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Valentine's Day Expectations

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Ladies,

AHHH – VALENTINE’S DAY!

That magical day when romance is in the air and many women have higher expectations than EVER for their men.

For men – it can be a day filled with consternation, apprehension, anxiety and fear – that what they plan or do will not meet their wives’ standard.  This is especially true if things did not go well in the past.

WE HAVE FREEDOM

As believers in Christ – we are free from the carnal expectations and demands of the world.  We don’t have to buy into the world’s ways and the world’s system and what the world says we must do or should do.  There is freedom in Christ – even on Valentine’s Day in our marriages!

We are free to appreciate our husbands, enjoy them, respect them, and release them from cultural expectations and our own expectations.  We set our hearts on Christ alone.  We are content in Him.  Anything else we get is icing on the cake. We can ask for what we would like. We can ask our husbands what they would like. We can appreciate all that our men do if they do something for us.  But we are not slaves to expectations any more.  We don’t have to react sinfully if we don’t get what we want.

Really – praise God for this – I don’t even have to be a slave to what I want anymore!  I have died to self and to this world (Romans 5-8, Galatians 5).  I live by the power of God’s Spirit for Christ.  I seek His will and His glory, not my desires any more!

Expectations

Let’s talk about our expectations for Valentine’s Day.  There is nothing wrong with liking to feel loved, pampered, adored, and treasured.  We LOVE romance as women, don’t we!?!?  But where is it that we go wrong sometimes?  And why is it that Valentine’s Day can sometimes be the most miserable day of the year for some couples?

Sometimes our expectations are HUGE:

  • he should “just know” what I want without me telling him
  • it’s “not romantic” if I tell him what I want for Valentine’s Day
  • he should plan the whole thing all by himself and surprise me
  • he should take me to MY favorite restaurant and get me a spa package and get me my favorite flowers
  • if he really loved me, he would do X
  • he should know what kind of jewelry I like and it needs to cost at least $XXX – or he obviously doesn’t love me
  • if my husband doesn’t get me X – he doesn’t care about me at all
  • he should take me away for the weekend to a hotel – as a surprise – without me having to mention it
  • he should send me a 2000 word love letter/email gushing with all the romantic reasons he loves to be with me

Let’s notice something here…

Those expectations I just listed – do you see where my emphasis is?  “HE SHOULD”  

This is where I get into trouble.  I am in charge of me.  I can control me.  I don’t control him.  Is it fair, right, or reasonable to expect a man to read my mind, or to do things just because I expect them?

The other dangerous thing in some of those statements is how I am assigning evil motives to my husband if he doesn’t do what I want.  I don’t know his heart!  I cannot accurately make assumptions like that. Most husbands truly do love their wives and don’t want to hurt or upset them. Most husbands love to make their wives happy – if they think it is actually possible (check out Shaunti Feldhahn’s book, “For Women Only.”) I will push him away and make us both miserable if I assume he hates me and constantly demand reassurance of his love.  I need to find my primary reassurance that I am loved, accepted, cherished and valued in CHRIST.

I can ASK my husband for things or tell him what I want with a smile, a pleasant voice, and respect in my heart.  But I cannot demand.  That is rude!  It is unbecoming.  It is disrespectful.  No one responds to demands very well.

A very good definition of happiness is – the closer our expectations are to reality – the happier we will be. Conversely, when our expectations are very high, and reality doesn’t come close to our expectations, we are easily disappointed, resentful, discontent and unhappy. Also, when we tie our contentment and wellbeing to a specific outcome (our expectations), rather than to Christ, we are setting ourselves up for a fall.

The changeable factor here?  OUR EXPECTATIONS!

Sometimes our reactions are AWFUL

How do we respond to our husbands if we are disappointed with what the did/did not do for us for Valentine’s Day (or other days)?

Do we:

  • yell and scream?
  • call him names?
  • become hateful and full of contempt?
  • withhold sex?
  • ruin the entire day, or maybe a week, with our wrath?
  • pitch a fit?
  • give him the silent treatment for the rest of the day, or week, or month?
  • criticize and condemn our men?
  • bash our husband to other women and tell everyone else what an unthoughtful jerk he is?
  • act like we are “entitled” to have him do magnificent things for us – but care very little about his feelings?

What kind of behavior does Jesus expect from us towards our husbands?

We think a lot about love as women, and we expect our husbands to love us.  But how do we treat them?  What do they expect of us?  What do we expect of ourselves as wives?

