! So make your wife feel appreciated!

    You probably find it easier to compliment your wife’s looks than… say… her mental or emotional abilities. Right? So you can come up with “You smell good” easier than “I love the way you are so supportive with your friends.” But I want to challenge you to compliment your wife about her spiritual life, because, let’s face it, that’s the most important part of her (or your) life. So here are some suggestions as to what you can say to her that will affirm her spiritually. “You have more spiritual strength and character than I see in most people.” Or “I think your spiritual gifts would bless (or do bless) a lot of people in our church.” You will need to think about what spiritual gifts you think your wife exhibits before you say anything to her about them. I know this will be a challenge for you, guys. But I urge you to give it a try. Your wife needs your spiritual encouragement and affirmation!

    Whatever appointment you make with your wife, make it priority. And when I say “appointment,” I mean even things like “I’ll be home by 5:00;” or “Want to catch the new Star Wars movie Friday?” When you refuse to let other things steal your time together, you are telling your wife how important and valuable she is to you…more important than a so-called work emergency or talking about fishing with a buddy or, for that matter, actually fishing with a buddy. And when you’re feeling especially loving, you can tell your woman that she really is more important to you than anything else in this life. Believe me, you’ll receive big rewards for this one!

    Buy a package of valentines – like the ones kids give out at school. Beginning on Valentine’s Day, give one to your wife (at breakfast, if possible) every day for a month. Let her know how much she means to you every day…not just Valentine’s Day. This will be a very sweet gesture to her!

    Seeing that it's Thanksgiving, this would be a great time to let your wife know how thankful you are for her. I know writing doesn't come all that easy to most of you guys, so pick up a Thanksgiving card at your local grocery or Walmart. Inside write a list of at least five things about your wife you are thankful for. You could start with something like "These are the top five things I'm thankful for about you." Then don't be afraid of getting a little mushy. Here's a clue: don't begin with "You are a good mother." Make #1 on your list more personal, like "You love me no matter what." You don't have to stop at five, as long as they are sincere. This will make your wife feel loved and appreciated.

    I bet you love to hear your wife brag on you, don't you? Well, she needs the same kind of encouragement. Is there something she does or something about her you especially appreciate? Harold brags on my apple pie. He says it is the best in the whole world! Boy, does that make me feel good! So brag on your wife to two or three other guys this month. It will probably get back to her and she will feel so loved!

    Nothing says "I love you" like an attitude of gratitude. Make it a point to say affirming words to your wife through this Holiday season...words like "Thank you," "I appreciate you," "I'm so glad I married you." And instead of grumbling about the extra help she may ask for during these hectic days, tell her how glad you are you married a woman who likes to make Thanksgiving and Christmas festive times for your family. This may seem like a small thing to you, guys. But believe me, it is pure gold to your wife.

    Has your wife mentioned that she wants to improve in any area of life? Does she want to learn to be a better wife, mother or friend? Does she want to finally get her degree...or take a French cooking class? I urge you to take her desires seriously. Encourage her to take classes, to take the time and effort to join a women's Bible Study group, to get a baby sitter if needed so she can get to the gym regularly. Whatever it is, be her cheerleader! She probably needs your encouragement to take that first step.

    This is a really easy one, guys. Cut a piece of paper to bookmark size, then simply write "I love you, Honey" and sign it with her pet name for you. Then slip it in a book you know she is reading and wait for her delighted "Thank you!" and big kiss.

    Keep the romance warm around your house for the whole month of February! Give your wife an "It's past Valentine's Day, but I still love you" card. But instead of an impersonal "store bought" card, make your own special card. It doesn't matter if it's corny or tacky, or even if it looks like a second grader made it. If the sentiments are sincere, your wife will love it! Start with, "I love you because..." then write stuff like (1) what you like best about her, (2) what she does that makes you feel loved, and (3) what she does that makes you feel good about yourself. You can even get creative and glue sparkly stuff on it if you want! The important thing is that it comes from your heart. Believe me, guys; this will score big points for you!

    Hand your wife a 3x5 card and ask her to write down three ways she likes you to show her you love her. Keep that card in your pocket to look at frequently. That should remind you to do - and keep on doing - those three things. Believe me, guys, this will communicate your love to your sweetheart better than a bushel of flowers or a mega box of candy. And when women feel loved, they usually like to give love in return. Hmmmmm.

    Keep a stack of 3x5 cards handy, and every time you think of something you like about your wife, write it on one of the cards. It can be as simple as "I like the way you smell." Or it can be a longer note of appreciation. You can even wax eloquent, but you don't have to. The important thing is that you keep writing each thought down as you think of them - one per card. When you've written 30 cards, take them by Kinko's and have them bound at the top like a flip chart. Your wife can set them on her desk or counter and read a new affirmation from you every day for a month. Believe me, you both will reap great benefits!

    I know you don't like to write. But I also know how much a note from you means to your wife. So do yourself a favor by putting in a little extra effort this month and write a note your wife will never forget. And I'm going to help you, so it will be easy...promise. On a sheet of paper, write these phrases, leaving space after each one: (1) When I watch you walk by, I think... (2) When I smell your cooking, I think... (3) When I watch you with our children, I think... (4) When I watch you get dressed, I think... (5) When I watch you get undressed, I think... (6) When I see you at the end of the day, I think... Fill in the rest, guys. And don't hesitate to get a little corny. Your wife will love it. You can mail it to her or tape it to the bathroom mirror.

    I'm asking you to do something this month that is probably outside your comfort zone, guys. But I know you will step up to the plate and do me proud! Here it is ? I know you have most things under control and may not need any advice, but this month, make it a point to ASK your wife her opinion about what you're doing. You may even think she doesn't know anything about it. Ask her anyway. And then ? here comes the most important part ? LISTEN to her and discuss her opinion. Don't just shoot it down. If it's out in left field, explain WHY you think another way would be better. The point here, guys, is that letting your wife know you want her input is a great big affirmation to her. Now, here's the challenge ? ASK and LISTEN so often your wife actually NOTICES and says something about it.

    I'm asking you to do something this month that is probably outside your comfort zone, guys. But I know you will step up to the plate and do me proud! Here it is ? I know you have most things under control and may not need any advice, but this month, make it a point to ASK your wife her opinion about what you're doing. You may even think she doesn't know anything about it. Ask her anyway. And then ? here comes the most important part ? LISTEN to her and discuss her opinion. Don't just shoot it down. If it's out in left field, explain WHY you think another way would be better. The point here, guys, is that letting your wife know you want her input is a great big affirmation to her. Now, here's the challenge ? ASK and LISTEN so often your wife actually NOTICES and says something about it.

    Want to make your wife smile all day long? Write funny little reminders of your love on post-it-notes and stick them around the house where she?ll be sure to see them. You can say, "Have I told you lately how much I a-door you??" And stick it on one of the kitchen cabinet doors. Or, "You turn me on!" And stick it on your bedroom light switch. Are you tracking with me? Your wife will think you are so sweet and believe me, she'll be smiling.

    Here's a simple but rewarding exercise for you: take 15 minutes and write down your wife's best qualities in alphabetical order. You might have to make up new words to fit some peskier letters like Z ("Zenzational" cook). You'll have fun making the list, and your wife will have even more fun savoring it!

    Do you know your wife's favorites? Her favorite color? Favorite flower? Favorite movie of all time? Favorite dessert? Favorite time of day? Favorite characteristics of her sweet husband? Take your wife on a "Favorites date" some quiet place where you can talk uninterruptedly. Have pen and paper handy and ask her what her favorites are. Write them down so you can remember them. Taking the time and effort to compile such a list will give you mega deposits in her love bank - AND you will have ideas for great gifts for your wife until you're both old and gray.

    Make a list of characteristics you like about your wife in alphabetical order. A - All the laundry you do for me; B - your Beauty; C - and so on and so on. Tape it to her mirror where she can't miss it. She will love reading your list and feel very appreciated. This one will really earn you romance points, especially if her love language is Affirmation.

    Let's talk about attitude, guys. I know - so don't try to deny it - that sometimes when your wife tries to inject some romance into your relationship, you meet her attempts with a grimace and a groan. That's pretty discouraging! So this month, your romantic assignment is to receive her attempts with a positive, accepting, grateful attitude. You'll be encouraging her feelings of love for YOU . And you want that, right?

    Leave a photo of yourself and a love note on the passenger seat of your wife's car. If you have children getting in and out of the front seat, you will have to be more creative about where you leave them. Just make sure they are left where she will be sure to find them. Remind her in the note that your thoughts are always with her.

    There's nothing quite so sexy as conversation -real pay-close-attention conversation. Some evening or weekend day, set aside a quiet hour (without children whirling around) to talk. (If you have a fireplace, a warm fire would make a nice touch.) Ask your wife what her favorite dessert is, her favorite time of day, her favorite flower, favorite vacation spot, favorite cartoon character, favorite??? you take it from there. These are things you should know and cherish about each other, but very few couples have ever talked about them. So here's your chance.

    Start an Encouragement Journal. Get a small notebook and write an encouragement or compliment for your wife on page 1. Leave it on her pillow. I bet you'll find it on your pillow some night with something nice written on page 2. Keep it going!

    Think up seven (just seven) "I like the way you___" responses for your wife. If you have to, write them down and keep them under your pillow. Pull one out every morning for one week (Come on, it's just one week!), and tell your wife something you like about her each morning before you get out of bed. That's starting the day off right and may just set the course for the whole day.

    Here's a romantic idea you can make into a once-a-month habit for your wife. Write her a note. All it needs to say is, "I appreciate you because..." (Fill in the blank.) One little sentence and it doesn't even have to be on flowery paper. A sticky note or 3x5 card will do just fine. (Though I certainly don't want to discourage you from using fancy paper.) Slip the note into one of her pockets. If she works outside the home, slip it into one of her pockets before she goes to work. If she works at home, slip it into a pocket of one of her favorite pair of pants. She may find it right away or in week. But whenever she finds it, she will feel sooooo loved.

    Your wife craves appreciation so appreciate her, already! Here's one way to show her how much you appreciate her. Place some 3x5 cards in areas of the house, at work - wherever you spend a lot of time. Every time you think of something you appreciate or like about your wife, write it on one of the cards. Or write a word of affirmation. Your goal is 30 cards. Punch two holes in the top of each card and tie all of them together with string, yarn, or even twisty ties. Leave your "Little Book of Appreciation" on her pillow some night, and then wait for a big hug!

    Put some thought into choosing a gift for your mate that takes into account the way they best get the message that you love them. They may prefer you give them gifts - this one is easy. Just pick out a great gift, making sure that you have given it more than a little thought. Ask your kids what they think Mom or Dad would like. Kids can have a lot of insight. They may know you love them best when you touch them. Just use your imagination a little and get them a gift that will require a little touching in its administration or operation (i.e., a gift certificate for a massage, sensuous nightwear, etc.). They may realize you love them most when you let them know how special they are, or affirm them in what they are and do. The gift you pick should communicate approval for them in some way (i.e., if they love cooking, consider getting the set of cookware they've been drooling over; if they love playing tennis, get them a new racquet, tennis wear, etc.) Your mate may best see love when you spell it T-I-M-E. If so, make sure you give a gift that will require your time (i.e., it may be a gift certificate for a nice dinner, it may be an evening/night away from kids, friends and distractions that you arrange for). Finally, your mate may best see your love when you DO something for them. If that is the case, make sure you give a gift which includes an element of your service (i.e., a breakfast in bed, a certificate for a house-cleaning, babysitting, etc.).

    Go buy the mushiest card you can find. Inside it write five things you really appreciate about your wife, like "I love the way you..." Actually address and mail it to her. Boy, will she be surprised and feel valued!

    You probably don’t know this, but possibly the worst job in the world for your wife is cleaning out the refrigerator. I mean really cleaning it, not just getting rid of the containers of penicillin. I’m talking wiping down all the shelves and bins and vacuuming under it and the back of it, cleaning off all the grime and dust that has accumulated. Take it from me, guys. Your wife will think you are Super Man! And an added bonus is that not only will your refrigerator look better, but it will last longer as well.

    Never underestimate the power of a clean potty! That’s right, guys. So for this whole month, clean the potty in your shared bathroom. Check it every day and touch up where needed. You won’t have to tell your wife you are doing this, she will notice. And she will really appreciate it…and YOU…a whole lot. Even small acts of service can say “I love you” in big, neon letters!

    Get your kids in on a surprise for your wife. Plan with them what you together can do to relieve their Mom of a chore. Maybe you all can cook a meal and clean the kitchen afterwards. Or perhaps surprise her with the week's laundry washed, folded and put away. Whatever you choose to do, your wife will be delighted and grateful for such a thoughtful husband and family. And she will be mighty thankful for you all!

    Summer is a great time to serve others together. Take the initiative to volunteer as a couple at your local food pantry. (Check with your wife first, of course, but I bet she will be duly impressed that you thought of such a philanthropic endeavor yourself.) There is just something about helping other people as a “team” – and that is what you are, you know.So what are you waiting for? If you don’t know where your local food pantry is, you can look up “food pantries” in your area on line.

    I know, Christmas is barely over, but I want to share a very special gift you can give your wife this month…and it won’t cost you a cent. Choose a day she will be out of the house, and collect all her shoes. Give each one of them a good polishing and buff them ‘til they shine. Now put them back in her closet and when she gets home, ask her to go look in her closet and see how much you love her. This may seem like a small thing to do for your wife, but it will warm her heart to realize what a loving man she has married!

    Want your wife to give you a big smile and think you are Superman? Here’s a simple way to accomplish that. Leave a coupon on her pillow with the words: “Give me one chore you don’t like to do and I’ll do it for you this week - just because I love you!” Just one chore, Guys. That can’t be too hard, can it? And it will be worth it to be Superman!

