Give your spouse the best Christmas gift ever

Regardless of your gender or the amount of Christmas shopping you’ve already accomplished, let me suggest a gift that you can give that will be more important than any other gifts you will give this holiday season!

I am guessing that most of you women are already done holiday shopping – some of you have been done since August. On the other hand, I suspect that most of you men are not done holiday shopping – some of you will not start until Christmas Eve.

Regardless of your gender, or the amount of Christmas shopping you’ve already accomplished, let me suggest a gift that you can give that will be more important than any other gift you might think of giving during this holiday season.

The answer? Increased love for your spouse!

Allow me to explain…

Defining Love

Love can be defined in a variety of ways., for instance, defines love as “a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.” Meriam-Webster offers another definition: “affection based on admiration, benevolence or common interests.”

While I like these definitions, let me share two of my favorite descriptions of love. They are as profound as they are simple:

  1. Love is a decision

  2. Love is a verb

Love is a decision

This last semester I taught a Preparing for Marriage class at BYU-Idaho. We discussed in great detail the importance of “choosing well” when it comes to spouse selection. I teach my students to carefully choose a wonderful spouse, then, once married, I stress the need to devote their best effort to loving their choice.

Of course, this often comes easily during engagement or during the “honeymoon period” of a marriage. However, it is just as important to continue loving our choice as time goes on. Dr. Barbara De Angelis wisely stated, “Love is a choice you make from moment to moment.”

Yes, this means we choose to love our spouse when they are grumpy… or when they lose their hair…or they put on a few pounds…or they are challenged with depression…or even if they struggle with the same weaknesses for an extended period of time.

You get the idea!

Love really is a decision! But, it isn’t simply a one-time decision made prior to marriage. We decide each day if we will truly love our spouse!

Love is a verb

I have always liked the notion that love should be an action – a verb. For instance, I can tell my wife that I love her (and I do frequently). However, with 5 energetic children, she often feels even more love when I do the dishes or fold the laundry.

For your spouse, “showing love” may mean watching a sappy movie or enjoying a ballgame together. It might mean going out dancing or buying a thoughtful gift. It might mean taking more time to kiss or spending more time nourishing your sexual relationship. It could also include helping out more with the children or with household chores.

While it is critical to frequently say “I love you,” it may be even more important to consistently show “I love you.”

This holiday season, I challenge you to choose today, tomorrow, and each day to love your spouse! No store contains a gift as precious and valuable as this gift!

This article was originally published on Family Good Things. It has been republished herewith permission.

Rob Stewart

Rob Stewart has taught marriage classes at BYU-Idaho for the last decade and is a co-founder and contributor at He is also the author of the popular new eBook "3 Things You Can Do Today to Create a Ridiculously Happy Marriage."