Whether it is on Valentine’s Day – or any other day of the year, Jesus expects us to:

  • respect and honor our husbands out of reverence for Him (Ephesians 5:22-33)
  • cooperate with our husbands’ leadership out of reverence for Him (Ephesians 5:22-33, I Corinthians 11:3, I Peter 3:1-2, Colossians 3:18, Titus 2:3-5)
  • be kind to our husbands (I Corinthians 13:4-7)
  • be patient with our husbands (I Corinthians 13:4-7)
  • not be jealous (of how they spend their time, of them giving attention to our children, etc)
  • not be arrogant/prideful and think we are better than and more spiritual than our husbands (I Cor. 13:4-7)
  • not be rude to our husbands – EVEN if they sin against us! (1 Cor. 13:4-7)
  • not be selfish/self-seeking (I Cor. 13:4-7)
  • not be easily angered against our husbands (1 Cor. 13:4-7)
  • keep no record of wrongs our husbands have committed against us (I Cor. 13:4-7)
  • not delight when things go wrong for our husbands (I Cor. 13:4-7)
  • always protect our husband spiritually, emotionally, financially, physically, seeking to do him good, not to harm him (I Cor. 13:4-7, Prov. 31) – if a husband is truly abusive or acting in criminal ways and a wife is not safe, please get appropriate help ASAP!
  • always trust our husbands whenever possible (and if it is not possible, we will trust God to work in our husbands for their good)
  • always hope in God (I Cor. 13:4-7)
  • always persevere in the marriage (I Cor. 13:4-8a)
  • not quarrel (I Corinthians 3:3 – quarreling means we are worldly, and not spiritually mature)
  • not argue
  • not complain (that Jesus might shine brightly in us as we hold out the Word of life!  Phil 2:14-16)
  • have a servant’s heart and pray for God to show me how I can bless and serve my husband and make the day special for him – and not make it be all about me (Luke 22:26)
  • joyfully, willingly participate in sexual intimacy with our husbands (1 Cor. 7:1-5) unless there is infidelity, true abuse, major illness, etc…. (For more in this important topic, please search my home page for sex, sexual rejection, initiating, feel like a piece of meat, do I condone abuse or marital rape.)

There are many more things Jesus desires us to do.  But I think this gives us a great place to start.

Keep in mind that to Jesus – the way I treat my husband – is the way I treat Him.

NOTE:

Many wives who read my blog have the opposite issue sexually where the husband is the one refusing to have sex and the wife wants to have sex. In that case, ladies, let’s respond with grace. We can ask for what we want respectfully and kindly, without a lot of pressure and definitely without resentment or anger. If your husband cannot or will not have sex with you, making a huge deal out of it and getting extremely upset and in his face about it will only repel him even more. Praying for wisdom for those of you who are facing these painful and difficult situations – that you might treat your husband with respect, even if he is not giving you sexual intimacy as he should. We cannot force or coerce our husbands into sex anymore than we would want them to force or coerce us. I pray God might empower us to respond with grace and His wisdom.

My heart goes out to those of you who are suffering in this way. You are not alone. This is a pretty common situation. I have more about it on the post, <a href=”http://peacefulwife.com/2013/05/02/the-devastation-of-sexual-rejection-in-marriage/” title=”The Devastation of Sexual Rejection in Marriage”>”The Devastation of Sexual Rejection in Marriage.”</a>

WE HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE OR BREAK VALENTINE’S DAY, LADIES!!!!!

How?

By our reaction, our gratitude, our response, our patience, our grace, our forgiveness, our mercy… our being full of God’s Spirit and reacting in the power of Christ instead of our sinful nature.

I get to decide if we have a wonderful day together or if it will be miserable torture.   It is ALL in my attitude and my response to my husband.

Let’s choose to be thankful, pleasant, grateful, calm, gracious, accepting, respectful, admiring and let’s choose to be flexible and roll with whatever happens with a cheerful attitude.  Let’s NOT argue or complain, but be a godly example to those around us.

IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT ME

Why is it that we think Valentine’s Day, or our wedding anniversary should be all about us getting stuff and being pampered?  One of the best gifts we can give our husbands is to lay all our expectations and all the pressure aside and just accept, love, respect, and treasure our men exactly as they are.

Let’s focus on what our men would enjoy and be thankful every day for our husbands being in our lives.

Lord,

I pray You might help us to keep our eyes on You.  Help us to honor and love You and to obey Your Word.  Help us to keep our hearts set squarely on Christ, on desiring Your presence, on loving Your Word, on wanting to be more like You and seeking Your will and Your glory.

