As I write this post I wonder if I am really qualified to write about Valentine’s Day. I’ve been married for 23 years but I still have to double check how many years we’ve been married. My wife was smart enough to engrave our anniversary date on the inside of my wedding ring. I was smart enough to put a reminder on my electronic calendar. I am a terrible gift giver and I am not romantic. If you don’t believe me, just ask my wife. So what am I good at? I am incredibly loyal. I deeply love my wife. I help around the house, pay bills, do dishes, laundry… I pick up after myself and I am easy to please when it comes to meals. Let’s be honest, although these aren’t bad things, they don’t make me a good spouse. So I decided to enlist my wife’s help and ask her to compile a list of things women would love from their husband. Not just on Valentine’s Day but every day. She sent me back a list of 33 specific things/ideas. I made my own list and came up with 2 things (and I am a detail person). Needless to say I was reminded how men and women are different.
What I want:
1. Respect – more than anything I want and need to be respected. Guys, you have to earn it.
2. Her to initiate intimacy. Need I say more?
Maybe I am just weird, but as I wrote my list I thought this is all I really need or want from my wife. Sure dinner on the table is appreciated, but I can make a sandwich. I need her love and respect and there are lots of ways you can show your love and respect.
What Susan wants:
1. Gift cards for pampering (massage, facials, hair salon, movie tickets).
2. Maid/cleaning service a few times a year.
3. Weekend away – planned and executed by him.
4. Date night – planned and executed by him.
5. Reading to each other.
6. “No T.V.” nights/weeks -talk, pray, read together instead.
7. Help w/laundry, dishes, etc.
8. Treat her as precious and delicate and treasured – open doors for her, help her w/her coat, help her w/her chair.
9. Occasionally fill up her car w/gas and/or have it cleaned as a sweet surprise.
10. Pray for her, with her, and over her on a regular basis.
11. Find a mentor for yourself who can speak into your life, and help you continue to grow and be accountable.
12. Have close, obvious daily walk w/Christ reading His Word & allowing the Holy Spirit to lead your family/marriage.
13. Desire Jesus more than anything. Passionately pursuing Him and this will meet your wife’s deepest longings.
14. Be an encourager of her spirit. (Prov. 15:13)
15. Truthfully compliment her in front of others and to your kids.
16. Lots of hugs, touches – gentle foot massages or hand massages.
17. Come home from work happy and eager to enjoy evening w/family.
18. Stop yourself before saying anything that might hurt/humiliate her in front of others, even if you think it’s funny.
19. Display humility, and listen openly.
20. Protect her & make her feel safe ( lock/check doors before bed, maintain her car, hold her close, pray over her).
21. Go after her if she runs off upset/crying. Keep talking and loving her.
22. Don’t always try to fix her problems but just listen and hold her and discuss when she asks.
23. Be an illustration of Christ to her.
24. Be willing to say you’re sorry and humbly ask forgiveness.
25. Make financial decisions together.
26. Discipline children in unity/together.
27. Be open to her ideas/suggestions and not defensive.
28. Don’t play "devil’s advocate" but be her advocate instead.
29. Make major decisions together.
30. Open your heart to her, allowing her to feel needed and a part of your world. Ask her about her heart too.
31. Give up shows/movies your wife may not like you to watch, just out of respect for her.
32. Be a wise teacher/godly example and leader to your children – make the time regardless of confidence level.
33. Ask her, non-judgmentally, what her goals are and how you can help her meet them.
34. Fight for her and for your marriage with everything in you, no matter what it takes!
35. Suggest spending time w/other couples and doing fun things regularly.
Truthfully, Susan’s list would work for me also. I am not sure I am big on the facial and massage but who wouldn’t want someone to open their car door for them, or plan a weekend away? Ladies, remember your husband really can’t read your mind. Gentlemen, don’t get overwhelmed with the list.
Susan and I talked about her Valentine’s Day gift but truthfully showing my godly love and respect for her is worth more than anything I can buy her. The list just offers ideas on how to do that!