    Ask your wife, "What causes you the most stress during the day?' Then make it a point to try to take some of that stress off her each day. If it's getting the kids ready for school, then help get them off to school at least three days a week. If it's rushing to leave for work, then do what you can to give her enough time to not have to rush. Whatever that stressful thing is, do your best to lighten your wife's stress. She will appreciate you more, and will be more likely to treat you nice too! Doing loving things for your wife always pays off, guys!

    This is the perfect combination, guys...romantic AND practical. Put together a road emergency kit for your wife's car - from flares to band-aids, you know what to put in it. When you give it to her, lovingly explain how to use the stuff she's probably not familiar with...like the flares, not the band-aids. She'll feel safer and you'll know you helped her feel that way.

    With the holidays coming up, your wife will probably have more to do around the house. And nothing says "I love you" quite like your doing house chores. Folding laundry, mopping the kitchen floor, scrubbing the toilet...it's like a neon sign, guys. Your wife will appreciate it...and you so much! Don't wait to be asked. Volunteer!

    With cooler nights, come colder sheets. Guys, I want to challenge you this month to do something so easy you will wonder why you didn't think of it yourself! Make it a point - write yourself a note and keep it in your underwear drawer if necessary - to warm your wife's side of the bed several times a week this Fall and Winter. Such an easy thing to do, but Boy...will it say, "I love you" - in CAPITAL LETTERS!

    What do you think your wife would say she most appreciates about you? Would she say it's the way you listen to her? That you actually take note of what she says? The other day, I mentioned how the corner of the patio where our gas grill stood, languishing in its winter coat, had accumulated a lot of grime and cobwebs. Know what my sweet husband is doing right now as I write this? You guessed it... He's revitalizing our ancient grill and cleaning our patio. I know he'd rather be doing a lot of other things instead, but he's not. He's showing me how important I am to him...important enough to to hear and act on what I say. Are you getting my drift, guys? Pay attention to what your wife says. Then do something for her that shows you were listening. Boy, will she appreciate you!

    Give your wife a gift to remember...a Bag of Tricks! Get ten 3x5 cards or slips of paper. On each one, write something you are willing to do for your wife for one day. Then every Saturday morning for 10 weeks, let your wife pull a "trick" out of the bag. You might write; "Do one thing you've been wanting me to do around the house," "Tell you 5 funny jokes," "Take care of the kids for 4 hours while you go shopping" or "Help you organize the den." Give this some thought, guys, and write things you know your wife would appreciate. Give these gifts of love and service without expectations, and no telling what your wife will want to do for you in return!

    Your wife probably works really hard - inside and outside the home. So try giving some very special attention to her...feet. That's right - feet! While she takes a refreshing shower, get everything set up for a romantic foot massage. Have her lie back and relax while you rub her aching feet with a sweet smelling lotion or oil. Tickle her between her toes...massage the kinks out of her arches...rub smooth her heels and ankles. Mmmmmm! This one's a winner, guys!

    There's nothing like a hot bath to warm you up on a cold winter's night. If your tub isn't big enough for two, then serve your wife while she soaks. But if your tub is big enough, this will be even more fun. And I mean -- make it FUN! You can plan a "Theme" bath. Get crazy! Have fruit juice on ice in the sink with Hawaiian music playing softly in the background. Feed each other tropical fruit. See who can hula underwater. Make your wife laugh!

    O.K. guys, this month's tip is a cinch! All you have to do is memorize one little phrase: "What can I do to help, Honey??" Write it on a 3x5 card or post-it note and read it over and over until you've memorized it. Your assignment is to use the phrase with your wife at least one time per day. Such a simple little phrase but let me assure you that when you sincerely use it, you will make your wife feel appreciated. You get extra points for this one, guys!

    O.K. guys, this month's tip is a cinch! All you have to do is memorize one little phrase: "What can I do to help, Honey??" Write it on a 3x5 card or post-it note and read it over and over until you've memorized it. Your assignment is to use the phrase with your wife at least one time per day. Such a simple little phrase but let me assure you that when you sincerely use it, you will make your wife feel appreciated. You get extra points for this one, guys!

    Why let the kids have all the fun? Plan a fun date, with the first step being to arrange for the children to stay at friends or family for an afternoon or evening. Then tell your wife that the dress code for the date is bathing suits. (If you have privacy fencing or live waaaay out in the country, you can get more creative.) If you have a pool, you can have your own private pool party. But even without a pool, you can still have fun running through the sprinklers or playing in the water from your garden hose. Take turns now! Let your wife squirt you as much as you squirt her, and have fun like a couple of kids.

    Pick one day this month and make it an "I just love you, that's why" day. Circle it on your calendar and plan ways to be especially thoughtful that day. You might do a project your wife has long had on your Honey Do list; you might fix dinner or order it in; you might take care of the children while your wife goes to the gym. Whatever you do, be thoughtful of your wife all day long. And when she asks you why say, "I just love you, that's why!"

    Christmas is a time to think of and serve others, so give your wife a gift she will treasure. Just as Harold instructed your wife, I'll give you much the same advice to make your love obvious to your Beloved. First, make some coupons out of 3x5 cards, redeemable for things you know she would really appreciate. One could say, "Redeem this coupon anytime for an afternoon away from the kids." And one might say, "Redeem this coupon anytime for watching a romantic movie together." Here's a third suggestion: "Redeem this coupon anytime for one foot massage." Make at least 5 or 6 coupons and wrap them as a Christmas gift. Enclose a small whistle with them to make your gift complete. Then, when your wife wants to redeem one of your coupons, she only has to whistle for you.

    Okay, guys, now we're going to get a little crazy! We've talked before about your drawing your wife a soothing, warm bubble bath, right? Well, this time start with that but go the extra mile. When your wife is all relaxed and content, sit on the edge of the bathtub with her razor in hand and shave her legs for her. Yes, you read me right - shave your wife's legs. You both will feel silly at first, but she will end up feeling soooooo spoiled, and just might spoil you in return (in a way that has nothing to do with shaving).

    Sometimes the simplest things mean the most. I'm giving you an easy Romantic Tip this month, but it's one that will mean a great deal to your wife. Secretly buy a bag of fancy chocolate mints and keep them hidden from the family. Every few evenings, sneak in to your bedroom before you and your wife go to bed, turn down her covers and place one of those yummy mints on her pillow. Don't draw attention to it, but savor the moment when she finds your surprise. Oh, by the way, did you know that chocolate is an aphrodisiac?

    For Mothers' Day this year, besides giving your wife the usual kind of gifts, give her a gift of service. Create a coupon for her entitled, "Your Slave for the Day," and give it to her on Mothers' Day morning. Now, the trick, guys, is to respond CHEERFULLY to anything she asks you to do for the day. Begrudging slaves are no fun at all; but cheerful slaves are very romantic!

    Lead the way in doing a service project with your wife. You can help a single Mom in your church by taking care of her children while she runs errands, and change the oil in her car when she gets back. Or maybe there is a family you know that needs some extra TLC. You could fix a meal together and take it over and eat it with them. Or an elderly neighbor may need their leaves raked. Whatever it is you choose to do, do it together. Doing ministry together creates intimacy.

    The tips this month are different as the suggestion is for either husband or wife. Your task is to determine what your spouse most needs, or would appreciate, and then do it - either tending to their needs as a good doctor or as a good nurse. Read the suggestions under each and determine which your mate most needs, or would appreciate, from you - you may want to ask them: Doctors: You played doctor while a kid - now do it as a spouse. Spend time with your mate listening for their hearts concern (or even a physical need). Try to tend to that need as best you can. It may be something your mate just needs a "listening ear" for. Or it may be something he or she needs concerted prayer for. It may even be a close relationship that needs reconciled and you may be able to gently advise, act as peacemaker in, pray for, offer an invitation for a dinner together with their estranged friend, etc. Whatever the need, try to tend to it. There are many kinds of needs - there are many kinds of doctors. Nurses: Nurses are great too! You think of them having empathy and understanding while giving needed care. Diagnosis is not needed here, as the doctor's orders are well understood. The care simply needs to be given in an understanding and sympathetic fashion. Be your mate's nurse and tend to their obvious needs. It may be a massage to relax and relieve tension. It may be the drawing of a warm bubble bath for them. It may be a foot massage, a video shared together with some popcorn or some time away from the children with you babysitting. Nurses are great servants - serve your mate's needs in some way this month.

    Have a luxurious bubble bath date. Draw a warm bubble bath, light the scented candles, turn on the romantic music, and hop in the tub together. Tell your wife that she's not to lift a finger to wash herself - that her "slave" will do the washing - slowly and sensually. But let her take the lead if the date is to become passionate.

    Valentine's Day is over, but you still have the rest of the year to give your Sweetheart gifts of love. Instead of buying her a gift, why not make her something you know she wants or would make her life sweeter? Does she keep losing her keys? Make her a decorative hook and put it up beside the door for her keys only. Or maybe you two have bought one of our love knots. The medium sized one looks great in a shadow box. Make her one that really shows off the love knot as a symbol of your "Three stranded relationship." If neither of these suggestions work for you, then it's time to get even more creative.

    Honey Do List Day! Tell your wife at the beginning of the week to think of a half-to-one-day project she's been wanting you to do. Then on your next day off, do that project for her - with a smile and a good attitude. Make a big deal about it when you are finished by leading her blindfolded to unveil the finished results (maybe even a little drum roll.) She will be sooooo grateful - you'll see!

    Help get the children to bed, then run your wife a soothing hot bubble bath. While she's relaxing in the tub, place her feet one at a time on a towel in your lap and give her a slow, sensual foot massage. Ask her to tell you about her day while you massage each foot. You'll be letting her know how much you appreciate the way she chases after children all day (or clients, or customers).

    Summertime? Flower time! Discount stores and home improvement stores are full of beautiful blossoming plants. Take an excursion to your favorite store and pick out some together. When you get back home, make it a joint project to "pretty-up" your home outside and in with brilliant color. It's the "joint" part of any project that makes it romantic.

    Put some thought into choosing a gift for your mate that takes into account the way they best get the message that you love them. They may prefer you give them gifts - this one is easy. Just pick out a great gift, making sure that you have given it more than a little thought. Ask your kids what they think Mom or Dad would like. Kids can have a lot of insight. They may know you love them best when you touch them. Just use your imagination a little and get them a gift that will require a little touching in its administration or operation (i.e., a gift certificate for a massage, sensuous nightwear, etc.). They may realize you love them most when you let them know how special they are, or affirm them in what they are and do. The gift you pick should communicate approval for them in some way (i.e., if they love cooking, consider getting the set of cookware they've been drooling over; if they love playing tennis, get them a new racquet, tennis wear, etc.) Your mate may best see love when you spell it T-I-M-E. If so, make sure you give a gift that will require your time (i.e., it may be a gift certificate for a nice dinner, it may be an evening/night away from kids, friends and distractions that you arrange for). Finally, your mate may best see your love when you DO something for them. If that is the case, make sure you give a gift which includes an element of your service (i.e., a breakfast in bed, a certificate for a house-cleaning, babysitting, etc.).

    Give your wife a "DAY OFF." Take over her normal responsibilities for the day, whether it be childcare, meals, laundry, etc. and let her "get away" from it all. Some of you may need to "order in," but for those with some culinary skills, go ahead and "do it all." She will appreciate you so much that she will brag on you for years to come. And we bet you will appreciate her more too. You may not believe us men, but we know a guy who does this on a regular basis.

    Are you one of those guys who gives his wife useful gifts? You know, like a new vacuum cleaner or Swiffer duster? Oh, joy! There may be a few wives out there who actually like that kind of gift, but not many. So here’s my tip, guys. This month, for no reason at all, give your wife a gift you consider useless. Maybe something from a fancy bath store or girlie boutique. Give her a card with the gift that says something like, “I wanted to give you something special because you are so special to me.” I know you may not see the wisdom in this, but believe me, it is a wise move.

    Guys, this month give your wife a uniquely considerate gift – a framed picture of the two of you. Look through a scrapbook or the pictures on your phone to find a picture of the two of you having fun or a picture taken at a special event. You can print it off and frame it yourself, or simply go to Walgreens or some other store that will do all the work for you. Let me assure you: this gift will thrill your wife. She will think you are the most thoughtful husband in the world!

    This is a great month to give your wife a “just because” gift. No special reason. Just because you love her. So take this tip and run with it. You’ll be glad you did. Get a candid photo of you with your wife having fun. Or take a selfie of the two of you smiling like crazy. Put it in a pretty frame and give it to your Sweetie. Every time she looks at that picture you give her, she will think of you with love. And loving thoughts often lead to great cooking…or even great loving.

    Give your wife a gift she’ll remember for a long, long time. Plan a date where you can have a bon fire. Some of you can have a bon fire in your back yard. But if your neighborhood doesn’t allow such, you will have to figure out a better place. And, of course, what good is a bon fire without s’mores? So take along some graham crackers, marshmallows and Hershey bars. Don’t let your wife know what you’re planning until the fire is ablaze. Then whip out those tasty ingredients and surprise her with a fun adventure. Believe me, your wife will cherish this memory and think you are the most romantic husband EVER!

    The beginning of Spring is right around the corner - March 20th. What a great excuse to give your wife a special gift! Potted Spring flowers is always a special treat. Enclose a card that says, “You refresh me like Spring refreshes the earth.” Yeah, I know that’s mushy, guys, but that’s why your wife will love it. You can find potted flowers at your local nursery or even at most grocery stores. So get moving and warm your wife’s heart with this “refreshing” gift.