Help us to stop looking at ourselves and what we will get and help us to have servants’ hearts and focus on serving You primarily and then our husbands.  Make our marriages strong, vibrant, healthy and godly and let Your Name be greatly glorified in our homes!

In the Name and power of Christ,

Amen!

RELATED:

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Breaking the Romance Addiction

What Does It Mean to Be an Ungodly Woman?

Godly Femininity – Part 1

Godly Femininity – Part 2

How Do You Stay Filled with the Holy Spirit?

I Am Responsible for My Own Emotions

47 thoughts on “Valentine's Day Expectations

  1. Love this post! All I kept thinking as I read was this: “An expectation is a premeditated resentment.”

    On that note, here is another of my (paraphrased) favorites: Resentment is taking poison but hoping someone else will die.

    Expectations are a serious danger in every relationship. I suppose there are some we can’t help but hope to have (i.e., respectful ways of dealing, etc) and some we ALL have (i.e., morning will follow night, lol). Learning to give of myself with no thought of getting something back in return takes the pressure off both sides of the marriage. And I find it makes the other person more willing to give when there is no pressure to do so, just the desire to bring joy, comfort, etc to the other person.

    Thanks!

      1. Happy Belated V-day to you, April. I’m just catching up!

        You are very kind. Neither saying is mine but you’re free to use them as much as you like!

        I do relate to a lot of what you write, especially the learning not to control part. I learned to recognize that pesky li’l issue in my early twenties and have been working to keep it in its place since. Amazing what happens when we let God take the lead and take that step back, not only in our marriages but in our daily interactions with others: at the job, with our parents and even with our kids. (Balancing the line between control and discipline has been the “mother” of challenges, if you will. ;))

        Be well!

        Peace.

  2. VERY well said, as usual, April! We women need to cut our guys a huge amount of slack and allow them to show us their love in THEIR own way, not what the media and retailers dictate.

    Blessings!
    ~Anna

  3. Reblogged this on One True Wife and commented:
    Valentine’s Day is coming up, and my husband is planning something for Friday night! I’m so excited about it, but I’m NOT going to try to think of what his plans might be. Why, you ask? Well, for two BIG reasons:
    1. Lane & I have COMPLETELY different ideas when it comes to planning a date! I would think of dinner at a nice restaurant, followed by walking somewhere beautiful, followed by going for ice cream, followed by sitting somewhere AMAZING and talking to each other–telling each other all the things we appreciate about each other! There would be sparkling grape juice, and maybe even a surprise gift! Sounds GREAT, right? To me–definitely! But to my husband–that sounds like we’re blowing this month’s rent on one night. Plus he’s always telling me all the reasons he loves me! Why would he need to include that into our date? He’d plan something more simple. Maybe he’d make me a candlelight dinner at home. Or take me on a picnic. Or we’d just walk around the seminary campus, talking–and maybe he’d even write me a sweet letter. All of his ideas are generally pretty money-conscious (because he wants to make sure he’s providing for us & our home! I should praise him for this!). They’re also A LOT simpler than my ideas, but they’re all still incredibly sweet! Regardless–I’ve learned from the past that when I start coming up with ideas of things I want him to do for me, and his ideas are different than mine–I get kind of bummed. Not because his idea is horrible. It’s actually usually super sweet, and even romantic! But it’s different than my idea–and that’s a hard pill for me to swallow! So this year–I’m not coming up with any ideas for our date! He said he was planning something, so I DON’T NEED to plan anything out in my head! Plans are already made. They’ll be good plans, and I’m not going to put unrealistic or expensive expectations on him!
    2. Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a day to show the person you love, how much you love them! So I want to focus on Lane! I don’t want to focus on what I want him to do FOR ME. That’s a lot more selfish than it is loving. Instead, I want to focus on all of the reasons I love him, and on what I can do to show him that love! I can’t do that if I’m busy placing expectations on him!

    Ladies–my challenge to you is this:
    If you have expectations of your husband for Valentine’s Day, ask yourself a few questions.
    1. Is my husband aware of these expectations?
    2. Do my expectations cause my husband to be stressed in any way?
    3. Am I more focused on what he’s doing for me, than on what I’m doing for him?

    This year, put your husband FIRST! Drop any expectations that your husband either doesn’t know about, or that cause him stress! If he’s stressed about planning something–let him know you care more about him than about the romance of this one date. And make sure you’re focused MOST on what YOU can do for your husband to let him know how thankful you are for him! Instead of waiting to see how he’s going to live up to YOUR expectations, spend this week preparing to SHOW HIM how much you love him!

