This week I heard a woman ask all the men in the room, “What are you getting your wife for Valentine’s Day? 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. Either way, it is obvious that today’s materialistic culture and the onslaught of cupid-season puts a lot of men under the microscope.
Every February 14, men are pressured to prove their affection, all because of a holiday dedicated to a commercialized version of love. But 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. Try focusing on giving love rather than getting love.
This Valentine’s Day demonstrate love to your man and:
- 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 (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 and show him gratitude and appreciation for it.
- Thank him for all the big (and little) things he does for you.
- Tell him all the things about him that make you smile.
- Enjoy your moments with him—make your time together relaxing 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 corner. 1 John 3:16 gives us a graphic picture of this true love:
“We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us . . .” (3:16).
First He gives love.
Then we receive His love. We benefit from 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 1 John 3:16 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.”
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 Christ-inspired 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.
So how about it? How will you “outdo” your husband in showing him love today?