    The next time your wife mentions that she needs her hair trimmed, you can rack up major points with her by arranging this simple surprise: Arrange a manicure right after her haircut at the same shop. Make sure you pay for it over the phone, and have the manicurist write a simple note saying who this surprise is from. Or you might want to drop a sweet note by the shop for her the day before her appointment. Guys, I'm telling you, this one is BIG.

    You know your wife's favorite fragrances, right? Then this is an easy and very effective tip that will make your wife think you are super romantic! (That's a good thing, guys.) Visit a bath and fragrance shop. (You can find them at any mall.) Ask one of the sales people to help you put together a small gift basket of lotions, bubble bath and such. I guarantee your wife will love this "Just Because I love you" gift!

    Do you know your wife's taste in reading? What book has she been wanting to read? If you know...good for you! If you don't...find out! Then buy that book on CD for her to listen to in the car. Perhaps the two of you could listen to it together on a trip or at home after the children are asleep. It makes a great change to watching TV. Listening to something is far more intimate. Your wife will like this...and so will you.

    Yes, I know Valentine's Day is over. That's why now is the perfect time to buy your wife flowers...not for a special occasion, but just because you love her. Include a card that says something like, "I hope these flowers remind you that I KNOW I'm the luckiest man in the world to be married to you!" Guys, you may think this is impractical and silly. But, believe me, you will be making a huge deposit in her love bank!

    On your way home from work one evening, stop at your local grocery store or florist and buy your wife one long stemmed rose in her favorite color. After you hand her the rose, give her a kiss she won't soon forget. I mean a big, long, wet kiss. And if you can dip her, all the better. And then while she is still in a state of shock, tell her, "I'd marry you all over again!" Guys, this is the way to your woman's heart!

    Pamper your wife by making an appointment for her to have a manicure and her hair done. (Make sure it's at an open and convenient time for her.) You can make a simple coupon or card with the details like appointment date and time. And don't forget to tell her you're doing this just because you love her.

    Take your wife on a mystery trip to your local plant nursery. Don't tell her where or why you're going. When you arrive, ask her to help you choose a flowering tree or bush; one that will bloom all summer. Back home, plant it in a spot where she can enjoy its beauty whenever she glances out the window. Every time she sees its beautiful blooms, she will be reminded of how blessed she is to have a husband who loves her that much. This tip is going to take a little work, guys, but believe me - it will be more than worth it!

    Here's a sure-fire swoon-over-you idea! Take your wife on a dinner date at her favorite restaurant...with a surprise element. Make arrangements ahead of time for a gift or bouquet of flowers to be brought to your table while you're dining there. Arranging such a romantic way of giving her a gift will overwhelm your wife and warm her heart. Trust me on this one, guys! You'll be glad you did.

    Have you figured out your wife's Love Language yet? Think about the way she usually expresses her love to you or times you've noticed her eyes light up when you've done specific, loving things for her. Then make your best guess and go from there. If you think her Love Language is affirmation, make her a card (yes, with your own two hands!) and write at least ten reasons you think she's wonderful. If her Love Language is time, slip her a note that says, "You can have three hours of my undivided attention this week. Your choice of when." If her Love Language is gifts, give her a gift that will remind her of a special time you had together. If her Love Language is acts of service, clean the toilets in the house for three weeks, leaving a note each time that simply says, "Just because I love you." If her Love Language is touch, give her a full body massage. Tell her up front, "Just a massage, Lady. No sex." A gift that speaks her Love Language is a gift she will always remember.

    Buy your wife a small gift -- something you know she would like -- a box of fancy stationery, a silk bouquet of violets, a piece of jewelry perhaps. Hide it among the dust cloths or laundry supplies so she will connect it with her chores and be reminded of how much you appreciate what she does around the house. You'll get lots of points for this one, guys!

    Since it's almost Christmas, let's stick with the gift-giving theme. A romantic way to give your wife a Christmas gift - a way she will never forget - is to take her to a nice restaurant for lunch or dinner. Secretly slip the hostess or waiter your wife's gift, asking him/her to deliver it to your table with dessert (in the bread basket, on a tray, or let the waiter use his own creativity in helping with the surprise). Your wife will talk about this for years to come. Trust me.

    Sometimes surprising your wife with something crazy can be very romantic. Here's a crazy idea that might make a dreary morning a lot happier. Do you know your wife's favorite cereal? Sneak a little gift into the bottom of the box. When she pours her cereal, a sweet surprise will plop into her bowl - even sweeter than the cereal. (Warning! If she puts milk in the bowl first, ignore this tip and think of some other crazy surprise instead.)

    April is a great time to find fresh flowers in grocery stores. And it's so easy to run in and buy a beautiful spring bouquet for your wife. Include a card (they have them right there on the counter) that says, "No special reason. Just because I love and appreciate you!" Trust me -your wife's heart will melt.

    Sometimes the simplest things mean the most. I'm giving you an easy Romantic Tip this month, but it's one that will mean a great deal to your wife. Secretly buy a bag of fancy chocolate mints and keep them hidden from the family. Every few evenings, sneak in to your bedroom before you and your wife go to bed, turn down her covers and place one of those yummy mints on her pillow. Don't draw attention to it, but savor the moment when she finds your surprise. Oh, by the way, did you know that chocolate is an aphrodisiac?

    I hope your wife takes Harold's tip and plans a romantic overnight get-away for the two of you. If so, take the opportunity to surprise her with a special gift. It doesn't have to be expensive, but it does have to be thoughtful. Keep it well hidden until you get to your romantic destination, then surprise her with it along with some gushy words of appreciation. You know what? Even if your wife doesn't take this month's tip, you can still be Mr. Romance and surprise her with a special gift. Making your love obvious does not depend on your wife doing the same.

    Since this is a gift-giving season, give your wife a gift in an unusual way. Start by hiding a gift in an unusual spot. Then anchor a long string to the gift and run it all over the house - around furniture, over and under things, room after room. If you are doing this for Christmas, run the string all the way back to the Christmas tree. She'll have fun finding her gift, and you'll have fun "stringing" her along.

    For the next two weeks, pay attention to your wife's spoken wishes. If she says things like, "That space really needs a picture." Or, "This is worn out." Or, "I wish I had..." These are signals, guys - sometimes unconscious - that your wife is wishing for something, though hesitant to request it. Surprise her with what you perceive she wants. Of course, you have to stay within your budget, so if she "wishes" for a new car, don't go into debt to buy her one. However, even with such a big wish, you can give her something symbolic, like a scale model of her dream car with a big red bow on it. You can even "park" it in the garage and take her out to see it. The important thing here is that you were paying attention to her slightest wish.

    Escape the March madness! Take your wife to an auction - collectibles, antiques, furniture, or whatever interests her. Agree on a spending limit that won't bust your budget and have fun.

    Valentine's Day is over, but you still have the rest of the year to give your Sweetheart gifts of love. Instead of buying her a gift, why not make her something you know she wants or would make her life sweeter? Does she keep losing her keys? Make her a decorative hook and put it up beside the door for her keys only. Or maybe you two have bought one of our love knots. The medium sized one looks great in a shadow box. Make her one that really shows off the love knot as a symbol of your "Three stranded relationship." If neither of these suggestions work for you, then it's time to get even more creative.

    Buy three small gifts for your wife - just little things you know she likes. You don't even have to wrap them, but tape a card or slip of paper on each of them with this declaration: "Do you know I love you?" Then hide each one carefully, but in a place she would likely look sometime during the week (like the desk, laundry basket, or kitchen cabinet).

    It's Spring! The trees are beginning to bud. The crocus are in bloom. Everything is growing again, and you can make some romantic feelings grow around your house by giving your wife a Living Gift . Stop at the store or the garden department and pick up a beautiful flowering plant. Then stop in the gift wrap department on the way out, and pick up a big bow in a color that matches your home's decor. Leave the plant somewhere your wife will be sure to see it, but don't say a word - let her find it herself. She'll think you're wonderful! (Make sure you place a protective dish under the pot.)

    Determine a day your wife can take some time for herself. Then secretly make an appointment for her to get a manicure, pedicure, facial, body wrap, massage, etc. ? get as exotic as you want and can afford. Pay for it all ahead of time, so that it will truly be a gift. You know she probably would never spend money on herself like this?but what a treat it will be for her! Treat your wife like a queen, and she'll treat you like a king.

    Summertime? Flower time! Discount stores and home improvement stores are full of beautiful blossoming plants. Take an excursion to your favorite store and pick out some together. When you get back home, make it a joint project to "pretty-up" your home outside and in with brilliant color. It's the "joint" part of any project that makes it romantic.

    Put some thought into choosing a gift for your mate that takes into account the way they best get the message that you love them. They may prefer you give them gifts - this one is easy. Just pick out a great gift, making sure that you have given it more than a little thought. Ask your kids what they think Mom or Dad would like. Kids can have a lot of insight. They may know you love them best when you touch them. Just use your imagination a little and get them a gift that will require a little touching in its administration or operation (i.e., a gift certificate for a massage, sensuous nightwear, etc.). They may realize you love them most when you let them know how special they are, or affirm them in what they are and do. The gift you pick should communicate approval for them in some way (i.e., if they love cooking, consider getting the set of cookware they've been drooling over; if they love playing tennis, get them a new racquet, tennis wear, etc.) Your mate may best see love when you spell it T-I-M-E. If so, make sure you give a gift that will require your time (i.e., it may be a gift certificate for a nice dinner, it may be an evening/night away from kids, friends and distractions that you arrange for). Finally, your mate may best see your love when you DO something for them. If that is the case, make sure you give a gift which includes an element of your service (i.e., a breakfast in bed, a certificate for a house-cleaning, babysitting, etc.).

    We have an old racquetball hanging on a string in our garage. You know you've pulled the car in to the right spot when the ball touches the windshield. Do you have a set up like that? Then the next time your wife goes out for a while, replace the ball with a small gift. Boy, will she be surprised when she sees a gift for her resting against her windshield instead of an old ball! And you'll make more points than that ball ever got you!

    What does your wife like to shop for most? Or where does she like to shop most? Together set an amount which your budget will allow and take her on a shopping date. No grumbling or detached non-verbal signals are allowed for this to work. Put on your smiley face and show a great degree of patience. Let her know that a little waiting on your part is well worth it for the joy of "being together." It will earn you BIG love bank credits!

    Do a House Swap with close friends. Get as elaborate as you want, keeping it a surprise (as suggested on page 76 of 52 Ways to Have Fun, Fantastic Sex by the Penners) or even planning it together. Here's a quote from the Penner's House Swap chapter to give you a few ideas: "Sometime before the evening pack a bag with pajamas, lingerie, and a change of clothes for the two of you. You may want to include scented bath soaps, candles, some tapes or CD's (be sure your friend has a stereo system for these) with your favorite music, and two crystal goblets. Go by your friends' house (if they have already left) and stock it with tasty snacks and drinks and drop off your bags. "Meet your wife or husband after work with a mysterious smile and the promise of an evening of surprises."

    THINK about what you could get your wife this year that she will KNOW you put some thought into. Find something she will REALLY like and use repeatedly. It doesn't have to be real expensive, in fact, it might not cost a cent.

    Spend some time with your hubby doing something together FOR someone else. This can be fixing a meal together for friends in need and delivering it together to them. It can be for someone who is needing care after childbirth, or a period of illness, or following surgery, etc. Helping someone else together can be precious bonding time.

    With the holidays approaching, encourage your mate (and children) to join you in doing some craft or artwork for a family going through lean times or simply someone you want to show appreciation to. It can be as extravagant as collecting some pine cuttings, wire, pine cones, etc. to make a wreath for them. Or make some stockings with stuffers you think they might like, or some small gifts you make together. You could include a pot of soup that you spend time together making. The point is that you are spending quality time together doing something for the benefit of others. It’s a great feeling to share together!

    One of the hardest things to come by during the Holidays is quality time alone with your spouse. But you can still arrange to have some with your Husband if: 1. You make a determined effort that you will take it (we always find time for things we feel are important) – quality time alone with your Husband IS important, so believe that it is, and make plans to get it, especially during this Holiday Season. 2. Make arrangements to go to a favorite place to talk, whether it’s a restaurant, a scenic drive, a secluded walk, or some other special way you can have face-to-face time with him. During this special time, don’t talk about work, the kids, the grandkids, friends, church or anything else but you and him. Talk about where both of you feel your relationship is currently; where you want it to be next year as well as 5 years and beyond. Talk about what changes you will need to make to accomplish these goals. (A great free webinar to help you set goals together is called “Charting Your Course Together.” You can find it at: https://marriages.net/charting-your-course-together/)

    When is the last time you sat side by side with your husband for over an hour or two? Don’t count watching a movie in a theater or some other activity where you couldn’t talk freely. Why not plan an outing to a live sporting event, an evening at home with a movie that’s pausable (like a DVD or On Demand) complete with popcorn and refreshing drinks, a drive in the country alone in the car, a walk in the park where there are benches to sit, rest and talk, etc.? Spending “side-by-side” quality time with your man is essential for bonding more, especially if his or your love language is TIME.

    Absolutely the best thing you can do with your hubby this month is to spend quality time together watching some of GTO's free on-demand webinars. One that goes well with the Valentine's theme is Seven Secrets of Great Lovers. Print out the Listening Guide first and then view it together. It has funny video clips and is done in good taste. Make sure you complete the Couple Sharing exercises, as that is where the real benefits happen in your love relationship.