    1. Rachel – I love this! I like your ideas, and I like how you respect Lane’s ideas and understand his drive to provide well for you and be responsible with money. 🙂 I also like your challenges for wives. Great job!!!!!!!

  4. Great post! This really makes you realize the audacity we women can have – demanding we get treated “special” on this day, but taking the lead in our marriages every other day of the year. Talk about a double standard and lose/lose for our husbands! This year, I don’t want to have any expectations. Mine have always been silent, in my head alone, and that is exactly where resentment and bitterness begins – even if I don’t realize I’m doing it. I hope to show my husband how very much I love and appreciate him without expecting ANYTHING in return.

  5. I returned on Valentine day from short business trip. I purchased some Valentine cards in advance and spent time looking through the selection for the right card. Last night when my wife returned home after 3am, I asked her if she thought it was extreme to be coming home so late. That led to me telling her I was hurt, because she didn’t get me a card at the least, or at the very least give me a hug and kiss and make me feel welcome.

    She responded by saying the card was lousy. She said she expected flowers, chocolates, jewelry, and a planned night out. She said so and so is able to do all these things and he’s in Japan.

    Yes, were in christian counseling. I am paying to be told I’m an a_ _ hole, and the sole problem in my opinion. This has happened multiple times, and it leaves me depressed and deflated.

    1. Sad Husband,

      Goodness. 🙁

      THANK YOU for your loving gesture for your wife of choosing a card to show your love for her.

      Where was your wife that she was out until 3am?

      How long have you been married? How are things going on normal days? What is the counselor asking your wife to do?

      I would be glad to communicate with your wife if she were willing. Getting her to that point might be tricky. MANY wives who are disrespectful and controlling (like I used to be) are not at all receptive to ANYTHING that sounds remotely like criticism, but are plenty willing to dole out criticism for their husbands. That is not right.

      If your wife is willing – the list of things husbands tend to find disrespectful and the list of things husbands usually find respectful at the top of my home page could be quite eye opening.

      If she is not willing to read my blog – she may be open to read the book Love and Respect together with you – by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. That is the book that opened my eyes to my disrespect. Unfortunately, most wives who are disrespectful and controlling have NO idea that they are being that way – or if they do know, they think that they are justified because their husbands aren’t perfect. But when God commands wives to respect their husbands and submit to them as to the Lord – there is no condition! It’s not, “If your husband is doing X” And it is the same for husbands, they are commanded to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her no matter what his wife is or is not doing. Ephesians 5:22-33.

      THANKFULLY, if even one spouse begins to let go of sin, unforgiveness, resentment, etc. and focus on Jesus and obey God’s Word – God can breathe healing into that spouse and the marriage.

      So things are NOT AT ALL HOPELESS!!!!

      You may find my husband’s blog interesting http://www.respectedhusband.wordpress.com

      I think you may also find a lot of insight on my posts about why your wife does what she does and that may help you understand her and the dynamics here, which will make it a whole lot easier to approach the problems you are facing.

      Did your wife talk with you before Valentine’s Day about what she would like?

      What would you like to see happen in your marriage? What are your dreams and desires for this relationship? What would you like to see change?

      Lord,

      I lift up the Sad Husband and his wife to You. You know the pain here and all the sin on both sides. You know what You desire this marriage to be and how Your purpose is for this marriage to radically display the profound mystery of Christ and His church to the world. Reconcile this husband and wife to You. Open their eyes to any sin that is keeping Your Spirit grieved and unable to flow like Niagra Falls in each of them. Show them anything they have their hearts set on more than You. And let them tear out all those idols by the root and be content only in You and in You alone. Give this husband wisdom to love His wife the way You love us – even though we are disrespectful to You, distracted, selfish, rebellious and idolatrous so many times. Give him the power You gave Hosea to love his wife for Your glory. Help him to lead her gently. Help him to pray and tap into Your power, because he cannot open his wife’s eyes, only You can open her eyes to her sin.

      In the Name and power of Christ,
      Amen!

  6. Thank you for taking the time to show concern. You and your husband are blessing others. I have 4 children, and have been married for 14 years. It has been a 14 year struggle. Dr. Emerson calls it the crazy cycle. Today is another day of strife. I was sick and my wife was cruel, mean, angry, and just took off again after 9pm. I have read Dr. Emerson’s book and some others. All it does is enrage my wife. I am the victim of my own success. I have worked really hard and have by all outward appearances been a motivating entrepeuner who provides good paying jobs. The flip side is my wife says I have abandoned her. I have neglected her she says, but I feel I have dedicated myself to providing for my family and sending kids to private Christian school. My wife’s best friend is not a christian. She is single, and will meet people on casual encounter listing on craiglist. I don’t understand what she has in common.

