Ready for V-Day Heart Prep?

I heard a woman asking all the men in the room what they were getting their sweethearts for Valentine’s Day:

“What are you getting for your wife? Diamonds? A trip to Hawaii? A ring?”

I don’t know her personally, and wasn’t part of their conversation, so I kept my mouth closed, but my mind was shouting! Diamonds . . . really? A trip to Hawaii? These people must have more funds and different priorities than the typical couple. Or maybe she was just going for the shock factor, I don’t know, but it is obvious today’s materialistic culture and the onslaught of cupid-season puts a lot of men under the microscope!

Every February 14th, men are pressured to perform great feats as proof of their affection, all because of a holiday dedicated to a commercialized version of “love.” (And like I said last week, that can be really hard for men!)

I’m challenging you to approach this Valentine’s Day differently. If you’ve caved to the crazy hype in the past, and ended up disappointed because your man didn’t come through for you, consider setting your heart on a different path this year:

Be more focused on giving love than getting love. 

This Valentine’s Day demonstrate love to your man:

♥ Release him from crazy expectations.

♥ Don’t be influenced by the culture’s value system in evaluating his love for you.

♥ Put yourself in his place and consider what would make this day enjoyable for him.

♥ Convey your love in a way that is meaningful to him (it’s not necessarily the same as what communicates love to you, most men don’t want flowers but would love a good home-cooked meal or some flirtatious and intimate attention from you).

♥ If he does anything to recognize the holiday, no matter how small, even if his effort seems corny or lame, make a big deal to show him gratitude and appreciation for it.

♥ Thank him for all the big (and little) things he does for you (if you’re having a hard time coming up with anything—start with something basic).

♥ Tell him all the things about him that make you smile.

♥ Ask him to share with you what makes him smile . . . this can be a great conversation starter for some sweet moments together, but don’t get upset if he has a hard time coming up with anything . . . men can be a little uncomfortable with this kind of conversation, so take it lightly and be prepared to laugh about it if he can’t readily give you an answer—releasing him from the expectation to answer will be a freeing gift.

♥ Enjoy your moments with him—focus on making your time together a relaxing retreat for him, rather than focusing on all he’s not doing for you.

♥ Live out the true definition of love.

True love means “living out love” which is much different than the commercialized version of “love” that shouts at us from every retail venue. Jesus provides us with the graphic picture of true love on the cross and 1 John gives clearly defines it:

“We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us . . .”

First He gives, then we receive—love. We receive the benefit of our gracious God condescending to capture our hearts, bearing the full weight of our sin, removing our shame and guilt—at the cross.

But the process of love doesn’t end here.

Finish reading the verse in order to appreciate love’s full obligation and beauty:

“We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (1 John 3:16)

Wow. That’s it. Love is laying down our lives, our self-centered agendas, our “all about me” attitudes, our selfish selves. The figurative death that true love, Christ-inspired and revealed love, requires is . . . mine.

Love is dying in order to truly give.  

Romans 12:10 puts it like this:

“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”

This is the gift of love we need to be sharing. I encourage you to live out this love this Valentine’s Day.

How will you “outdo” your husband in showing him love?