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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.

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 can’t 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 don’t want to demand.  That is rude!  It is unbecoming.  It is disrespectful.  No one responds to demands very well.

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?

These responses are from the flesh not from God. They have to go!

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

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 list 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.

FOR WIVES WHO ARE HIGHER DRIVE:

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. Here are some posts:

FOR WIVES WHO ARE LOWER DRIVE:

 

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

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:

The Answer to All of Your Marriage Problems

The Fantasy of Romance

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

21 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. This is AWESOME!!!!!!!! Please let me quote you! Your comments gave me chills. That first statement – WOW! Thank you for sharing! Beautiful!

      Sent from my iPhone

      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!!!!!!!

      1. Thank you! I’m actually excited about Valentine’s Day this year, and I don’t really have ANY expectations, except that I hope he likes the gift I get him 🙂

  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. 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!

  6. 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!

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