By Lynette Kittle, Crosswalk.com
Old-school acts of love may seem outdated to some but for many, they are a welcoming and refreshing real-life experience in a distant, electronic world.
Although convenient gifts like E-gift cards, greeting cards, and video messaging, come in handy, especially when couples are apart, old-school acts of love have a way of speaking to a heart in deeper ways than we may imagine.
Here are 10 ideas to choose from or to help spark ideas in how to surprise your spouse with an old-school act of love.
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1. Write Your Spouse a Love Letter
When is the last time you wrote an old-fashioned love letter on paper, or a card to your spouse? Maybe never?
Through God’s example of expressing loving words to His Bride the Church through His Word (Revelation 19:7), we learn the importance of writing loving words to the ones we love.
As a writer, I’m partial to words and love writing them down, but if you’re not sure where to start, begin by making a list of all you love about your husband or wife. It’s a good reminder to them, and you, too, as to why they are so loved.
But if making lists isn’t your style, try writing about your first meeting, date, or wedding, expressing the loving emotions you felt towards your spouse on the day you wed.
However, if writing letters makes you cringe, with words hard to come by, look for a well-written greeting card to help you get started, adding your own thoughts to the sentiments expressed.
Former radio producer, Penny Owens, suggests starting out small by putting a love note in his or her lunch box. It can be as simple as writing, “I love you” on a piece of paper.
2. Really Listen to Your Spouse Talk
Jackie M. Johnson, author of Praying With Power When Life Gets Tough and other books, suggests, “Listen. And look in his or her eyes. And really listen.”
God calls us to listen to Him, so being made in His image, it's no surprise that we, too, enjoy our spouse listening to us remembering, “Ears that hear and eyes that see—the Lord has made both” (Proverbs 20:12).
Unfortunately, everyday life may be distracting us from sitting down and really listening to what our spouse wants to say to us. Taking time to give our undivided attention and truly listen, communicates how much we value them and the words they speak.
3. Read Aloud to Each Other
Is there a childhood book your spouse grew up loving? Maybe one his or her Mother read aloud to them? If so, take time to find the book and read aloud to each other.
It may sound rather simple and uneventful but many individuals find someone reading aloud very comforting and soothing after a busy or long day. Proverbs 15:4 describes how a soothing word is like a tree of life.
Do favorite Bible stories or Scriptures calm their minds and hearts? If so, take time to read some of their favorite stories or passages out loud to them.
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4. Play Your Spouse’s Favorite Game
How long has it been since you surprised your spouse by playing their favorite board or card game?
Even if it’s one you tend to avoid, the kind that seems to go on forever like Chess, Monopoly or Risk, set time aside to devote to playing it with them as long as they want to play. Romans 12:10 urges us to give preference to one another, including our spouse.
If you don’t know how to play their favorite game, ask them to please teach you, committing yourself to having a great attitude and fun while doing so.
5. Bake Your Spouse’s Favorite Pie
Pie maker extraordinaire, Neva Penner Klaass, encourages baking your spouse’s favorite pie. Klaass knows what she’s talking about too as she bakes fresh peach and favorite banana meringue pies like Mom used to make.
Pilot's wife and mother of four, Heather Morrow Faust of Boise, Idaho, agrees “Make him a pie.”
My husband makes the better pie crust, so as a pie lover, this would definitely be an old-school act of love received with open arms and a ready fork. If your spouse isn’t a pie lover, try baking his or her favorite cake or cookies.
If your spouse doesn’t have a sweet tooth, maybe go all out and prepare your husband or wife’s favorite meal. At our house, it involves me making a slow-cooked roast with all the trimmings for him, or him cooking up jumbo shrimp scampi for me.
Offering comfort food to our spouses can go a long way in helping to cultivate contentment, like 1 Timothy 6:8 encourages us to have, concerning the food God so generously provides for us (Genesis 9:3).
6. Visit an Apple Orchard or U-Pick Farm
Surprise your spouse by spending an old-fashioned day at an apple orchard picking apples and making apple cider together. If apples aren’t on your menu, try berry, pumpkin, or other produce picking, bringing your bounty home to eat fresh, or to stir up some jam, pies, and other bakery delights.
Ecclesiastes 4:9, assures us, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor.”
Along with your day out picking, consider packing up a picnic basket and blanket to take for an old-fashioned dining experience.
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7. Explore a Corn Maze or Cave Together
If adventure sparks your spouse’s interest, surprise him or her by visiting a nearby corn maze and have fun figuring out the right path together.
Feel free to get lost! But don’t call 911 if you do. Instead, follow Ecclesiastes 4:10’s suggestion to help each other along the way.
If corn mazes are out of season, try exploring a cave together, like Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher did.
8. Look at the Stars
Does your spouse seem to always have his or her head in the clouds? If so, surprise your husband or wife by borrowing a telescope to take in the celestial skies, or, schedule a nighttime viewing at a nearby observatory.
Discuss God’s creation of the stars as Psalm 147:4 describes. “He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name."
Likewise consider Isaiah 40:26. “Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of His great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.”
If gazing at the stars doesn’t catch your spouse's interest, consider a moonlight dinner on your back patio, or maybe a sunset cruise. Possibly consider a nighttime swim or a simple moonlight walk for two.
As you do, discuss how God created the moonlight. “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place” (Psalm 8:3).
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9. Take Your Spouse on a Romantic Walk, Ride, or Drive
Depending on where you live, surprise your spouse with a romantic stroll along the ocean, lake, or river.
If walking is out, rent a canoe or bicycle built for two to take in the sights to peddle or paddle your way through the scenery. Proverbs 5:18 encourages spouses to enjoy time together.
Likewise a horse-drawn carriage or scenic train ride may be more your style. Even a car ride through the desert to see the wildflowers and cacti blooming can be refreshing, taking in the sites and conversing along the way.
10. Go Out of Your Way for Your Spouse
When it comes to old-school acts of love, consider going the extra mile for your spouse. Like Philippians 2:3, urges, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.”
Doing so most likely will involve hours, days, weeks, maybe even months in planning. My sister-in-law, Amy Norton, made the extra effort by surprising her husband Dale with an outdoor outing, recognizing he hadn’t been able to spend time out in nature for a few years. Her efforts included obtaining all the necessary licenses and permissions, including time off from work.
If your spouse didn’t grow up spending time in the great outdoors, but rather in the arcade, look for a vintage spot and plan a day where he or she can spend the day playing some of their favorite arcade games to their heart’s content.
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