    Some of the simple things I want out of life and marriage. A wife who wakes up with her husband and sometimes makes breakfast instead of getting up the last minute and yelling at the kids to get ready. She has all the energy in the world to stay out and I get a worn out, frumpy, miserable person the next day.

    Sadly, I think the marriage is done. I have been trying for 14 years. I am told weekly by her she wants a divorce. I am told I’m just a paycheck. My house is a constant mess, and my wife just says “I’m a slob, get over it.”

    1. Sad Husband,

      I obviously don’t know your wife or your situation. I do know that wives sometimes measure a husband’s love in many ways – not just his ability to provide – and that most wives don’t realize that a man’s financial provision is probably his primary way of showing love. Many wives don’t show proper appreciation for their husbands’ self-sacrifice and his work to provide for the family. They are often looking for him to also spend time with them and their children. Most wives feel loved when they feel understood, heard, valued, cherished, listened-to, etc. I have definitely felt unloved in the past by my husband when he was working on house renovations – for me – but when he worked a full time 40 hour/week job and then worked on the house from supper time until midnight or 1am 6 nights per week – I felt abandoned and unloved earlier in our relationship. I think that I could have been more understanding – but I also think that maybe there could have been more balance so that we had SOME time together.

      Does your wife have any godly Christian women friends that you could encourage her to do things with? Have you told her you don’t want her to go out to bars/clubs… whatever she is doing with her single friend?

      Is she able to hear any of these things from you? If you hold her and speak your desires gently in a whisper – that you miss her, that you love her, that you want what is best for your family and for her and want your family to honor God?

      I am SO sorry about the disrespect you are experiencing. But I think there is every reason for hope in Christ! I have seen situations very similar to this where God has moved mountains. Three husbands contacted me in September with similar scenarios. Things are not perfect now for them, but God has changed the husbands first, and then changes are slowly happening in their wives. I will be glad to pray with you about this and pray for God to intervene. You can’t open your wife’s eyes, but He can. And when He does that – things change. He brings life to dead marriages. And I have seen it happen hundreds of times with the wives I communicate with. Our God is ABLE. He is POWERFUL. And when we are willing to look at ourselves and allow Him to remove any sin in ourselves first, then He can empower us to be the spouses He wants us to be and He can breathe healing an and life into our families.

      One thing I have seen… wives tend to have “feeling loved” as an idol – some thing they set their hearts on more than Christ many times. I did that. And I have seen that husbands sometimes can put “feeling respected” in their hearts as an idol. I don’t know if that is happening here. But I do know that each of those three husbands from September realized they were doing that and then purposely set their hearts on Christ alone – desiring only Him, His will, His glory, and laying down their desires, needs, plans, goals, wisdom and everything they are. And God radically changed them first. He completely changed their motives, desires and hearts. It was amazing to watch.

      I hope to hear from you more. I appreciate your wisdom, insight, perspective and your struggle. I can’t wait to see what God has in store here for His glory!

    2. OH!

      And with your wife, your power will be in your tenderness, your kindness, your gentle approach, your affection (if she is open to that – just non-sexual touching at first – hugs, kisses), your love letters/emails/texts, your appreciation for ANYTHING she does that you actually do like, your selflessness, your willingness to give your time to her and your children, your willingness to have fun with the kids and play with them, your ability to stay calm and not raise your voice… and I would personally suggest taking her by the hand and praying with her (not in a preachy way, but in a humble way that you are seeking God first), she may also be open to allowing you to read the Bible with her together. Those things often speak loudly to wives. If she does get angry – embrace her anger – hold her gently – let her see that you care about her emotions. I know it feels like she is blaming you – but if you can hear the hurt, pain and sadness, and see that she is reacting out of feeling unloved – and hold her – she may calm down.

      🙂

    1. AMAZING blog. 🙂

      I used to struggle with the same thing, until my husband pointed out to me how unfair that is! To be honest, they’ve kind of made it official “Grovel at Your Wife’s Feet… or ELSE!” Day. 🙁

      This year, I saw a movie that looked really interesting to me… it’s called “Old-Fashioned” and it’s a Christian movie about courtship. I asked my husband if he would like to see it with me (I want to support it because it’s coming out the same day as an awful movie that I don’t even want to name!), and he agreed. 🙂 I’m looking forward to that, and if we don’t do anything else all day, I think it’d just be nice to snuggle up to him at home! (Actually, I wouldn’t mind NOT going, either… I’m not sure if the tickets will be sold out by then and I don’t think I’m going to buy them early, since I haven’t gotten the OK from him about actually buying the tickets.)

