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I dug my feet into the batter’s box and readied myself for the pitch. As a scrawny 11-year-old, you could almost see my knees trembling as I watched the huge, man sized 12-year-old stare me down. We all thought he was old enough to drive himself to the games – someone needed to check his birth certificate. This wasn’t just any pitcher, it was the pitcher everyone feared. He threw so hard and so fast it was downright scary. He wound up and delivered the first pitch - ‘Bang’! I crushed a line drive and everyone in the stands cheered as it hit the scoreboard just outside the left field fence. It was my first ever homerun. I jumped up and down all the way around the bases until I touched home plate. When I got back to the dugout my coach gave me the ball I had just hit. I smiled from ear to ear.

I cherished that ball so much. As soon as I got home I wrote the date and ‘All-Star Game’ on it so I’d always remember that amazing day at the ballpark. I placed it on my shelf in my bedroom and showed everyone that entered while also telling the story – some heard it many times. No one was ever allowed to play with it or even touch it (especially my brothers). But as the years went on, I paid less and less attention to that ball. Its spot on the shelf became no better than the books and trinkets on each side - all collecting dust.

Our relationships can be very similar. When we first start off dating, and in the ‘honeymoon’ phase of marriage, we cherish our spouse like crazy. We love telling everyone about them and spending every waking moment with them. There is no one you value more and no one you’d rather be with than that person. But if we’re not careful, our relationships can begin collecting dust too. Can anyone relate?

Let’s be honest here, most guys feel like they hit a ‘homerun’ when they married their spouse. I’d even say that some of us married out of our league – I know I did. I want to encourage the fellas out there to continue telling their wife how beautiful she is and how much she means to you. Continue dating her on a regular basis and always be adventurous. Keep buying her flowers, candy and gifts. Make her feel special, like she is the only woman in the world. Tell her you love her everyday – she wants to hear it, she needs to hear it. Show your wife how much you cherish her. Let her know how lucky you really are to be her husband.

Same goes for the ladies. Let me encourage you to let your husband know how much you love and appreciate him. Send a quick text while he’s at work that says you are thinking about him. Next time you are in a group, say something nice about him in front of others. Do something around the house that he’ll appreciate. Be his biggest cheerleader and supporter of all his dreams – even when he fails. Let him know how lucky you are to be his wife.

Together Time: Talk it over with your spouse and ask for specifics on what makes them feel loved and cherished. Perhaps even something as simple as that can make them feel as happy as if they’ve just hit a homerun.

Ephesians 5:31-33 ~ As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

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