Several weeks ago someone sent me the following story:
A middle-aged couple were in a busy shopping center just before Christmas. The husband wandered off as she was standing in line, saying something about being back in a little bit. After getting through the line, the husband hadn’t returned and since they still had more shopping to do, the wife called him on his cell phone.
The wife asked, “Where are you?”
He said, “You remember that jewelry store we went into about 10 years ago, and you fell in love with that diamond necklace? I couldn’t afford it at the time, and I said that one day I would get it for you.”
Tears started to flow down her cheeks and she got all choked up. “Yes, I do remember that”, she excitedly replied.
“Great! I’m in the golf shop next to that”, he responded.”
That’s a funny story! But sadly, it often represents how insensitive we husbands can be to what our wives are thinking and feeling. The Bible teaches us to, love our wives as Christ loved the church and to treat our wives with tenderness as we would a more delicate vessel.
Guys, Valentines Day is next Sunday. Be sensitive to the fact that February 14 is probably more important to your wife than it is to you. Since it’s a day especially designated by our culture to express love, your wife is likely to be disappointed if you ignore it. To her, that’s an indication that you don’t love her as deeply as you say or you are once again taking her for granted. That neglect is underscored when she hears her friends brag about what their thoughtful, loving husbands did for them on Valentines Day.
So take advantage of the opportunity to express appreciation in some way. What should it be? A box of chocolates? Strawberries dipped in chocolate? A bouquet of flowers? Flowers dipped in gold? A diamond necklace? Dinner at a special restaurant? I’m confident any of those things would be appreciated. Notice I didn’t include in the list one of those HUGE Teddy Bears you see advertised on television. I’ve not encountered one woman who thought that was a good idea!
Let me suggest three less inexpensive gifts that may be more meaningful in the long run.
1. Give her the assurance of priority in your life. Upon request you will drop everything and devote time to her alone. When you convince her that she’s more important to you than sports, hobbies, your job or any other relationship on earth, it will go a long way toward assuring her she’s loved – and, as a result, probably provide more guilt-free times for sports, hobbies and your job.
2. Give her undivided attention in conversation. When your wife says, “Please, tell me what you’re thinking and feeling”, she is begging you to be vulnerable and give her insider, privileged information about what’s going on in your mind and heart. Be transparent and open with her. We fear if we really share our anxieties and insecurities with our wife, she will lose respect for us. In reality, the more you disclose your innermost secrets to her, the closer she feels and the more responsive and loving she will be.
By the way, when she begs you to tell her what you’re thinking and feeling, she probably is also pleading with you, “Please listen to me when I tell you what I’m thinking and feeling”. The Bible instructs us to be quick to listen. One of the best gifts you can give your wife is the assurance that you are willing to turn off the ball game, put down the paper, close the computer and give her undivided attention when she wants you to listen.
3. Give her spiritual leadership in the home. Most Christian wives are eager for a husband who will be a stronger leader in Biblical matters. Assure her you will take the initiative to pray together, read the Bible to your children, see to it that the family attends worship and church activities. You will be the guardian of purity for what is viewed on television or what is the standard for modesty for your teens.
To demonstrate you’re serious about spiritual leadership include one of the following Scriptures at the bottom of the Valentine card you are going to give her. “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” (Romans 12:10)
Or, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Cor. 13:4-8)
Just in case she interprets your card as a cheap way out, give her something significant too. It doesn’t have to be diamond necklace – but flowers would be good.