It's not diamonds. Or anything else from a jewelry store. It isn't really anything tangible.
The first is unconditional love. In the Bible, husbands are commanded to love their wives. And to love them the way Christ loved the church. Christ died for the church. That's how He showed His love.
This love is 1 Corinthians 13 love. Long-suffering, kind, humble, not self-seeking or self-promoting. Not easily provoked. Patient. Thinking no evil. Bearing all things. Believing all things. Hoping all things. Enduring all things. Unfailing Love.
I get it. Sometimes we wives are not the easiest creatures to love. We are moody and hormonal. Are tongues can be caustic. We can be combative. We can look like we don't care-on many levels.
We really do appreciate you putting up with our crap. We really appreciate your love even when we are unlovely and unlovable. We really appreciate when you still think we are gorgeous and sexy even though we don't look like we did when you first fell in love with us.
The second most important gift a husband can give his wife (this is definitely my subjective opinion, but bear with me...) is to make it possible for your woman to exercise.
This is not just because physically, we are not the same women you've married. It's not just because there is often considerably more to love. It's not because our bodies have went from svelte to rounded with wrinkles crowned by gray hair. These really should not be your motivation. Though it might be hers. *See #1*
Giving your wife the room to exercise is giving her a wonderful gift. We often are discouraged by the bulge, and we get stuck in a cycle of guilt. Guilt because we've put on some pounds. Guilt because we aren't eating good. Guilt because that baby belly isn't disappearing. Guilt because whenever we try to do something about it, we feel like we are neglecting our family and our "duties".
Exercise helps with the guilt. Because proactive is everything. And an exercising woman is a happy woman-well, at least she is when she is done. #endorphins
-Make time for your wife to exercise. Morning, afternoon, evening. Whatever works best for all the schedules involved.
-Watch the kids. A huge deterrent to moms exercising is that we have little ones whom we can't exercise with, or who are too distracting to exercise around. (it's their propensity for getting into mischief)
-Pay for the gym membership or class if that is what is needed. Especially in the winter when it is too yuck to be outside.
-While the wife is gone, and you are watching the kids, for a bonus, you could start dinner (chop an onion, brown the meat), or bathe the kiddos, or vacuum the kitchen. Do one of your wife's chores so she doesn't feel bad about taking off and (thus) neglecting her duties.
-It may be that you can exercise together. It may be that you can't. Especially if you have young kids. Mr. Hippie and I have done both-running/biking apart and together. And we spent many Saturday mornings at the local (fenced) high school track when our kids were little. They played in the grass-we ran circles around them. Literally.
-Don't be your wife's conscience. Make it possible for her to exercise, but don't guilt trip her if she doesn't. It's not just the exercise that's the gift. It's the freedom.
And just keep loving her whatever she does. Keep telling her she is beautiful, no matter how she looks. That's all. Thanks.