    Most of us have those "bad days" when we are just a little curt and even downright nasty in our attitude toward our mate. When your mate has one of those "days," it would well be worth your time to investigate what is driving that bad attitude. Bette and I had such a "talk" last week that helped to reveal the presence of both frustration and fear under my unexplained responses to her. It really helped to get to the underlying root cause of my sour attitude. What does this intense kind of communication have to do with romance? Sour attitudes squash romance! As a wife, you probably are more aware of attitudes and emotions than your husband. He needs your intentional help to discover what is underneath his attitudes. So help him out. Ask him some pointed questions so he can talk about what is bothering him. You can say something like, "I can tell something is bothering you. Are you frustrated at something? Or have I hurt you in some way?" And then let him talk...and you listen intently. Your romance quotient will improve. Trust me.

    It’s time to schedule some time together without outside distractions like cell phones, household chores, children, aging parents, etc. So plan a two hour time together for just talking – talking about plans, visions/missions together, connected-ness issues/status, family happenings/concerns, vocational/educational pursuits and plans, etc. Whether you take a walk in the park, a picnic, a quiet dinner, etc., arrange for taking care of anticipated interruptions so you two can really engage and connect together.

    Do a family update together, summarizing how God has provided for, protected and encouraged you over the past year or so (use a longer time frame if you don’t regularly do updates). Work on it together with your husband and ask him about any relatives, friends or classmates he would like to include, even though some may require a little research to track down. Do this for him gladly. Many do not send out such updates even at Christmas, as we can attest to [hear us urging you to do them here]. Often when we receive reports, they are event oriented and do not include how GOD has provided for, protected them or encouraged them in the summary. Compiling your yearly family updates can form a wonderful record that can be passed down to your children and grandchildren.

    Make your husband's favorite jam, jelly or dessert and serve it to him while he's blindfolded. Ask him to guess some things about it - like does he know what it is, can he guess what flavor it is, does he thinks you made it from scratch, how much you made of it, etc. Make it a fun game.

    Take a walk through a few model homes in your area. Dream together about what your future home might look like. Steal a few kisses in rooms or closets in each model home. Then go to a diner or coffee shop and order one large milkshake or smoothie with two straws. Sip it slowly, making sure you look each other in the eyes with each sip. Then go attend a sporting event you've never attended together. This is a lot to do on one date, and you may have to split it up, but try to pack it in one big chunk of time if possible. It will be a memorable date!

    Football season has arrived! (Did I hear a groan?) If your man is a football fan, here is something you can give him he will really enjoy. Find out which is his favorite team, and see when their next game will be televised. Prepare his favorite snacks and enjoy the game with him. Don't read or knit...just be with him for the WHOLE GAME. He'll think he died and went to heaven!

    Keeping with our theme this month, take your man to a team sporting event. Here in Nashville we're pretty much limited to baseball, football or hockey...but you can pick whatever sporting events your town offers. Treat him with goodies from the concession stand and probe him with questions about the game. Notice together how the teams you're watching act like a team and how that works in your marriage. Oh, one more thing...don't forget the sun screen!

    > Here is a short tip you may already be doing - GO TO BED WHEN HE DOES. If you are the "owl," change your schedule and go to bed with him, even if it requires you to get back up after he's asleep. If you are the "dove," encourage him to come to bed early until you are asleep. Snuggle time is absolutely necessary for both of you.

    For an inexpensive but really fun date, take your husband to a very public place - like an airport or train station, large restaurant, or shopping mall. Find a comfy spot to sit and watch couples. Try to guess their relationships. Are they on their first date, on their honeymoon, married and very happy, or married and in distress? What about "the rest of the story"? Guess where they are going, where they've been, what they are doing, etc. When your imaginations get tired, share an ice cream cone or fruit smoothie on your way home.

    Did you know that shoulder to shoulder time with their wives is one of the top needs for men? Shoulder to shoulder time means doing activities together side by side. Wives, your husband may hunger for that kind of time with you, though he may never ask for it. So the next time he wants to watch a science fiction or knock-down- drag-out-action movie, snuggle up next to him on the couch and watch it with him. Don't like those kind of movies? That's not the point. Being with your man is the point. And it will mean a lot to him knowing that, even though you don't especially like the same kind of movies he does, you want to be with him anyway.

    Did you know that shoulder to shoulder time with their wives is one of the top needs for men? Shoulder to shoulder time means doing activities together side by side. Wives, your husband may hunger for that kind of time with you, though he may never ask for it. So the next time he wants to watch a science fiction or knock-down- drag-out-action movie, snuggle up next to him on the couch and watch it with him. Don't like those kind of movies? That's not the point. Being with your man is the point. And it will mean a lot to him knowing that, even though you don't especially like the same kind of movies he does, you want to be with him anyway.

    Surprise your husband with a dinner out. (Ha, that's what he thinks!) Have child-care taken care of, the hotel reservation made and the suitcase of essentials for both of you hidden in the trunk for a one- night vacation. After dinner ask him to be your driver and just follow your directions ("Turn left at the next light" or "Turn right at the Stop Sign") to another surprise. He can ask questions about the destination, but explain that you will only answer questions that reference specific locations or establishments and your answers will be simply "Yes" or "No". See how long it takes him to guess the actual place - hopefully not until he is pulling into it.

    Plan an adventure without plans. Pick a bright Autumn Saturday morning when neither of you have any particular plans, and lure your husband away with the promise of adventure. Tell the babysitter you're not sure when you will be home, and take off in the car to parts unknown?really unknown. Just start driving in any direction. Whatever you see that interests you, stop and enjoy. A garage sale, an auction, a pumpkin patch, a sporting goods store - whatever interests you both. You don't get many opportunities like this. That's what makes it so special.

    Keep it simple - and cheap! It doesn't necessarily cost money to have fun and make memories together. Plan a cheap and simple date with your husband this week. After the kids are in bed, pull out your husband's favorite game or puzzle, pop some popcorn, and have a good time together playing or searching for those little pieces that don't fit. You will be making some sweet memories.

    Make one Saturday morning this month very special. Serve your husband breakfast in bed, then crawl back into bed with him and help him eat it. Arrange for (or with) the children so you will not be disturbed all morning, and sleep, cuddle, watch TV or ?whatever? ?til noon. If the kids are in the house, make sure you lock your bedroom door and even hang a homemade ?Do Not Disturb? sign on the doorknob.

    Go to your husband's favorite hobby store and get a gift certificate for him for as much as you would spend on an evening out together. Put the certificate in a card and give it to him when you can immediately take him to spend it (immediate gratification). Spend all the time he needs looking over the bargains and ask him questions about one choice over another. He will be glad to share his expert and wise counsel with you. Most men LOVE talking about what they know something about, especially when they can explain it to someone who doesn't. Your man will know he is really special to you!

    Put a city or area map on the table, and each of you select 3 to 5 different spots on it which would be fun places to go on a date. Make sure to have some distance between them ? i.e., not the same location. Mark them with a dot or any other way you like. Then blindfold hubby, and while he's blindfolded, spin the map around on the table several times making sure it does not end up facing the same direction it was when he put on the blindfold. Then give him a pencil, pen or other pointed object and have him select a point on the map (better ask him first if he can see through the blindfold). Then take him to the nearest spot he's pointing to for a date.

    It's time to break out a board game and have a friendly evening of competition, playing your favorite game (board game or card game (even missionaries play Rook). The prize is the winner's choice (i.e., 20 kisses, a back rub, foot massage, etc.). It will be fun for both of you as each winner gets their choice of prizes. It might even be worth losing if it makes both of you winners.

    Speaking of ROMANCE - it's about time for that romantic overnight getaway. So spend the time and effort to do all the planning for your romantic interlude - make the reservations, arrange for child care, and don't forget to pack sensuous lingerie and perfume for the sheets. You might have to get really creative to keep it within your budget, but it will be well worth it. Make your love obvious to your man!

    How about planning a romantic candlelight dinner for two this month? Arrange for the kids, dim the lights and surprise him with his favorite food, romantic music and scented candles. While you're at it, rent a romantic classic video or DVD and make it a complete romantic evening at home.

    We always encourage couples to read together. Read the Bible together. Read books about marriage together. It keeps you on the same page - literally! Reading together can even be romantic. Take a flashlight to bed, pull the covers over your heads, and read by flashlight. Make the world go away and enjoy this time of togetherness. Your husband may think it's corny at first, but there are ways you can make it fun for him (i.e. it may be too warm for clothes). I bet he will like it!

    Plan a day of fun on the water. If there is a lake or river near you, rent a boat and explore. If it's a motorboat, remember to let him drive some. Even if you can only get to a creek or pond, you can still have fun wading and skipping rocks. You might even take a couple of fishing poles along and catch dinner.

    Put a little madness in your March! Fix some snacks that fit with your diet, time and budget, and watch an NCAA playoff game with your man. The whole game! Don't be afraid to ask a few questions to let him show off his knowledge of the game, and cheer for his team (unless they are playing your alma mater, of course).

    This will sound dumb to those of you who think your man ONLY wants sex but try it anyway. Get him to talk to you for 30 minutes. For some of you it make take 30 to 50 questions, but for others it may just take one and your undivided attention, and he will be 'off to the races.' For those whose man doesn't do much talking, be patient. A wise little girl once said, "Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough." Operate on that principle, if needed. Often men have deep feelings that never get plumbed or brought to the surface. It takes someone who knows him well, listens intently and draws him out for him to realize what they are. Remember Proverbs 20:5 "The purposes of a man's heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out." Be a mate of understanding and draw them out.

    Take the iniative to plan a date. Make all the arrangements (kids, reservations, clothing, etc.). Make sure it is something HE likes to do (go, see, participate, hear, etc.) Make it a date to remember for him, even if it is something you don't really hanker for. Put on your best attitude and make it special for him.

    How about a night of music and dancing? Find someplace that still plays that music you grew up with or drag out some of those records/tapes in your closet or attic. Plan an evening full of music and dancing (if your denomination does not object). Talk about the romantic "together" events of your life that the music reminds you of. It can be a walk down music's memory lane.

    It's time for that picnic on the floor of your bedroom routine. Make it a candlelight occasion (after the kids are in bed and the phone is taken off the hook or on the answering machine). If your budget prevents you getting real fancy with the food, that's all right! It's not the food itself (it can be the same thing you were going to have for dinner anyway) - it's the special attention given to your marriage relationship. Your husband will appreciate this special attention. Dress is optional, that is, you may dress up, dress casual or not dress at all - it's your choice.

    Pick one of your husband's favorite sports or hobbies. Find a way you can be with him and even participate with him in it. Your interest will encourage and support him and will let him know you are interested in him even when you may not care for the particular activity yourself. Depending on your skill level, he may not encourage you to make your contribution a regular event but he will surely accept your show of interest and encouragement.

    Well, it's time for that overnight - you remember our advice that you spend an overnight away from home once each quarter? Well, it will really mean a lot to your hubby if YOU suggest it (or even plan it yourself as a surprise to him). Arrange for kids, duties/responsibilities, etc. to free you both up and get away for a whole day. Make sure you are free to sleep in the next morning - TOGETHER! Don't bring any work with you. This is your quality time together, which nothing or nobody else should infringe upon. ENJOY!

    Take your hubby on a Dream Date. It needs to be at least an overnight away where you two can do a little dreaming together. Remember how you "dreamed" together when you were courting about what your marriage, family, vocational pursuits etc. were going to look like? Well, you need to KEEP dreaming together! Set aside at least a couple hours on your getaway just for "dreaming." Talk about what you see your marriage relationship becoming in 1, 5 and 10 years. Discuss your family plans for the same time periods, as well as educational and vocational pursuits. Talk about your spiritual giftings and how you see yourselves serving in ministry in your church this year, next year and five years from now. Talk about any training and experience you will need to make this happen. Dream together!

    Is your husband a football fan? A basketball enthusiast? You may not be as big a sports' fan as your husband, but that makes this romantic tip even more romantic (love made obvious). Pick a game he's going to watch (maybe his favorite teams), and snuggle up and watch it with him. The whole thing! Make sure you bring some snacks. This is your gift of TIME to your man ? it will spell LOVE to him.

    Arrange for a friend, a teenager or an old man to do one of your husband's "chores" or an item on his "Honey Do List" that would take at least an hour of his time were he to do it himself. During that time tell him that he's yours to walk, talk, sit or swim together with. He should be very glad to spend this time with you instead of doing the chore he did not particularly look forward to ? make sure that it is one of those kind of chores, and not one that he really enjoys doing.

    Surprise your husband with a drop-in, kidnap him, lunch date. (If lunch isn't possible, make it dinner.) Don't tell him you are coming, but make sure he's going to be there (through one of his work associates or checking his lunch calendar, etc.). At lunch do some reminiscing about spontaneous things you have done together in the past.

    Find a lake nearby which rents out boats (it doesn't have to be a big, expensive or powerful boat). Arrange to spend a couple of hours out on the boat with him "exploring" the lake and, if it isn't one of those small battery-powered trawling boats, feeling the wind in your face. Be sure to take some sun screen. Add a picnic at your own discretion. If the boat rental is a problem, just go to the water with a picnic, Frisbee and willingness to walk a bit.

    Garage sales don't sound very romantic. BUT a garage sale with a dedicated purpose CAN be, especially if the dedicated purpose is to raise money for a getaway or vacation. Go through the house together and gather all those items no longer in use and those items you are willing to part with for such a noble purpose. Be careful not to insist on parting with something of sentimental value for your mate. Do the Yard Sale signs up and place the appropriate ad in your local paper, and have a great day or two together tending it. Remember to talk about your dreams and plans about how you are going to spend the money raised during those "slow" periods when people are not clamoring to give you their money for your "treasures." Of course, the location and activities you plan may be largely determined by how much money you take in at the event.

