This is how it often goes down…the girl gets all sorts of romantic ideas in her head with dreams of her husband pulling out all of the stops to make it happen. The guy has been dreading this day or it has snuck up on him. “Snuck up on him?” thinks the girl. “It is on the same date each year.” Expectations haven’t been met. Disappointment has set in. There’s often a good hearted man who is suddenly in the dog house. He treats you well throughout the year but he didn’t do exactly what you were expecting on this one day – a day that he should know is a celebration of love, right? For your husband’s sake, take it to heart that Valentine’s Day is a great day for love. Love is filled with grace. “Love is patient, love is kind…” Perhaps he needs some of these qualities played out by you this day. We women create all sorts of fantasies in our heads. We can make people miserable if our expectations aren’t met. Here are some easy tips to remember this Valentine’s Day to help focus on true love:
- Don’t set your expectations too high. If you keep realistic expectations you can be presently surprised if there’s more than you expected.
- Be willing to suggest what you would like. We want men to read our minds. They can’t. We think we make it obvious, but men are more direct than that and may need some help here. I know you want them to just know. I fall into this trap. They are well-meaning guys who need to know what’s going on in your mind. Our minds are very confusing places for men to navigate or try to read.
- Plan something special yourself with no expectations that he should reciprocate. If you want something unique and romantic, there is nothing like creating that atmosphere by planning a surprise for him. You change the focus off yourself and become excited on how you can please him.
- If there is a problem in your marriage, look in the mirror. You will never “fix” him. All you can do is fix yourself and seek to change what you might be contributing to the situation.
- Be grateful. Men respond better to positive words of gratitude and encouragement then nagging and demands.
- Focus on how he treats you all the other days of the year rather than just this one day. My mom taught me that, as my dad was awful at remembering birthdays or special occasions. I have heard her say, “He treats me wonderful every day of the year, so I’m not going to worry that he forgets special events.”
- Keep things simple. Reservations are hard to get. Babysitters are hard to find. Do something special as a family. Go to your favorite pizza joint alone together (like we have done the past few years) where there are no reservations required. Keep it inexpensive and simple.
- Think outside yourself. Host a dinner for widows. Invite some single friends over to a special dinner. Make a nice dinner for your kids where you act as the servers. Deliver cookies to people who would find joy from that surprise. It’s a holiday about love…that doesn’t necessarily mean “being in love.” Focus on God’s love and how you can share it.
- Remove the pressure prior to the day. Let your man know you want to keep things more low key. Make it clear you have no expectations and live up to that.
- Don’t spend money. Take time to write or make your own Valentine cards. Keep the budget small and the creativity high. Again, make this expectation for yourself without thoughts of what he might do for you.
- Know his love language. Make sure you are fulfilling his.
I wish you all a very Happy Valentine’s Day where YOU can live out Christ’s example of what love is all about.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7