Best Gift Is Unexpected

Published May 17, 1979. It is highly likely that most married couples desire to maintain some degree of romance in their relationship once they are married. The question arises, how is it done?

While I was teaching marriage courses at various universities, this same question frequently arose in class. During class discussion, time after time students suggested giving gifts to convey affection and enhance the romantic part of marriage.

Equally interesting is the fact that the cost of the gift does not have particular significance, nor does the occasion on which the gift is given. Numerous students have said that an inexpensive gift given when it is unexpected conveys the greatest amount of caring and love in a relationship.

After discussing the observation with my father some time ago, he wrote the following poem. It is especially poignant when you understand that it was written just three months after Ruth, his wife and my mother, had died. She and my father had grown roses in their garden and frequently exchanged them as a symbol of affection.

One Rose

You surely recall youth’s sweet moments:
The stars and the moon shone so bright
As you wined her and dined her to music
With a bouquet of roses each night.

It was, oh, such a beautiful courtship;
You kissed her full lips and pink cheek
And sighed in her ear,
“I love you, My Dear.”
There were orchids or roses each week.

The honeymoon deepened your romance.
As you pledged your true troth once again
This bond would not sever;
You’d love her forever.
There were pansies and pinks now and then.

Then came babies, the bottles, the budget;
And things just didn’t seem to go right;
But don’t you suppose
She still needed a rose
And a kiss on a Saturday night?

There was cooking, and sewing, and cleaning
While time itself seemed to take flight
The work’s never done;
Still she longs for some fun
And one rose on a Saturday night.

You declare love with gifts when expected –
Anniversaries and each Christmas Night –
But some people say
There’s a much better way;
Try a rose on a Saturday night.

As the years pass, we all grow neglectful:
Hold her hand; Touch her lips; hold her tight,
As life ebbs to a close,
She still longs for a rose.
Bring a fresh one this Saturday night.

One day when your sweetheart has left you,
You will have God’s own word she’s alright.
When the spring breezes stir
Fragrant memories of her,
Rush a rose to your lips every night.
                                                   -       Alvin R. Barlow

It is important that husbands and wives remember each other on anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and other days set aside for recognition. Marriage would be more meaningful, however, if affection and appreciation were also shown when not expected.

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