IF THINGS ARE GOING WELL IN YOUR MARRIAGE
Give him whatever you would like to give him – BUT – watch your motives. Why are you giving him something?
- Is it just to bless him?
- Is it something he would enjoy and appreciate? Not all men are excited about romantic, emotional, wordy cards (I know my husband, Greg, is totally fine without any cards at all for any occasion.)
- Are you expecting something in return?
- Will you feel resentful if you give him what you are planning to get him and he doesn’t get you something or what he gives you isn’t “as good” in you mind as what you give him?
- Is the thing you are planning to get for him in your agreed-upon budget?
- Enjoy your anniversary and be sure it is about both of you, not just about yourself.
- Be flexible and roll with any unexpected situations or challenges that may arise.
IF THINGS ARE VERY TENSE IN YOUR MARRIAGE
If your husband has indicated that he doesn’t really want to be married to you anymore but is just staying for the sake of the kids or something… here are a few things to prayerfully consider about your motives:
- Why do you want to get him a card or gift?
- Are you expecting something in return?
- What will you do if he doesn’t get you something?
- Is it likely that he may get angry if you acknowledge the anniversary because he may feel that you are trying to pressure him to come back to you or that you have your hopes up about the marriage working out? Would he feel disrespected if you give him a card?
- What do you believe may happen if you don’t get him a card or gift? (In my experience, even when things are going well in marriages, lots of times husbands don’t really care that much about anniversary cards or gifts – although I am sure there are exceptions. Perhaps some of the men would like to share their thoughts on this issue.)
If things are very tense in your marriage, pray and ask God for His wisdom and discernment about how to bless your husband every day – including on anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays. Some husbands may be appreciative of cards or gifts even if they said they wanted out of the marriage. Some may not be. Ask God to help you see what your particular husband would most respond to at the time. If you know he will be upset if you give him a card or gift, it is okay not to give anything. Just wait and plan to celebrate again later when things are going better.
FOR ALL SITUATIONS
A much greater gift for a husband than a card or something wrapped in a box would be a wife’s genuine smile, joy, peace in Christ, and positive, respectful attitude – whether things are going well or whether they are going very poorly at the time. Those are gifts that just about any husband would appreciate every day.
My perspective now is that I can be content if we have a big celebration or if we don’t. My contentment is in Christ not in what my husband does or does not do for me.
If we go out to a fancy dinner – wonderful! If we stay home and have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches – wonderful! If we go on a trip – I’ll enjoy it. If we stay home and just go on a walk around the block – I’ll enjoy it. If my husband is sick and can’t celebrate and we have to go to the doctor’s that night instead of out to eat – I will do my best to take good care of him and to have a great attitude (that actually happened to us a few years ago).
What I don’t want to see is us getting resentful over anniversaries, birthdays, or holidays because of our expectations. Let’s lay down our expectations and seek only to please Christ and to bless our husbands. The world has all kinds of expectations about anniversaries that it wants us to hone in on. Advertisers and card companies want us to feel obligated to buy certain things and want us to feel entitled to receive certain things. Hollywood has certain images of what anniversaries “should look like.” Why am I going to let the world dictate my expectations or contentment? Never! I don’t even want to be a slave to my own expectations. Jesus is the source of my contentment. If I have Him, I truly have more than I could ever ask for or imagine. Now – let me seek be a blessing to my husband. I am already overflowing with fulfillment, peace, joy, love, contentment, security, and acceptance in Christ.
“for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13
“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.” Psalm 62:5-6
Laying Down Expectations – Join the Peaceful Wife for “The Respect Dare – Day 1”