      Actually, I might prefer staying home, if he doesn’t mind… the dizziness I’ve been having lately makes it tough to enjoy going anywhere. LOL. 🙂 I think I’ll ask what he prefers when he gets home.

      Thanks again for this awesome blog! 🙂

      1. Jenn,

        I love your heart! Thank you for sharing. 🙂 I am so sorry to hear how dizzy you are. 🙁 Praying for you about that!

        I am totally content these days whether we sit at home and eat grilled cheese or go out. I am so thankful for my husband and for the chance to be with him. I am also so overflowing with joy and peace and thanksgiving to God – I don’t really care much about the circumstances. I get to feel loved by the God of the universe every day and I get to know the One who was willing to die for me in order to allow me to have a relationship with Him. I get to have the fruit of His Spirit! I get to bask in His presence. Even if my husband went out with friends tomorrow night, I would be ok. When I am alone, it is more time to spend with God. I used to hate being alone. Now, it is my favorite time of the day – to just commune with God and to ask Him to take me deeper and deeper in faith and love with Himself.

        We don’t even have plans for tomorrow night at this point. Sometimes the kids and I decorate a little bit at home and we eat at home. We usually don’t go out. The last time we did that, we didn’t have reservations and ended up sitting with 3 elderly people because all the tables for 2 were filled. They were really interesting! We enjoyed it. But – I prefer not to go out in all that craziness. And, I don’t need Greg to spend tons of money on me – or any money on me – to know that he loves me. He shows me his love daily by working for us and taking care of things around the house and cuddling with me.

        I feel like the most blessed woman on the planet.

        Much love to you!!! Thank you for sharing!

  7. Here is what we do…..nothing…..Then on Feb. 15th, we go shopping. We buy half price candy and sometimes more than half price flowers. Last year I got two bouquets! Then we go home and I fix my husband favorite meal or dessert. It works great for us! Truthfully…..would I love a surprise just once on Valentine’s day? Sure…wouldn’t any woman?….but I am not going to ruin my day over it.

    1. DaisyMae,

      That’s a great idea! Then you can get everything on sale. 🙂 I love that you make your husband’s favorite meal or dessert. Hmmm… maybe I should try making banana pudding for Greg. Haven’t done that in a long time! 🙂

      Thank you so much for sharing. I am glad that you won’t ruin your day over not getting a surprise. That is very freeing.

      Much love!

  8. Hi April,
    I am in bed today with the stomach flu – uggh! My tummy feels like I ate rocks and broken glass! Last night my husband helped run me a hot bath, because I had chills so bad I couldn’t get warm. But this morning was probably the sweetest thing. He has a thing about animals being in the house and wants them outside, whereas I am happiest with lots of furry beings around. He had to leave for an appointment but didn’t want me to be alone, so he let the cat in and even offered to allow him up on the bed with me, something he is usually dead set against. I thought that was so sweet, and told him so, knowing his feelings about the kitty being in the bedroom. Well, have to go, not enough energy to stay up for long.

    1. Patricia,

      OH NO!!!

      I am afraid you are going to have a lot of company this weekend. There is some kind of awful stomach virus going around here. I visited my daughter at her school today, there were 3 children with something similar in the nurse’s office at that moment and one very, very busy custodian. Yuck!

      I hate that you are so sick! I hope you can call your Dr and get some rxs to help. But how I thank God for your husband and how thoughtful he was today.

      Praying for healing for you and for rest, and that God might use this awful trial to bring about much good in your life somehow in ways we cannot begin to imagine!

      Much love!

      1. Thanks April 🙂 I am feeling a bit better but still can’t eat much. O well, going without food for a time can be good for you. We are having a snowstorm here right now, sure is pretty. Although I really appreciated my husband’s gesture with the cat, the cat didn’t cooperate and was more interested in wandering around, so his stay was short, lol. But the gesture was wonderful.

        1. Hi April,
          Speaking of trials! My valentines day consisted of getting a phone call from my sister who informed me she was locked in her garage and needed help. So I threw on some clothes and ran outside to tell my husband we needed to go get her out. As I turned to go back into the house, I fell on the ice and fractured my ankle. So I am sitting here in a big ol cast, and most likely have to have a surgery because of the kind of break it is. So prayers would be much appreciated 🙂

          1. Patricia, I just now saw the message about your ankle. How awful! I’ll be thinking of, and praying that it heals quickly. Elizabeth

          2. Patricia,

            WHAT!?!?!?!? Oh no!!! My precious sister. What a miserable few days you have had. I am praying for you, your husband, and for God to use all of this for His glory. Whew!!!!!!! Sending you the biggest hug!

