“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so.” Proverbs 3:27

*As my husband’s 40th birthday approached a few years ago, I decided that I was not going to let his typical response to dampen my plans to honor him. As anticipated, my husband was not into the “party idea” at all. But, one night while he was channel surfing I asked him who he wanted to attend his party. At first my husband looked at me as if my question was causing him pain, but finally with his cooperation, we listed twenty-three of our closest friends. And believe it or not, as the invitations went out, I began to sense that he was warming up to the idea of celebrating his birthday.

You see, I had heard that turning 40 for a man is much like how a woman feels when she turns 30 (and I had already experienced that trauma:). I remembered feeling discouraged at where I was in life and battled the thoughts of “I should be farther in life than I am.” I could see glimpses that my husband was struggling with similar feelings and I knew this party had to be more than just cake and ice cream – if you know what I mean.

As a Christian counselor I have the privilege of supporting and guiding people during the darkest hours of their life. Many individuals are perplexed that I can sit with people in their pain and not become depressed myself, but what they fail to realize is that my clients daily help me see God’s faithfulness in their lives! One life lesson I continually hear over and over again from my clients is the importance of honoring those you love before it is too late. And my party for my precious husband was my attempt at doing just that!

I asked each guest to bring with them a tribute (written words of how my husband has impacted their life for the better) and to share this with my husband the night of the party. The evening was magnificent, but when my husband and I think back to that event, we don’t remember the cake and punch, but the words our family and friends shared. My husband’s life was impacted that night and he was able to experience something many people never have the opportunity to undergo while living.

I encourage you this Valentine’s Day to honor those you love. Whether you write an encouraging note, make a nice dinner or send them some flowers to express how much someone means to you – take my client’s advice and honor those you love before it is too late. We can be mightily used by God to encourage and impact someone’s life today – now that is quite an honor!

*Published Article by Tracy Hurst, Christian Chronicle/2004