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Valentine’s Day Blues?

How did the weekend go?

Did you celebrate with someone?

Were you disappointed?

Did things go as you’d hoped?

Valentine’s Day is one of those dangerous holidays where men know they’re being “put to the test” in a sense. I once 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’ve said before, that pressure can be really hard for men!)

If you’ve caved to the crazy hype, and ended up disappointed because your man didn’t come through for you this year, consider setting your heart on a different path:

Be more focused on giving love than getting love. 

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 the challenges the holiday brings (For example: They can’t read our minds!).

♥ 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 did anything to recognize the holiday, no matter how small, even if his effort was corny or lame, I hope you showed gratitude and appreciation. It isn’t too late to do that now.

♥ 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.

♥ Enjoy him for who he is.

♥ 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 clearly defines it:

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

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:

[box]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)[/box]

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:

[box]Love one another with brotherly affection.

Outdo one another in showing honor.[/box]

This is the gift of love we need to be sharing.

How will you “outdo” your husband with love?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

4 Comments

  • Margie

    Thank you for this post. I dread Valentine’s Day every year because of the expectations and disappointment in the past. There is too much pressure on husbands and wives. It seems like an artificial day. Yes, better to show genuine kindness and love all the other days of the year.

  • Laurel

    I came back home from a conference out of state on Sunday. When my husband picked me up at the bus station I hugged him and said, “Happy Valentine’s Day!” That was the extent of the celebration, and it’s been the same for birthdays, Christmas and Valentine’s for years and years.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Margie ~

    Yes, there is too much pressure, but I hope you had an enjoyable day. You’re right, every day should be the day to spread the love : )

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Laurel ~

    Thanks for sharing, I know it’s hard to hope for me and be disappointed or feel you’re not valued. When your man doesn’t recognize those special days, it can be hurtful, but I’ve come to realize that it doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t love or appreciate you. This year, I chose NOT to spend $6 or $10 on a card and wrote out a hand made Valentine for my husband. I stood there looking at the expensive cards and boxes of chocolate and thought–no wonder some men can’t buy this stuff–most of it costs way too much! (I put that money toward cooking him a pot-roast dinner instead! :))

    Some men express their love differently. They believe they are conveying to you that you are valuable to them by working hard and helping with the bills. If you’ve expressed to him your desire to have special celebrations together, but he’s not willing to work on that, you might ask him what communicates love to him and on the next opportunity to celebrate a special day, do that for him.

    Bottom line–when we release those expectations, we’ll be in a better position to navigate the “special days” when nothing “special” happens. Focusing on loving my husband, rather than receiving “special” treatment really has turned things around for me in this area.

    Thanks for connecting here ~