Imagine this scene. There is a blackout in the city. A young couple has planned a romantic and elaborate Valentine’s Day evening together—dinner at an expensive restaurant, excellent tickets for a popular show, expensive gifts for each other.
But now the blackout. No dinner. No show. No way to drop by the jeweler’s to pick up the gifts. Just the two of them in their dark apartment.
It would be easy to call the evening ruined, wouldn’t it? But let’s look more closely at what they’re doing. They’re laughing. They’ve lit as many candles as they can find. They’re pulling ice cream containers from the freezer and eating all the ice cream before it can melt. They’re telling each other stories and sharing secrets they never talked about before.
Maybe they didn’t need the elaborate dinner to be happy, to show each other love, after all.
Sometimes it’s the smallest act of love that makes the biggest difference, like lighting a candle in a blackout. That’s true for people in love with each other; and it’s true for the world, as well. The smallest candle can send out the greatest love.
Jesus said, “remain in my love,” and he wasn’t referring to grand gestures. He was talking about small acts of kindness and love. About living love every day, and not just on the days when we’re “supposed” to. That works for individuals, for couples, for families, and for whole communities.
It can be easy for relationships to get into a rut. Maybe this Valentine’s Day you can imagine what you’d talk about if you were together in a blackout: no TV, no internet, no fancy dinner, just the two of you. What would you talk about?
So here to help are six conversation starters for breathing new life into your marriage (whether or not there’s a blackout!):
- What was your favorite book as a child? Why did you love it? If you chose different books, what do they tell you as yourselves as individuals and now as a couple?
- What would you do on a “perfect” day together? What would make it perfect?
- Did you pray as a child? What was the first prayer you can remember saying? What was the prayer you loved the most?
- What surprised you the most about married life? What have you found most enriching about being married?
- What is one way that being married has made you a better person? How has your spouse contributed to your growth?
- What are the strongest and weakest parts of your relationship? How can you make the weak parts stronger?
As you talk together, you may find many more questions that open up new or different perspectives on your marriage. Don’t wait until next Valentine’s Day to talk about them! Maybe you can schedule a “blackout evening” from time to time: light a candle, eat some ice cream, laugh together, and remember why you chose each other in the first place.
Love isn’t always in the grand gestures. Jesus calls us to love everyday—when we feel like it, and when we don’t feel like it. The smallest moments can offer opportunities to express love… if we’re open to seeing them.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
by Jeannette de Beauvoir