    Before the real heat sets in this summer, get tickets to a local sporting event and go with your husband to the game. Be enthusiastic and interested, asking him to explain things you don't understand. You may have to "feign" such interest, but keep your chin up and do it for him. It will really communicate love to your man if he is a sports fan. If he is not, or if YOU are the sports expert, then take him to an art gallery or the symphony. In other words, make it an event that HE has more interest in and knowledge about than you do, so you can let him show off his expertise.

    Plan a surprise picnic with his favorite food. Pick him up for lunch, if possible, dinner if not and weekend meal, if necessary. Take him to a park, grassy knoll, meadow or even somebody's backyard. Talk about favorite picnics you have had and plan one you would like to have. Include a nice hour to hour walk and talk.

    Find a manufacturing plant near you which conducts tours or allows visitors (like an automobile plant or some type of factory). Plan an excursion into the world of gears and moving parts for just the two of you. (You can take kids later if you think it might be interesting for them.) Don't let him know where you are "kidnapping" him to go unless he can guess it with just Ten Questions. To each of his questions you may answer only "Yes" or "No," so he has to be creative and ask questions that narrow down the possibilities. If you have found a real "unknown" place, you might expand the question limit to 20. Think of this as a date into his world.

    Plan a Treasure Hunt for your husband. It can be for anything he wants where a great bargain can be found at pawn shops, flea markets, discount stores, or even Goodwill. Of course the price tag has to be within budget. Make a few calls ahead of time to ensure that your local Pawn Shops/stores have a selection of the item you're looking for. Then set a time when you can accompany your man on this "Hunt." Note: this will not be a "shopping" event - that's women's stuff. This will be a "seek, find and buy" adventure that will have its obvious climax when the "prey" is captured and "bagged." Show an interest in the "hunt," be his "sounding board" if he needs to compare bargains out loud. This is HIS hunt - help him enjoy it as much as possible.

    On a Wednesday, let your husband know you want him to save Saturday afternoon for you. If he's an NFL football fan, you'll want to plan this for AFTER January's Saturday football playoffs. Make reservations at his favorite restaurant in the middle of the afternoon when there won't be many people there. Satisfy his curiosity only with references like, "It's going to be time we spend alone together," or "It's a surprise!" Make arrangements for the kids. When lunchtime comes around treat him to a Nutrigrain bar or some fruit to stave off his appetite for awhile. Don't tell him if he guesses right even if he recognizes where you're headed. Make it a slow, relaxing, romantic meal with lots of eye contact. After the meal, give him his choice: a walk if weather permits; a movie; or a video to watch at home, etc. It's his afternoon to be pampered!

    Put some thought into choosing a gift for your mate that takes into account the way they best get the message that you love them. They may prefer you give them gifts - this one is easy. Just pick out a great gift, making sure that you have given it more than a little thought. Ask your kids what they think Mom or Dad would like. Kids can have a lot of insight. They may know you love them best when you touch them. Just use your imagination a little and get them a gift that will require a little touching in its administration or operation (i.e., a gift certificate for a massage, sensuous nightwear, etc.). They may realize you love them most when you let them know how special they are, or affirm them in what they are and do. The gift you pick should communicate approval for them in some way (i.e., if they love cooking, consider getting the set of cookware they've been drooling over; if they love playing tennis, get them a new racquet, tennis wear, etc.) Your mate may best see love when you spell it T-I-M-E. If so, make sure you give a gift that will require your time (i.e., it may be a gift certificate for a nice dinner, it may be an evening/night away from kids, friends and distractions that you arrange for). Finally, your mate may best see your love when you DO something for them. If that is the case, make sure you give a gift which includes an element of your service (i.e., a breakfast in bed, a certificate for a house-cleaning, babysitting, etc.).

    Plan a spontaneous date. Pick a Saturday morning, get a babysitter, choose a direction and take off for a spontaneous day together. Agree before you start that whatever pops into one of your heads, the other will be willing to give it a try. If you see a garage sale, and one of you says, "Let's check it out." You stop and check it out. If one of you sees a great place to take a walk, you stop and take a walk. Be open to whatever the day may bring forth, and enjoy it together!

    Do a House Swap with close friends. Get as elaborate as you want, keeping it a surprise (as suggested on page 76 of 52 Ways to Have Fun, Fantastic Sex by the Penners) or even planning it together. Here's a quote from the Penner's House Swap chapter to give you a few ideas: "Sometime before the evening pack a bag with pajamas, lingerie, and a change of clothes for the two of you. You may want to include scented bath soaps, candles, some tapes or CD's (be sure your friend has a stereo system for these) with your favorite music, and two crystal goblets. Go by your friends' house (if they have already left) and stock it with tasty snacks and drinks and drop off your bags. "Meet your wife or husband after work with a mysterious smile and the promise of an evening of surprises."

    Your home could make a great miniature golf course! Arrange plastic cups as the "holes" in different locations around the house. You can make the "holes" as easy or as difficult as you like. You'll need at least one putter and two golf balls. Whoever wins the last hole, of course, gets a prize. Before the game begins, settle on the prize you're each going to give if the other mate wins. Use your imagination & make the prizes very romantic.

    Gather up all those leftover candles from Christmas. (If they are "heart red," all the better.) See how many you can set up in the bathroom. Have your hubby help you put the kids to bed early, then fix a bubble bath for two. The romantic glow of the candles will really enhance this time of togetherness.

    Wives, I’m just going to come out and say it. Your husband loves to look at and touch your breasts. Now, he may have to be reminded that they are not tennis balls in the way he handles them. Song of Songs describes them as fawns – baby dear – so they must be handled tenderly. Breasts are mentioned 8 times in the Song of Songs with one description of them in chapter 7, as being clusters of grapes that the husband wants to take hold of. The truth is, God made men with a fascination for women’s breasts. So this month, I challenge you to make yours very accessible to your husband and even take his hand and place it on your breast when you have the opportunity. He will be very grateful! (See also Prov. 5:19,20).

    This month the romantic tip love language is “Touch.” What makes this difficult for wives is that for most men it is hard to distinguish “touch” from “sexual.” But since nonsexual touch is so critical for bonding, the challenge will be for you to create the touching when lovemaking is either inappropriate or not possible. Be creative in your touching such as leaning on him, taking his hand (like in church), touching his face or shoulder with a light stroke, taking his arm and putting it around your shoulder, etc. See if you can do some “bonding” apart from the bed.

    Dedicate a week to touching your husband in ways he might already be accustomed to (like holding his hand while praying; holding his arm when walking; snuggling up to him while sitting together). But add touching him in NEW ways (like touching his face in a warm, tender fashion; taking his arm and putting it around your waist while sitting or walking; poking him lightly in a fun way). See how long you can do this before he asks you what’s up. I bet this will be a fun experience for you both and will probably cause him to lovingly touch you more in non-sexual ways.

    Even though your husband may not be able to dance like the stars, most men can dance the two-step to a slow song. Surprise him one evening (with kids in bed or farmed out) with a few of his favorite slow, romantic songs keyed up to play. Dim the lights and dance and sway, making sure you get close enough to enjoy one another’s touch. (This kind of dancing may lead to more unencumbered touching later on…just saying.) And for you who dare, sign up for a few dance lessons to improve y’all’s repertoire to include at least the waltz and jitterbug.

    Catch your hubby with his shirt off. Teasingly place your hands on his chest and tell him how much you like his hairy chest (if no hair, then tell him how much you like his smooth chest). Feel on down his arms, making sure to pause on his biceps and ask him to flex them for you to admire. Give him kudos for keeping them in such muscular condition. If he has muscular abs, go on to them, but if he has Dunlap Disease (as in, my belly has "dun lapped" over my belt) just don't go there. But let your husband know you care about and appreciate his body.

    This is an experiment - this month, try different kinds of physical touching in all kinds of various situations to communicate to your man that you love him. Try a soft hand stroke through his hair when you first see him after a day at work. Try a quick kiss on the cheek one morning for no apparent reason. Put your hand in his when you are walking somewhere together. Gently brush up against him while he is doing something safe (preferably not when he's using a knife). Hook your leg over his when sitting together, give him a neck rub, kiss him passionately just before he leaves (or you leave) for work, walk up behind him and hug him tightly (surprise him if you can), if you're shorter than he is, ask him to pick you up so you can kiss him on the forehead (or bend over to do it if you are taller), cover his eyes with your hands from behind and ask him, "Guess who?" I'm sure you can think of many more clever ways to show your love. Note his feedback - like whether he notices it, smiles or comments about it or praises you for it. This experiment may turn out so good that you keep it up all year.

    Some evening when you get back together with your husband at the end of the day, ask him to look you squarely in the face and listen as you tell him about a game you want to play with him. Here are the rules: He is to either hold hands with you or hug you, seeing how close he can get his lips to yours without touching them. Greater than an inch apart does not qualify. He is to try this ten times throughout the evening when you initiate it. But if he touches your lips, he has to start over. (Wives - no fair closing the gap when he gets to nine.) To make the game more interesting, you may touch any other part of his body in the process and ask him to touch any part of yours (genitals excluded). You may even get naked, which will make it really difficult for him! Just realize that if he "wins" the game, he will probably want more than a kiss for the prize.

    Here is a short tip you may already be doing - GO TO BED WHEN HE DOES. If you are the "owl," change your schedule and go to bed with him, even if it requires you to get back up after he's asleep. If you are the "dove," encourage him to come to bed early until you are asleep. Snuggle time is absolutely necessary for both of you.

    Find a time when you can take a whole hour alone together. Sit, fully clothed, on your couch or porch swing - wherever you can sit close enough to put your head on his shoulder, hold hands and touch. Communicate through touch how much you love him, respect him, and are aware of his presence as you talk about such things as: (1) what you thought of him when you first met; (2) when you first realized you loved him and why; (3) when you decided you wanted to marry him and why; (4) what kind of together time you really appreciate; (5) what kind of vacation you would like to have if you could afford it; or (6) what kind of dreams you can dream together - short term and long term. You'll find this is time well-spent and long remembered.

    Get a gift for yourself. Replace one of your old nighties with a newer, more alluring (read "accessible") one. I'm talking about one that allows a little more freedom of access to the "fruit" and "fawn" Song of Solomon speaks about so eloquently. Believe me, even if your husband's love language is not touch, he will really appreciate this loving gesture.

    Your husband needs to be touched - whether it's his love language or not. Touching produces bonding in your relationship. One of the most gratifying ways to ensure enough touching is sleeping in the nude together, or in as little clothing as possible. The goal here is plenty of skin-to-skin contact. I can hear some of you gasping right now, "I'll freeze without my flannel nightie!" Well, I'm telling you to BURN THEM! If you must, go buy a dual control electric blanket. Be more like the couple in Song of Songs 1:13 - A bundle of myrrh is my beloved to me, that lies all night between my breasts. (NKJV). (Yes, that's actually in the Bible!) You and your husband can be bonding while you're sleeping!

    Touch is very important to most men, so here is your challenge for this month - twenty 2-second touches a week! Touch is an arousal signal for most men, so your challenge is to touch your husband 20 times during each week, but make it short and sweet. (2 seconds should short-circuit the arousal response.) A quick pat on his arm, a gentle stroke of his cheek, a loving squeeze of his shoulder.... Count them, and you can go over 20 if you like.

    It's time for a little touching game. Select 5-15 objects with different textures, weight, size, etc. Store them in your bedroom, available but out of sight. Ask your husband to undress from the waist up and then blindfold him. Lightly touch him somewhere on his upper body with each object. Keep touching him in different spots until he guesses what it is. (Of course, don't touch him on the palms of his hands -- that's too easy.) Tell him if he guesses 4 out of 5 (or 3 out of 5, if you're really generous), you will expand the testing area to include below the waist as well. Have fun! Be playful! Make up special prizes for guessing particular objects or number of objects. One caution: set the rules of engagement before the game begins. No fair making up rules as you go along.

    Make a coupon for "One Hour of Touching" to give to your husband. Make it redeemable within one week - use it or lose it. Decide together at the beginning of the hour if intercourse is an option or not. You must have complete privacy for this coupon to be valid. The touching may be any kind hubby desires as long as you are comfortable with it.

    Make a coupon for "One Hour of Touching" to give to your husband. Make it redeemable within one week - use it or lose it. Decide together at the beginning of the hour if intercourse is an option or not. You must have complete privacy for this coupon to be valid. The touching may be any kind hubby desires as long as you are comfortable with it.

    Make a memory this week with your husband. Sometime when he's not expecting it, jump in the shower with him. Make sure you allow time to really enjoy the experience. Wash each other's back, even each other's hair. Believe me, your husband will never forget the day you surprised him in the shower!

    Make one Saturday morning this month very special. Serve your husband breakfast in bed, then crawl back into bed with him and help him eat it. Arrange for (or with) the children so you will not be disturbed all morning, and sleep, cuddle, watch TV or ?whatever? ?til noon. If the kids are in the house, make sure you lock your bedroom door and even hang a homemade ?Do Not Disturb? sign on the doorknob.

    As you're crawling into bed one night, mention to your husband that you have hidden one drop of perfume somewhere on your body, and challenge him to find it. You both will have fun as he practices his investigative techniques!

    Prepare a bath for your man then be there to help him dry off getting out. Then have him sit or lie down for a warm oil treatment on his feet. Make sure you get every little nook and cranny, even between his two smallest toes. Make sure you don't act like you are doing this as a duty, but that you really enjoy showing him you love him.

    Speaking of ROMANCE - it's about time for that romantic overnight getaway. So spend the time and effort to do all the planning for your romantic interlude - make the reservations, arrange for child care, and don't forget to pack sensuous lingerie and perfume for the sheets. You might have to get really creative to keep it within your budget, but it will be well worth it. Make your love obvious to your man!