        2. Patricia,
          How wonderful that your husband allowed you the healing comfort of your cat’s company. My husband didn’t like animals sleeping in bed either, but my Myrtle preceded him by ten years and he knew she was “grandfathered” in. 🙂 It didn’t take long for her to win him over, and now he simply goes to bed with one or two socks to lob her way if she snores and wakes him up. Cats are so sweet, and such a comfort, aren’t they? I hope you’re feeling lots better now! Elizabeth

  9. So, I have to share about our Valentine’s Day last year. The earth shook at our house at 10:30 on Valentine’s night.

    I think we had supper at home together as a family, later Greg and I were sitting in bed, he was watching TV. The kids were upstairs reading a book together.

    Suddenly, the house began to shake and there was the most awful noise. I thought a plane missed the airport near us and was about to crash into our house. We had just had a rare ice storm a few days earlier, and there was still a lot of ice on the ground – that is a big deal in the South! I finally realized it was an earthquake and called for the kids to come downstairs and get their shoes and jackets. It was my first earthquake. Looking back, that was probably dumb. We all went outside and the shaking stopped.

    I checked on Facebook and people all over the state were asking, “Did you feel that?!?!?” So we realized for sure it was an earthquake. We watched the news for the next hour and a half and our kids wouldn’t go back to bed. So I let them stay downstairs on the couches in the great room near their shoes and coats and the door – just in case.

    It was one of the most memorable Valentine’s Days we have had! So thankful it was a small earthquake and everyone was ok. I cannot fathom what a big earthquake would be like.

    1. Hi again,
      Thank you April and Elizabeth, for your kind words and concern. I am now home from the hospital but can’t do much which is really frustrating. Just getting a bowl out of the cupboard then trying to fill it with something while balancing on crutches is a lot more difficult and tiring than I had any idea! But I can make it to the bathroom on my own (hallelujah for that one) Will pop in again. Thank you everyone who took a moment to pray for me; my hospital stay was pretty good and I didn’t have to get sent home and then brought back for the surgery which is a gift in itself because the hospital is two hours away from us. Bye for now

      1. Patricia,

        I had to use crutches for a few hours in September, I almost broke my neck! They are really hard to deal with! So glad you are back home. And glad that you are done with the surgery. Whew! That was a memorable weekend, but a little too exciting.

        I am praying for you!

  10. Hello April and dear sisters!
    My husband has chosen to give us both a memorable experience on special days rather than an expensive personal gift. Yesterday we ate lunch at a very old mill on a beautiful river that was converted into a landmark restaurant about fifty years ago. Afterward he asked if I’d like to go thrift store shopping in a city about sixty miles away. The drive was great, a nice time to talk and just enjoy each other’s company. It’s super cold and windy here in the Midwest, but the day was so enjoyable. Something funny, though: as we were getting dressed to go out, I told him how much it meant to me that he planned experiences for us instead of giving me material objects, like a box of chocolates, that would provide no wonderful memories to enjoy in my old age. A funny look came over his face, but he thanked me and we left. When we were relaxing later that night, I said I was hungry for something but didn’t know exactly what. Sheepishly, he withdrew a box of chocolates out from his drawer underneath the bed and handed them to me. He said, “I hope these are good enough to make a great memory.” They were! Even when I’m choosing to focus on everything wonderful he does for me that may not line up with the traditional expectations of women, I sometimes put my foot in my mouth. We both had a big laugh over this one!

  11. It’s been some time since my husband and I have spent intimate moments together and I’ve been feeling neglected. For a few nights I’d get up and go watch a movie or get busy with something to distract myself rather than beg for more affection, knowing that he’s simply unavailable. I know the days can be long and overwhelming for him. I know he’s doing the best that he can. So I’d planned on getting him a card for Valentine’s- a funny one and making a chocolate cake for the family. I intentionally kept it light because my going all out has also had the effect of making him feel like a looser for not doing the same. Then he hit me with a few sweet gifts I really wasn’t expecting, some experiential gifts. I made such a big deal out of what he gave and told him they meant so much because I’ve missed him and looked forward to spending time with him. He made sure that evening the kids were put to bed early and he gave me so much affection and attention. I enjoyed that so much and I think he responded well to my request for more of him because I approached with gratitude. That allowed him to hear my heart. I realized he focuses on the world out there (work, bills, rental property, home systems and car maintenance) so I don’t have to. For him, it’s a management of relationships issue rather than a love issue. I wasn’t going to allow Valentine’s to be a battle and undermine all the work both of us have been putting in. But I was pleasantly surprised that it became another small victory to add to our growing collection.

