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Contentment on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is coming up, ladies! With all the pressure and expectations that come along with it.
Sometimes, we may be tempted to judge our husband’s love for us or the strength of our marriage based on if we get just the right gift. Special, costly gifts and things our husbands give us can be fun. But let’s remember that our relationship, marriage, motives, and how we treat our husbands are far more important than exactly how we celebrate on one day.

Appreciating Our Own Husbands

Our husbands show love in many ways that advertisers never portray. Everyday kinds of ways. And sometimes, heroic kinds of ways. These gestures of love are important! Probably more important, in the light of eternity, than whether they pick just the right card that we would like or whether they give us a new diamond necklace.
I’m so glad our worth as women doesn’t have to all hang on this one day!
Our worth comes from Jesus and His incredible love and sacrifice for us. Anything else is icing on the cake! Each husband has his own strengths, talents, and ways of showing love.
Thankfully, we can learn to receive love in the ways they give love.
It is amazing how much more loved we feel when we learn to see and appreciate what our men do to try to show us love. Even if it is not our favorite way of receiving love. We might discover, their ways are pretty amazing, too. They do things for us all throughout the year. Think about the kind things your particular husband does for you – and write them down.
Consciously choose to be thankful for the man you have.
In Christ, we don’t have to measure our husband’s love by whether they meet all of the standards of advertisers on TV and billboards for this day. We can be free from worldly expectations and dictates. We can choose to love, appreciate, respect, and honor our men for the ways they show love to us every day of the year. We don’t have to compare them to anyone else – real or fictional.
We get to decide whether we will set the emotional thermostat in our marriages to warm and inviting or cold and resentful. We can also learn to give love to our men in the ways that are meaningful to them.

The Most Important Thing Is Our Attitude

We can approach this day with a grateful heart and contentment.

Instead of focusing on ourselves or on our culture’s very rigid expectations for this day, I’d love to see us take some pressure off of our husbands – and ourselves. Sure, we can sweetly ask for things we would enjoy. (With a pleasant tone of voice and a smile):
  • Babe, I would really love to do X.
  • Honey, I would like a box of X chocolates for Valentine’s Day.
Let’s also ask our husbands what would be special to them. If we choose to celebrate this day, let’s make it about appreciating our unique marriage in our own unique way as a couple. Why let some strangers we don’t even know – who will financially benefit if we do what they want us to do – put demands on us or our men? And why allow some marketing executives to get us to resent our guys if they find their marketing plan unpalatable? 
 
The Most Important Ability Is Flexibility
This is my Sunday School teacher’s favorite saying. And it is so true! So if someone gets sick with the flu or finances are tight and doing something elaborate is not possible, we can be flexible. This is life sometimes. We can roll with it. God can give us the power! We don’t have to freak out or get upset. We can enjoy:
  • A homemade meal or take out at home together on the couch.
  • Making our husband’s favorite dish or dessert. Just to bless him.
  • Snuggling on the couch together.
  • Thanking our men for all they do for us and our families.
  • Sharing a few reasons we admire them.
  • Doing something fun with the kids.
  • Making homemade decorations for the supper table with the kids.
  • Taking cookies to a single mom, a pregnancy crisis center, or an elderly widow/widower.
  • A walk through the neighborhood.
  • A relaxing bath together after the kids go to bed.
  • Some time together another day if schedules don’t work out on the 14th.

Contentment IS Possible!

Paul is such an incredible example of contentment for us to follow. He was able to be content in Christ in the midst of violent persecution for his faith, imprisonment, suffering, illness, injuries, and all kinds of trials (Phil. 4:11-12). Surely, because we have the same power of Jesus in us, we can be content no matter what may happen on Valentine’s Day.
Look at the standard of contentment God has for us:
Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 1 Tim. 6:6-8
God calls us to be content with godliness, food for the day, and clothing for the day. Wow. That is very different from the messages we receive in our culture. But it is extremely freeing!
We can respond graciously and with respect and self-control even if things don’t go the way we would really like on Valentine’s Day. We can bring joy and delight to our husbands by being understanding, patient, peaceful, joyful, considerate, and thankful for them.
With an attitude like this, we are bound to savor Valentine’s Day, and every day.
Much love!
 
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What secrets have you found to approaching Valentine’s Day in a way that is a blessing to your husband, your family, and yourself? We’d love to hear about it!
 
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2 thoughts to “Contentment on Valentine’s Day”

  1. Hi April! Something wonderful happened and I need to share it with you. As you know, for many years, I doubted my husband’s love for me. He went through a long angry and depressed phase (years) and things were super hard. He has changed so much and our marriage has improved a great deal. We are still working on cleaning up from our past baggage, but at least now we really talk and listen to each other. God is so faithful!

    Anyhow, my husband is still an introvert and still has trouble expressing emotions positively and in a way I can accept them (we are BOTH a work in progress). But wait until you hear what happened.

    I got over my fear of asking for what I’d like, and I forwarded him an email about Valentine’s flowers from an online company (several times). Well yesterday he comes to me and says “I have a problem. I’ve been trying to purchase something and our credit card keeps getting denied.” He was asking me because I handle the day to day bill paying, and at this point he thought there might be a problem. I knew the bill was paid, so I asked him “what are you trying to buy?” He didn’t want to say at first, because it was the Valentines flowers, and he didn’t want to spoil the surprise. But he tried to order them online (which is a big deal for my hubby who doesn’t use computers much) and the cc got rejected. So he called the company!!! My husband NEVER wants to make phone calls, he is that shy at times. But he called them himself! And tried to order that way, and the cc was denied again. So he became concerned.
    So we called the cc company, and it turns out they had put a hold on the card because the system thought it was a large purchase from a vendor we hadn’t used in the past. (They’d sent an email to an email address I use only for shopping and I never check it 😔). Anyway, they fixed the card. But I could tell he was sad that his surprise didn’t work out. But here is all the good news! (And I might add, he didn’t get frustrated and yell even once, which is huge).
    I was SO HAPPY! And I told him how happy I was. I thanked him and I shared with him why I was so happy. The fact that he’d tried so hard to surprise me and did online shopping himself, that he was persistent when it didn’t work, that he made a PHONE CALL, and when things still didn’t work he asked for help. THAT IS HUGE! And for me, all of that meant WAY more than those flowers would have! And I told him that, and I think it made him feel very good. And it’s all such a happy ending!

    1. Becca,

      My precious sister! It is WONDERFUL to hear from you! And it is INCREDIBLE to hear such a beautiful update! PRAISE GOD!

      You made my day with this news, my sweet sister. I have the biggest smile on my face right now. Woohoo!

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