    Some evening, early in the month of December, after arranging for the kids to be elsewhere, set the mood and wrap yourself in a big bow (ONLY a bow) and bring some fruitcake or his favorite dessert with you to the bedroom. What more could he want?

    There is a bonding hormone in our bodies that elevates with touch. Your challenge - if you choose to accept it - is to elevate your husband's bonding hormone without arousing him sexually. Here are some suggestions: (1) briefly feel his shoulders, biceps and other muscular areas; (2) touch him above the waist and below the knees; (3) touch him through clothing or have gloves on. Many men state that their love language is touch. Your husband wants your hands on him. So touch him.

    Give your man a massage. Let him choose - a neck and back or a foot massage. Warm some sweet smelling oil and let your hands do the talking.

    Arrange an evening alone in your bedroom (or anywhere else you can be alone with privacy). Have some scented massage oil available and heat it to a nice warm temperature. Treat your hubby to a full body massage. A candlelight atmosphere and some easy listening music will add to the pleasure.

    Put some thought into choosing a gift for your mate that takes into account the way they best get the message that you love them. They may prefer you give them gifts - this one is easy. Just pick out a great gift, making sure that you have given it more than a little thought. Ask your kids what they think Mom or Dad would like. Kids can have a lot of insight. They may know you love them best when you touch them. Just use your imagination a little and get them a gift that will require a little touching in its administration or operation (i.e., a gift certificate for a massage, sensuous nightwear, etc.). They may realize you love them most when you let them know how special they are, or affirm them in what they are and do. The gift you pick should communicate approval for them in some way (i.e., if they love cooking, consider getting the set of cookware they've been drooling over; if they love playing tennis, get them a new racquet, tennis wear, etc.) Your mate may best see love when you spell it T-I-M-E. If so, make sure you give a gift that will require your time (i.e., it may be a gift certificate for a nice dinner, it may be an evening/night away from kids, friends and distractions that you arrange for). Finally, your mate may best see your love when you DO something for them. If that is the case, make sure you give a gift which includes an element of your service (i.e., a breakfast in bed, a certificate for a house-cleaning, babysitting, etc.).

    Without telling him what you are up to, pick an evening and see how many different ways you can touch him. Count different ways, different places, different pressures, etc. (i.e. "stroking fingers on shoulder with light touch," "rubbing back of hand around his neck and ears with light touch," "massaging his neck and shoulders firmly," "tickling his stomach with a feather, varying the pressure," etc.) See if you can get to twenty different ways BEFORE he thinks it's an invitation to make love.

    Block out three days this week as "Touch days." During these three days, every time you pass your husband, or if he even comes into the room, touch him. Pat him on the back, rub his shoulders, run your fingers through his hair, or swat his derriere - touch him! See if he notices. Bet he does. Bet you do too. Maybe it will become a habit you don't want to quit.

    Give your husband a certificate for an "Any Part of Your Body Massage" redeemable upon request. Slip it into a romantic card, complete with a bow.

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    Though your husband may draw most of his sense of self-worth from his vocation, he, nevertheless, needs to hear sweet words of praise, compliments, kudos and acknowledgements of his worth from you - regularly. It might help to write them out on seven different post-it notes and put them in places he will see as he goes about his week there at home (like in the garage/shop, bathroom, dresser drawer, a shoe or slipper, his car, etc.). Affirmation means so much when it is sincere and comes from the woman he most wants to impress!

    Your husband needs to hear your compliments. They make him feel appreciated. And a man who feels appreciated, becomes more appreciative of his wife … and is very likely to become far more complimentary of his appreciated wife. See how that cycle works? So I encourage you to list seven good things about your man that you can compliment, and determine seven different ways you can communicate your appreciation. Maybe a note in his shirt or pants pocket, a whisper in his ear, a statement before the family at a meal, a special occasion card that you write the compliment in, a note on the bathroom mirror, a notecard in his sock drawer, a small gift with a note tag left where he will find it – I bet you can think up even more creative ways to get this cycle of appreciation going.

    This next week, get out seven of your post-it notes, 3x5 cards, or just some similar paper about that size and write out seven different qualities in your husband that you especially appreciate and tell him why. Something like "I appreciate your Thoughtfulness and I am reminded of it every time you fill my water bottle each morning for me." Choose 7 qualities that you truly appreciate. Spread the notes around the house where he'll find them during the course of the week. Help him find them only if he needs help.

    Make your husband a personalized Thanksgiving Card. Even if you don't have one of those card making programs on your computer, just do one on regular or construction paper and start it something like this: Darling (or favorite Honey name), I thank God for you and your love for me! I appreciate the hard work and dedication you put into being a great husband (and father, if you have children). You serve me in so many ways (name a few even if you have to think hard). I respect you for (name some characteristics that you respect). And sign it with your deepest love and appreciation.

    If your husband has a hobby, then this month make it a point to encourage him in pursuing it (as long as he isn’t spending an inordinate amount of time and money on it already). Let him know you understand his need to have some space and interests that maybe you don’t really care to share, and that he has your blessing. If he doesn’t have a hobby, encourage him to talk about his interests and what might become a hobby for him if he would only pursue it – maybe even suggest a few ideas for him to consider. The point is to affirm him by valuing what he is interested in. Men tend to see their self-worth in what they can do, their capabilities. That’s why valuing what they like to do builds up their self-worth. And that’s a very loving thing to do!

    Most of us have those "bad days" when we are just a little curt and even downright nasty in our attitude toward our mate. When your mate has one of those "days," it would well be worth your time to investigate what is driving that bad attitude. Bette and I had such a "talk" last week that helped to reveal the presence of both frustration and fear under my unexplained responses to her. It really helped to get to the underlying root cause of my sour attitude. What does this intense kind of communication have to do with romance? Sour attitudes squash romance! As a wife, you probably are more aware of attitudes and emotions than your husband. He needs your intentional help to discover what is underneath his attitudes. So help him out. Ask him some pointed questions so he can talk about what is bothering him. You can say something like, "I can tell something is bothering you. Are you frustrated at something? Or have I hurt you in some way?" And then let him talk...and you listen intently. Your romance quotient will improve. Trust me.

    It’s time to give your husband something to help him enjoy his favorite hobby or pastime. It may take a little research or sneaky investigative techniques, but find him something that will enhance his favorite hobby. It may be a sports mug or drink container with his favorite team’s logo, or perhaps an accessory for his laptop or smartphone. It may be a picture framed for display. It could even be a DVD of a significant dramatization of his hobby. There are various hunter and golf DVDs for the avid hunter or golfer. Personalize it if you can, but let him know you are “for him” and not against him. My bet is he will want to show you his love as you show him your respect for his chosen hobby.

    Catch your hubby with his shirt off. Teasingly place your hands on his chest and tell him how much you like his hairy chest (if no hair, then tell him how much you like his smooth chest). Feel on down his arms, making sure to pause on his biceps and ask him to flex them for you to admire. Give him kudos for keeping them in such muscular condition. If he has muscular abs, go on to them, but if he has Dunlap Disease (as in, my belly has "dun lapped" over my belt) just don't go there. But let your husband know you care about and appreciate his body.

    It's time to brag on your husband. Think about something he does or a characteristic about him that makes you happy, then make it a point to brag about that to two people this month. Make sure he isn't present for the bragging. But don't worry, your encouraging words will make their way back to him, and they will make him feel so appreciated!

    Think about 5 sincere compliments you have not given your husband this year. Write each compliment out on a post-it note or fancy slip of paper. Hide them around the house in places your husband is likely to find them within a week or two. Keep a list of the places and privately check them off as the compliments are found. If after two weeks any are left unfound, give him a few hints to help him find them without just saying "go to the couch and look behind the blue cushion." Make sure all five are sincere compliments that you can look him in the eyes and affirm out loud. You'll make your man feel loved and respected!

    Men appreciate (and need) respect from their mate. And it's really not optional for the Christian wife (cf Ephesians 5:33). So, for each day next week communicate your respect for your husband in one of these seven ways. Pick 7 verbs from the following list to communicate to him seven different things you respect him for: respect, admire, defer, esteem, regard, value, have high opinion of, look up to, think a lot of, appreciate, recognize, show consideration for, pay attention to, accept, treasure, cherish, prize, be in awe of, marvel at, think highly of. For instance: "I appreciate the way you take the trash out every week without my saying a word about it." "I marvel at the way you can keep our budget so well." "I admire you so much for the way you encourage our kids to live in a way that pleases the Lord." Look for ways you can practice Ephesians 5:33.

    Give your man an appreciation card. Don't buy a store-bought card or draw anything fancy on the front. Just take this opportunity to let him know how much you appreciate him. Express thanks to him for all those things you may tend to take for granted - his bringing home a paycheck; playing with the kids even when you know he's tired; maintaining the house, the yard and the cars when he'd rather be playing or resting; taking time with grown children, with grandchildren and even with the in-laws. Let him know you admire and respect him. And make sure you tell him you would marry him all over again!

    Look up four words that in some way express respect and admiration. For the next four weeks select one each week and see how many times you can use that one in conversation with your man. Try to use the word you select each week a few more times than you did the one you selected the previous week After the four weeks, on a walk or date with him, ask him how he responded or appreciated your speaking those words to him. It may already be obvious to you, but it will be good to talk about it together.

    Send your man on a treasure hunt! Think of 10 to 15 characteristics you admire and appreciate about your guy. Write them on individual slips of paper and hide them around the house. Place the first “admire and appreciate” slip somewhere he’ll find quickly. At the bottom of each slip, give a hint about the next location – the last one should lead to you, ready to give him a long, appreciative kiss. Your husband craves to be admired and appreciated. This is a fun way to let him know how much he means to you.

    Find a time when you can take a whole hour alone together. Sit, fully clothed, on your couch or porch swing - wherever you can sit close enough to put your head on his shoulder, hold hands and touch. Communicate through touch how much you love him, respect him, and are aware of his presence as you talk about such things as: (1) what you thought of him when you first met; (2) when you first realized you loved him and why; (3) when you decided you wanted to marry him and why; (4) what kind of together time you really appreciate; (5) what kind of vacation you would like to have if you could afford it; or (6) what kind of dreams you can dream together - short term and long term. You'll find this is time well-spent and long remembered.

    Valentine's Day is past, but wives, your husband still needs to know how important he is to you. Your man has a deep need to know (hear, see and feel) how much you respect him. So make him a "Just because" card (as fancy as you want) that says something like, "How can I help but respect you when..." Then list some of the things you appreciate about him - maybe he leads out in family prayer, or takes special time to play or read to the kids, or does something kind for you just because. When a guy knows he is respected, it helps him be the man you want him to be.

    By following a few simple rules as you relate to your husband, I promise you will experience a new level of connection with your man. Rule #1 - He's a man. Don't expect him to relate like a woman. Rule #2 - Be direct. Fewer words work best. Rule #3 - Ask explicitly for what you want. Don't beat around the bush. Rule #4 - Hints don't work. He isn't good at picking up subtle clues. Rule #5 - Men are wired to win. Don't pressure him to admit he is wrong. Is it really that important anyway? I challenge you to memorize and follow these rules closely. You will be happy with the results, I promise.

    Men need their self-esteem stroked regularly, so for one month find at least 10 times when you can say, "You're right, Honey." Be sure to add what he is right about. Try to do this discreetly, so he doesn't catch on to what you are doing. In other words, make them authentic so he doesn't question your sincerity.

    Your husband thrives on appreciation, so pull out your best stationary and write him a note of appreciation. He needs details, ladies, so list 10 specific things you appreciate about him...the kind of man he is, what he does for his family, how he shows you love even when he's tired, the way he plays with the kids, etc. If you have trouble listing ten, ask God to soften your heart and open your eyes to the positive things about your man. Close by thanking him for the years he's been your husband, then actually mail the note to him (at work or home). He will walk a little taller. Smile a little easier. Love a little more freely. Remember, be very specific in what you appreciate.

    Think of something your husband did lately that almost went unnoticed. It may be something like taking the trash out, putting gas in your car, locking up and securing the house at night, holding the door open for you or some other little thoughtful thing he typically does that you might tend to overlook. Now write a Thank You note (at least 2 paragraphs) expressing your appreciation and put it in his briefcase, lunch or someplace else he will find it. The note will really make him feel good because you noticed his actions and appreciate him and the things he does for you.

    Write your husband a respect note. Let him know how much you admire him for supporting your family, for working so hard, and protecting you and the children. And then write us and let us know how he responds to your note. Remember, God calls you to unconditional respect, just like He calls husbands to unconditional love.

    Think of a romantic statement you can say to your husband that affirms his manhood, tells him how much you admire and respect him, or just lets him know how much you look forward to some time alone with him. Then sometime when the two of you are in public, whisper it to him and watch his eyes light up. It can be something like: "You make me remember how you captured my heart." "I just love seeing you in that outfit." "You look soooo sexy tonight." "I really appreciate your coming to this event - we'll have some real fun when we get home." "Can we sleep naked tonight?" "Can we leave a little early and have some time alone?" "I really like ___________ about you!"

    When is the last time you wrote your lover a Love Letter? Spend some time this month drafting a love letter to your man, telling him how much you love him. List out at least ten different things about him or things he does that make you appreciate him so much. This letter can be drafted over time, but don't let him know if you are having trouble coming up with ten things you appreciate about him (i.e. his work ethic, his expression of affection for you, his putting you and the kids first after God, his taking out the trash, his helping with the housework, his willingness to spend time talking over your concerns, his acts of kindness towards you, etc.

    Pull off ten post-it-notes from a pad (or get 10 3x5 cards) and write out ten things you appreciate about your man. They can be things he does, character traits he displays, spiritual qualities or values he possesses, etc. Don?t let him see you working on them. Then spread them around in various places he will frequent over the course of the week and ?discover? unexpectedly. Make sure they are not all found in one day ? i.e., draw out the experience. He will be a happy man all week knowing that you have gone to such effort just to let him know how much you appreciate him.