    Thanks for that post, April. That was a Valentine’s gift to your readers that will definitely keep on giving. God bless!

    1. Refined,

      I love the way you handled this! And what a blessing to receive so much attention and affection from your husband after being patient and not being demanding. 🙂

      Thank you so very much for sharing! It is wonderful to hear from you. 🙂

  12. I keep reading this blog post over and over again, and I understand the concepts. However, I am heartbroken because my husband did not do anything for me at all this Valentine’s day. I got him a card and some chocolates and tried to make it about me showing him respect and love but I still feel sad and hurt. I just keep praying that I will grow and be able to understand all of this. I feel invisible and unloved by my husband. It’s years of missed opportunities for him to show me that he thinks of me….my 40th Birthday was completely forgotten, Christmas….nothing…. I just don’t get why a gesture like a homemade card was too much to do…. I don’t know.

    1. Heidi,

      How is the rest of your marriage going? Did you share that you would like something? Have holidays never been a big deal to him? Or is this something new? How do you respond when he doesn’t meet your expectations?

      Are there other ways he shows love for you – by fixing things around the house, bringing you things from the store that you need, helping with things he knows might be stressful to you?

      How is your walk with Christ going, my sweet friend?

      Sending you a huge hug!!!

  13. Hello April, Good day

    I just want you say thank you very for the videos and sharing all this information with so many women who need to hear these messages . I read your about story and its amazing how you can be doing something that you feel is right and be so wrong all at the same time. The most important thing I am thanking God for right now is the conviction of the holyspirit inside of me that tells me that I am wrong.

    – I love my husband so much and he is a GOOD man. I feel so sad because like you, i have come to a place where I realize that I wasnt fully pre-equipped for this. I dont think anything could have prepared me for the kind of woman God expects me to be. I am finding God for myself at a deeper level and there are so many pratical things I can realate to in your videos and blog posts. It is indeed our default nature to sin and I am guilty of this.

    – I have tried to change things about myself on my own without fully getting God involved cos i felt I could just change or makeip my mind and I failed badly; it didnt last. I notice that when i read my bible, pray and have devotion; I am able to control my emotions and keep myself in check. Sometimes I get so carried away that when things are so good around me, I start slipping on my quite time with God and I can explain how i feel when I slip back into the person I dont want to be.

    – My prayer requests at this moment is that i want to resubmit myself to God, I want to honour God by respecting my husband. I want to be a source of joy to him everyday. I dont want to add to the chaos in his life, I want to see him as my head and appreciate the fact that I have such a loving man. I want to take the back seat and let him lead; I am very independent;l need to learn how to submit myself and I want God to help me let go and let my husband be my head.

    – God has given us so much power to change our enviroment and sometimes even without realising it we use this power negatively. I listened to one of your videos on you tube and it crushed me when you said.. the way you treat your husband is a reflection of the kind of relationship you have with God. That hit me so hard because if I say that I know God, and I believe in his word and I wish to follow him, then I should have let go of all fragments of sin in my life that is not reflective of Gods spirit.

    Thank you again and I wish I could be where you are now but I know its a process and you had your own journey. Its so refreshing to have this blog, God bless you and your family. I pray God uses you & husband in a might way to reach out to the world because many families and marriages are hurting. Most times it is simply because we are so busy trying to be right all the time and we cannot even see how WRONG we are. (My eyes just got filled with tears).

    I believe i need to go back to reading my word daily and ministering to myself, praying and pouring out my heart to God and resisting the enemy/temptation to revert back. Most of all ask for Gods strength to maintain it all.

    Is there a way to download a pdf copy of your blog post, I would really like to read them on paper.

    Sorry for the long post 🙂

    Thank you

    1. MyJourneyStartsNow,

      It is so wonderful to meet you! 🙂 How I praise God for what He is doing in your heart! WOOHOO!

      This is ALL about your walk with Christ. He is the only one who can give you the power to do this, and He is the only one who can meet all of your needs and give you true peace, joy, contentment, purpose, identity, love, acceptance, victory, etc…

      I am very glad that you want to fully submit yourself to God. That is AWESOME!!!!!!! I can tell when I see this kind of humility and desire to learn and desire for God to change a wife’s heart – that He is about to do some amazing things! 🙂

      You can try copying and pasting my posts to a Word document or an email and then printing.

      My first book should be out between Nov and next Jan. 🙂
      Much love!

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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