A few years ago, I hustled to get the best birthday gift I could possibly find for my wife. I searched and searched until I finally found a $3,000 bracelet at the jewelry store I just knew she would love.

I had it gift wrapped, placed it on her pillow that evening, and it turned out that she did love it, but not for the reason I expected.

I thought the more money I spent on the gift, the more she would like it. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with spending money on your wife for gifts. Most of the time, it’s not the money that we spend. 

Whether it is a $3,000 bracelet or a handwritten note, it is the love and thought behind the gift that makes it special.

Romans 12:6-8 states, "Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them."

God loves a cheerful giver, and the gift may be as simple as the time you spend with a single mother’s son playing baseball or helping at the day care in your church. Those gifts don’t cost a penny.

The best gift I’ve ever received was a handwritten note on a paper towel from my wife. I had had a horrible day at work a few years ago and I got up at 3 a.m. to prepare some documents for the next day. I sat at my desk, turned my light on, and in front of the keyboard was a paper towel with a note reading, “I Love You.”

My wife has purchased me a number of gifts over the years, but this will be the one I remember most when my days are limited. That paper towel had more love in it than all the jewelry in the world. 

Rick Stanfield is a syndicated columnist, motivational speaker and author. His latest book is “I Can and I Will.” For more information, visit his website at www.rickstanfield.com.