    Maybe it's been awhile since you gave your husband some healthy "Well-done!" or "What-a-man!" kudos. So do a hand-written card labeled something like "What a Man I Have!" Then list eight to ten things you appreciate about him like "I love the way you show me respect in public." "I appreciate all the hard work you do providing an income for us." "If only my friends had husbands like you." "You turn me on." "I appreciate the way you ____" "You make me feel so safe." "When you do _____it makes me feel so loved." "I will be thinking of you a lot today and can't wait to see you." Then leave the card some place he is sure to find it.

    Many of us are too busy to give the common courtesy of looking at someone when they are talking to us. For one whole week, try focusing on this aspect of your relationship with your husband. WHENEVER he is talking to you, focus intently upon him, looking him right in the eyes and giving visual feedback by nodding, commenting, interacting, etc. This will require stopping what you are doing and turning around to look at him. See if he notices without your telling him.

    Your hubby could use a good dose of affirmation, no matter what his current condition of stress is. Make a list of ten affirmations - things you really appreciate, respect and admire about him. Then choose affirmation delivery vehicles for each of them (i.e. a note in his wallet, a drawing on his mirror, a postcard mailed to him at work, a spoken affirmation when you have his COMPLETE attention, a note in his Bible in a location he is reading, an email to him, a phone call, a card hung from his rear view mirror, a message in his dresser drawer, a telegraph, etc.) It may take all month for him to receive all ten affirmations, but he will certainly get the message and know you love him.

    All husbands appreciate affirmation even when that is not their specific love language. Write out ten things you really appreciate about your husband. Word them in the first person (i.e., "I really appreciate the way you_____," "I want to thank you for ____," "When you_______you really make me happy," "You are the most ____ husband in the world." Then hide them in places he'll be around this next week. The goal is for him to find all ten of them this week but not all in one day. Hide them so as to spread out your expressions of appreciation. Make them honest, sincere expressions and see if it puts a twinkle in his eye and a bounce to his step.

    Put some thought into choosing a gift for your mate that takes into account the way they best get the message that you love them. They may prefer you give them gifts - this one is easy. Just pick out a great gift, making sure that you have given it more than a little thought. Ask your kids what they think Mom or Dad would like. Kids can have a lot of insight. They may know you love them best when you touch them. Just use your imagination a little and get them a gift that will require a little touching in its administration or operation (i.e., a gift certificate for a massage, sensuous nightwear, etc.). They may realize you love them most when you let them know how special they are, or affirm them in what they are and do. The gift you pick should communicate approval for them in some way (i.e., if they love cooking, consider getting the set of cookware they've been drooling over; if they love playing tennis, get them a new racquet, tennis wear, etc.) Your mate may best see love when you spell it T-I-M-E. If so, make sure you give a gift that will require your time (i.e., it may be a gift certificate for a nice dinner, it may be an evening/night away from kids, friends and distractions that you arrange for). Finally, your mate may best see your love when you DO something for them. If that is the case, make sure you give a gift which includes an element of your service (i.e., a breakfast in bed, a certificate for a house-cleaning, babysitting, etc.).

    Take a good look at your monthly calendar and choose two days you can make special for your husband. Mark the days on your calendar in a way your husband won't be able to tell they are special. On each of the days, go out of your way to do something special for your husband, something that communicates your love for him: bake his favorite dessert, send him a card at work, wear his favorite lingerie - spoil him to pieces that day. When he wonders why he is being treated so special, just tell him you love him because he's a special guy!

    This month’s tip will require a little investigation done as inconspicuously as possible. What you are to find out is something your husband dreads, dislikes or doesn’t enjoy doing that must be done soon. Then surprise him by doing it before he gets to it or if it’s too big a job or you don’t know how then either join him in the process helping and assisting, even if it is just serving him some munchies that he likes while he does “the task.” This kind of loving service always communicates love and respect.

    Think about a task that your husband does for you, the kids or the home regularly that he doesn’t especially enjoy or that wears him plum out. Without warning or letting him know, just do it for him (or join him in the task if it requires more than you can provide on your own). Then have a tasty treat for him when the task is complete.

    Notice what non-perishable snacks your husband loves to have around to satisfy his little hunger attacks, and prepare a care package for him with a few weeks' supply that he can take to work. If he is on a health food or weight loss “New Year’s Resolution kick,” you can still get him some of the “diet-approved” snacks that he likes…or at least doesn’t complain too much about.

    Does your husband have a regular chore that he just hates to do? How about relieving him of that chore this month by hiring someone to do it for him? Tell him you are doing this for him because you love to spend time with him. So the time it would have taken him to do that chore is now time he can spend with you. Have something planned that he will enjoy too. It can be as simple as a romantic walk or dinner at a special restaurant. Spending time together alone as a couple is so important to your relationship. I hope you will take advantage of this “purchased” time.

    This is “Serve Your Husband” month and you can choose any of the following or create your own: (1) Arrange a babysitter and plan a surprise night out. (2) Make him a meal he especially likes whether it is something you prefer or not. (3) Sew any missing buttons on his shirts without him asking. (4) Watch one of his favorite sports events with him even if you have no interest in it. (5) Clean his sunglasses for him. Or you might have thought of an even better act of service that says to him, “I love you, respect you, am thinking about you and want to make you happy.”

    Whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others.... (Mark 10:44-45 NLT) It's time for you to serve your husband by cleaning his car, giving him a back rub, doing something on his "Honey-Do" list, cooking his favorite dinner, making him popcorn & hot chocolate, cleaning the office or garage, etc. Pick the act of service that would mean the most to him, and do it. You'll be walking in the steps of Jesus.

    As men age, it gets harder and harder to reach those feet (or even see them!). So a loving act of service would be to give your husband a pedicure. This is something he may greatly appreciate if his pride permits. Now, be sure to keep it positive. Don't mention that you're doing this for him because he can't see or reach over his stomach (if that's the case). If you clip and file with a smile on your lips, you may even find it kind of sexy. And if you do, so will he.

    Do you get frustrated with your husband when he forgets special days? Here is how you can fix that this month...and every month to come. Two weeks before any special day - your birthday, anniversary, the kids' birthdays, even his mother's birthday - warn your husband that special day is coming up. Tell him which day of the week it will fall on, and keep reminding him in a kind, and even humorous, way as the day draws nearer. Our brains are not like yours, Ladies. We need all the help we can get with stuff like this. So don't get mad at us. Take pity on us and help us...please!

    Here is a novel tip for you wives - Surprise your husband by cleaning his car - including the carpet and floor mats, and all glass surfaces, even that oily film on the inside front windshield. Then take him (or let him take you) out to some good old-fashioned hamburger drive-in that evening so you can appreciate your surprise together while you enjoy some "fine" dining.

    Does it mean more to you when someone you love makes you something with their own hands than when they simply go out and buy it? Well, though men might not be as aware as you wives are, they still appreciate the things you make for them (meals, yes, but other things too). If you have a craft hobby, you already have a leg up on this gig. If you're not into crafts, spend some time making him a card, a photo album, a video, a playlist of favorite songs or anything else you think he would appreciate. The love you put into the gift is what will mean the most to your husband.

    What job around the house does your husband dread? Maybe it's cleaning out the garage, vacuuming the car or taking it in for an oil change. Maybe it's raking grass clippings off the lawn or trimming the bushes. Whatever it is, I challenge you to do it for him. Do it as a surprise; it will be doubly meaningful for him. His appreciation for you will go through the roof. And you just wait...I bet he'll want to do something for you to show his appreciation.

    How about serving up a free weekend for your man? Set him free from the "Honey-Do" list this weekend (or weekend of his choice this month) to go do something he really enjoys - golf, fishing, hiking...whatever. Your selfless offer and encouragement will allow him to take some time for himself without feeling guilty or selfish. Ladies, take my word for it, he will really appreciate your selfless offer.

    Pick a period of time (morning, afternoon, evening or weekend) in which you would be able to relieve your husband of a chore he normally does. Find out first WHAT he does during that period - list out his chores. Then find out which one he likes to do the least (you may have to consider several to find one you CAN do for him). Then just let him know that for the next two weeks (may be longer, but no shorter than one week) you would like to do that task for him to show him your love in action. If he excuses you from doing it, do not accept his release, but rather insist on doing this service for him as an expression of your love.

    Want to surprise your husband sometime? I mean, "knock his socks off" surprise?? Here's how - polish his shoes. Make them shine. He'll probably have trouble believing you would actually do such a service for him. And it's a kindness he won't soon forget...and may even emulate.

    Think of something your husband does regularly - ideally something that he does not particularly enjoy doing but does anyhow. It may be an agreed upon task he does from the Family Division of Labor Department or one he just does because he knows it wouldn't be as easy or convenient for you to do. Surprise him this month, relieve him of that chore or responsibility, and let him know you did it just to show him you love and appreciate him.

    Think of something your husband does regularly - ideally something that he does not particularly enjoy doing but does anyhow. It may be an agreed upon task he does from the Family Division of Labor Department or one he just does because he knows it wouldn't be as easy or convenient for you to do. Surprise him this month, relieve him of that chore or responsibility, and let him know you did it just to show him you love and appreciate him.

    The best gifts are the ones that come from the heart not from the store. So give your husband a gift he will never forget. Make several coupons for him. They can look fancy or plain - the best thing about them will be the promises you write on them. One coupon can be for a neck and shoulder rub, another for his favorite meal. You might give him a coupon for watching a football game with him or making his favorite dessert -whatever you know he would like. Wrap them as a gift, and maybe even add a little bell in the box, so he can ring the bell for you when he'd like to redeem a coupon.

    Prepare a bath for your man then be there to help him dry off getting out. Then have him sit or lie down for a warm oil treatment on his feet. Make sure you get every little nook and cranny, even between his two smallest toes. Make sure you don't act like you are doing this as a duty, but that you really enjoy showing him you love him.

    Put together a care package for your husband - maybe some of his favorite cookies, a few snacks (maybe some chocolate), fruit, a small bottle of sparkling cider or whatever you know he especially likes. Deliver it (or have it delivered) to his place of work when all his fellow employees are around to see his face light up. Your husband is going to feel like the luckiest guy in the world to have you for his wife!

    Put a city or area map on the table, and each of you select 3 to 5 different spots on it which would be fun places to go on a date. Make sure to have some distance between them ? i.e., not the same location. Mark them with a dot or any other way you like. Then blindfold hubby, and while he's blindfolded, spin the map around on the table several times making sure it does not end up facing the same direction it was when he put on the blindfold. Then give him a pencil, pen or other pointed object and have him select a point on the map (better ask him first if he can see through the blindfold). Then take him to the nearest spot he's pointing to for a date.

    Speaking of ROMANCE - it's about time for that romantic overnight getaway. So spend the time and effort to do all the planning for your romantic interlude - make the reservations, arrange for child care, and don't forget to pack sensuous lingerie and perfume for the sheets. You might have to get really creative to keep it within your budget, but it will be well worth it. Make your love obvious to your man!

    How about planning a romantic candlelight dinner for two this month? Arrange for the kids, dim the lights and surprise him with his favorite food, romantic music and scented candles. While you're at it, rent a romantic classic video or DVD and make it a complete romantic evening at home.

    This is the season of GIVING, so let's give something to good ole' hubby. But let's give him something he doesn't expect. Let's give him RELIEF - and I don't mean the PLOP, PLOP, FIZZ, FIZZ kind. Why don't you relieve him of one of his chores for a week (or a month)? It could be as simple as the gathering up of trash and taking it out or retrieving the newspaper. It could be sweeping the house or having the oil changed in the car. What about doing the dishes? Or cleaning the toilets? Well, you get the idea. You know what he does, so you can best pick something that would give him a little relief (and appreciation for your loving service).

    The tips this month are different as the suggestion is for either husband or wife. Your task is to determine what your spouse most needs, or would appreciate, and then do it - either tending to their needs as a good doctor or as a good nurse. Read the suggestions under each and determine which your mate most needs, or would appreciate, from you - you may want to ask them: Doctors: You played doctor while a kid, now do it as a spouse. Spend time with your mate listening for their hearts concern (or even a physical need). Try to tend to that need as best you can. It may be something for which your mate just needs a listening ear. Or it may be something he or she needs concerted prayer for. It may even be a close relationship that needs reconciled and you may be able to gently advise, act as peacemaker in, pray for, offer an invitation for a dinner together with their estranged friend, etc. Whatever the need, try to tend to it. There are many kinds of needs & there are many kinds of doctors. Nurses: Nurses are great too! You think of them having empathy and understanding while giving needed care. Diagnosis is not needed here, as the doctor's orders are well understood. The care simply needs to be given in an understanding and sympathetic fashion. Be your mate's nurse and tend to their obvious needs. It may be a massage to relax and relieve tension. It may be the drawing of a warm bubble bath for them. It may be a foot massage, a video shared together with some popcorn or some time away from the children with you babysitting. Nurses are great servants - serve your mate's needs in some way this month.

    Put a little madness in your March! Fix some snacks that fit with your diet, time and budget, and watch an NCAA playoff game with your man. The whole game! Don't be afraid to ask a few questions to let him show off his knowledge of the game, and cheer for his team (unless they are playing your alma mater, of course).

    Surprise your husband one evening by asking him to play the part of an invalid (just for the evening). He cannot stand, walk or do things he would normally do for himself. If he wants to surf ? you do it for him. If he wants to read ? you read to him. If he wants a drink ? you get it for him. When he wants to eat ? you feed him. If he wants to listen to music ? you play it for him. When he wants dressed for bed ? you undress/dress him. See if you can keep him in the Lazy Boy or on the couch for two hours without his being able to do anything on his own. If you have teased him before about being "helpless," this might be fun for the both of you, and even a little eye-opening to see what would be required for a short period of really being "helpless."

    Arrange for a friend, a teenager or an old man to do one of your husband's "chores" or an item on his "Honey Do List" that would take at least an hour of his time were he to do it himself. During that time tell him that he's yours to walk, talk, sit or swim together with. He should be very glad to spend this time with you instead of doing the chore he did not particularly look forward to ? make sure that it is one of those kind of chores, and not one that he really enjoys doing.

    Put some thought into choosing a gift for your mate that takes into account the way they best get the message that you love them. They may prefer you give them gifts - this one is easy. Just pick out a great gift, making sure that you have given it more than a little thought. Ask your kids what they think Mom or Dad would like. Kids can have a lot of insight. They may know you love them best when you touch them. Just use your imagination a little and get them a gift that will require a little touching in its administration or operation (i.e., a gift certificate for a massage, sensuous nightwear, etc.). They may realize you love them most when you let them know how special they are, or affirm them in what they are and do. The gift you pick should communicate approval for them in some way (i.e., if they love cooking, consider getting the set of cookware they've been drooling over; if they love playing tennis, get them a new racquet, tennis wear, etc.) Your mate may best see love when you spell it T-I-M-E. If so, make sure you give a gift that will require your time (i.e., it may be a gift certificate for a nice dinner, it may be an evening/night away from kids, friends and distractions that you arrange for). Finally, your mate may best see your love when you DO something for them. If that is the case, make sure you give a gift which includes an element of your service (i.e., a breakfast in bed, a certificate for a house-cleaning, babysitting, etc.).

    I have a special challenge for you this month. It’s easy to think of a gift for your husband’s hobby or for something he likes to do by himself, isn’t it? But much harder to find a gift that brings him into your world, like a hobby of yours or something that interests you both. So that is your challenge. Find him a gift that brings the two of you together – either him into your world or the two of you into a joint venture together.

    Wives, it’s time to give a gift to your husband without picking it out yourself. Calculate an amount you would be able to spend on his gift. The let your husband know you would like to give him a gift in that price range, but that he gets to pick it out himself. The only requirement is that you accompany him in the “hunting process,” whether it be at a store or online. Do not try to influence him except in the budgeted price range – just tell him that you want to accompany him for the thrill of “bagging that gift.”

    This month put some thought into a gift that would be meaningful and really appreciated by your husband. If he has an interest or hobby (like golf, guitar, tennis, table tennis, fly-fishing, chess, you name it), search out a special gift (without breaking the bank) for him in that area. It might even be private lessons or an online course to improve his skills, a related presentation or concert. Try to research it without his finding out, so that when you present it to him he will be surprised by your loving thoughtfulness.

    It's not Christmas, but this month fill a stocking for him and hang it on the mantle - or doorknob if you don't have a fireplace. Get a few of his favorite snacks, candy bars, health bars (sic), etc. and a few small items that go along with his interests or hobbies. Though it is now quite a "cashless" society you may even want to include a few "greenbacks." Your man will know he is special to you!

    Give your guy a gift card for a store you know he can find something he likes – a sporting goods store, a home improvement/tool store, a book store, electronics store like BestBuy, whatever. Then tell him you would like to be a part of his “hunting” expedition. Even if he would prefer shopping on the internet with an Amazon Gift Card, let him know you want to be a part of his “hunting” experience. (Women shop, men hunt. This may not be what you consider shopping, so just go with the flow.)

    It’s time to give your husband something to help him enjoy his favorite hobby or pastime. It may take a little research or sneaky investigative techniques, but find him something that will enhance his favorite hobby. It may be a sports mug or drink container with his favorite team’s logo, or perhaps an accessory for his laptop or smartphone. It may be a picture framed for display. It could even be a DVD of a significant dramatization of his hobby. There are various hunter and golf DVDs for the avid hunter or golfer. Personalize it if you can, but let him know you are “for him” and not against him. My bet is he will want to show you his love as you show him your respect for his chosen hobby.

    Accumulate a stash of your husband's favorite candy or candy bars and portion them out weekly. If, in good conscience, you must monitor his nutritional intake, you can supplement with more healthy options -- candy CORN, MILK Duds and Skittle FRUIT chews are healthy, right?

    Do a family update together, summarizing how God has provided for, protected and encouraged you over the past year or so (use a longer time frame if you don’t regularly do updates). Work on it together with your husband and ask him about any relatives, friends or classmates he would like to include, even though some may require a little research to track down. Do this for him gladly. Many do not send out such updates even at Christmas, as we can attest to [hear us urging you to do them here]. Often when we receive reports, they are event oriented and do not include how GOD has provided for, protected them or encouraged them in the summary. Compiling your yearly family updates can form a wonderful record that can be passed down to your children and grandchildren.

    Make your husband's favorite jam, jelly or dessert and serve it to him while he's blindfolded. Ask him to guess some things about it - like does he know what it is, can he guess what flavor it is, does he thinks you made it from scratch, how much you made of it, etc. Make it a fun game.

    Without your husband's knowledge, go shopping for him. Get him a few new clothes and/or some personal accessories. Wrap them for him as a "non-holiday" surprise. He will know you think he's pretty special!

    Save up some money - the amount depends on your budget - and give it as a gift to your husband. The requirements are (1) he must spend it on himself, and (2) you get to go shopping with him (or as he calls it "hunting"). Even if he wants to shop online, you can help him find what he wants. If room is limited in front of the computer, sit on his lap! Your guy may be uncomfortable spending money on himself, especially if your budget is tight. That's when you pull out your printed copy of this tip and tell him that's what Harold told you to do!

    Does it mean more to you when someone you love makes you something with their own hands than when they simply go out and buy it? Well, though men might not be as aware as you wives are, they still appreciate the things you make for them (meals, yes, but other things too). If you have a craft hobby, you already have a leg up on this gig. If you're not into crafts, spend some time making him a card, a photo album, a video, a playlist of favorite songs or anything else you think he would appreciate. The love you put into the gift is what will mean the most to your husband.

    Get a gift for yourself. Replace one of your old nighties with a newer, more alluring (read "accessible") one. I'm talking about one that allows a little more freedom of access to the "fruit" and "fawn" Song of Solomon speaks about so eloquently. Believe me, even if your husband's love language is not touch, he will really appreciate this loving gesture.

    Why give gifts only when they're expected - like Christmas, birthdays and anniversaries? How about surprising your man with a completely unexpected gift? Put some thought and effort into finding something "special" for him, even though there's no "special" occasion. You could buy him an engraved pocketknife or pen. Need another suggestion? How about a gift connected with a hobby or special interest? It doesn't need to be expensive, just something special he'd really appreciate. A gift given for no other reason than that you love him is a gift your husband will treasure for a long time.

    Give your husband a special gift that speaks to his Love Language. He will be sure to get the message loud and clear that you LOVE him. If his Love Language is affirmation, give him a card filled with words of admiration and appreciation. If his Love Language is time, give him three hours of your undivided attention this month. Let him know in a special way that it's your gift to him. If his Love Language is gifts, give him a gift that reminds him of a special memory of your life together. If his Love Language is acts of service, fix a favorite dessert that he rarely enjoys. If his Love Language is touch, put on a dab of perfume and as you crawl into bed say, "I have one dab of perfume somewhere on my body. I challenge you to find it." A gift that speaks in his Love Language - now that's a gift that keeps on giving.

    Give some real thought to buying something for your husband that's a little out of the ordinary. It's easy to get him something like a tool or an item for his car or hobby. Go beyond these categories this time and get him something he'd love to see you in. It doesn't have to be of the negligee variety (though that's always a winner!). Plan a treasure hunt: Give him at least six clues, each one guiding him to the next clue. Don't make the clues too easy, so you can give him additional hints along the way. Of course, the final clue leads him to the treasure -which you should try on immediately for his enjoyment.

    Since it's gift-giving time, here's a great way to give your husband one of his Christmas gifts. I think he will get a big kick out of this and remember it a long time. Some evening before Christmas, surprise your man with three upside-down boxes in a row. You have placed his gift under one of them, and under the other two you have placed funny consolation gifts. Let him choose which box to look under. "I'll choose box #2." He might find a great little gift...or he might find something funny like a Batman mask. Of course, he can keep choosing 'til he gets all three.

    It's time to surprise your husband with a gift that shows you're INTO his hobby. So, if he enjoys puttering in his workshop, get him a tool he's been drooling over. If he crazy about sports, get him equipment or athletic wear. If he likes to garden, a special shrub or gardening tool. If he's a collector, a new addition to his collection. Here's the challenge - see if you can find out what he really wants without him catching on.

    Put together a care package for your husband - maybe some of his favorite cookies, a few snacks (maybe some chocolate), fruit, a small bottle of sparkling cider or whatever you know he especially likes. Deliver it (or have it delivered) to his place of work when all his fellow employees are around to see his face light up. Your husband is going to feel like the luckiest guy in the world to have you for his wife!

    Go to your husband's favorite hobby store and get a gift certificate for him for as much as you would spend on an evening out together. Put the certificate in a card and give it to him when you can immediately take him to spend it (immediate gratification). Spend all the time he needs looking over the bargains and ask him questions about one choice over another. He will be glad to share his expert and wise counsel with you. Most men LOVE talking about what they know something about, especially when they can explain it to someone who doesn't. Your man will know he is really special to you!

    Turn the tables on your husband this Mothers' Day. After you have received your gifts (I hope gift giving is part of your family tradition on Mothers' Day.), say, "And now I have a Husbands' Day gift for my wonderful husband," and whip out a little gift you have prepared for him. It can be anything you think he would like -- like an angel food cake or apple pie (Whoops! Guess you can tell where my mind in wondering.) or a small, handsomely wrapped gift. Surprise gifts are often the best kind!

    We know it's too early for Christmas, but unexpected gifts often communicate more than gifts given when they are expected. Sooooo? investigate & really pay attention to your husband's hobby (or sport) enough to find out something he's been needing or wanting. Spend about what you would on a date (within your budget), and surprise him with something that shows your interest and encouragement in what he likes to do.

    I know we think of giving gifts for birthdays and special occasions like Christmas. And apart from those times we may even think it's a "guy thing." But this month's tip is to give your hubby a gift. Put some thought into it and even some time if you can personalize it someway. It doesn't have to be expensive - just thoughtful and something that he needs, would like or enjoy. Whether his love language is gifts or not, he should appreciate your gift if you put some focused thought into it. Something along the line of his interest in sports, hobbies, cars, etc.

    Even though you may be able to afford to buy your husband a nice gift - DON'T! Think up something you can MAKE for him. You may do crafts as a hobby, so this might be a really easy thing for you to do. But even if you're not good at crafts and have to really put some time and effort into the project - he will appreciate it immensely. For some of you, this might be as simple as cooking a really good meal for him if your tendency is to eat out or if he does most of the cooking. If you sew, you could make him vest or tie. Whatever it is, pick something that is not a "snap" to do. That will make it really special for him.

    Put some thought into choosing a gift for your mate that takes into account the way they best get the message that you love them. They may prefer you give them gifts - this one is easy. Just pick out a great gift, making sure that you have given it more than a little thought. Ask your kids what they think Mom or Dad would like. Kids can have a lot of insight. They may know you love them best when you touch them. Just use your imagination a little and get them a gift that will require a little touching in its administration or operation (i.e., a gift certificate for a massage, sensuous nightwear, etc.). They may realize you love them most when you let them know how special they are, or affirm them in what they are and do. The gift you pick should communicate approval for them in some way (i.e., if they love cooking, consider getting the set of cookware they've been drooling over; if they love playing tennis, get them a new racquet, tennis wear, etc.) Your mate may best see love when you spell it T-I-M-E. If so, make sure you give a gift that will require your time (i.e., it may be a gift certificate for a nice dinner, it may be an evening/night away from kids, friends and distractions that you arrange for). Finally, your mate may best see your love when you DO something for them. If that is the case, make sure you give a gift which includes an element of your service (i.e., a breakfast in bed, a certificate for a house-cleaning, babysitting, etc.).

    Roust your husband out of bed some Saturday morning. Ask him to get dressed, you've got a surprise for him. (Arrange for the kids beforehand.) Take him out to breakfast, then take him to a store that supplies his favorite hobby. Before you go in, give him a gift certificate (it can be homemade) for an amount of money (whatever your discretionary amount might be). Tell him you want to see his face when he spends it on what he wants!

    Take a good look at your monthly calendar and choose two days you can make special for your husband. Mark the days on your calendar in a way your husband won't be able to tell they are special. On each of the days, go out of your way to do something special for your husband, something that communicates your love for him: bake his favorite dessert, send him a card at work, wear his favorite lingerie - spoil him to pieces that day. When he wonders why he is being treated so special, just tell him you love him because he's a special guy!

    Do a House Swap with close friends. Get as elaborate as you want, keeping it a surprise (as suggested on page 76 of 52 Ways to Have Fun, Fantastic Sex by the Penners) or even planning it together. Here's a quote from the Penner's House Swap chapter to give you a few ideas: "Sometime before the evening pack a bag with pajamas, lingerie, and a change of clothes for the two of you. You may want to include scented bath soaps, candles, some tapes or CD's (be sure your friend has a stereo system for these) with your favorite music, and two crystal goblets. Go by your friends' house (if they have already left) and stock it with tasty snacks and drinks and drop off your bags. "Meet your wife or husband after work with a mysterious smile and the promise of an evening of surprises."