From time to time the discussion comes up about what I expect or want my husband to get me on Valentine’s Day.
Or my birthday.
I told my husband last week that he was completely off the hook for Valentine’s Day.
And I meant it.
I’m not one of those women who says one thing and means another. I actually meant it.
I’m happy with nothing, for the following reasons:
1) I already know he loves me. He doesn’t need to prove it with a gift.
2) He’s really exhausted after working all day. He works, and I get the awesome privilege –the daily gift– of being a stay-at-home mom. Many women are not afforded this luxury.
3) Shopping is very stressful for Him. My husband is very introverted. Going shopping is not as easy task for him. So, if he does, I’m extra appreciative, and, if he doesn’t, I understand why.
4) Random gifts are more sincere. He buys me flowers, jewelry, and other gifts (sometimes just inexpensive but thoughtful gifts) on random days –just because he wants to. That means more to me than getting something when he supposed to buy it.
5) I’m happy just to be with him and know I’m his one and only. The security of a committed, God-honoring relationship is far more wonderful than anything he could buy me.
6) The real gifts in life are the small things: offering to transfer the clothes from the washer to the dryer, listening to me rant and rave about something I’m upset about, being kind when I’m not, giving a gentle answer instead of a harsh one, filling up the gas tank in the car so that I don’t have to, tell me he loves me, holding my hand, sending a text to say “I’m thinking about you,” telling me “Thank you” and “I’m sorry,” understanding when he comes home to a messy house, holding me when I just need reminded that I’m loved, being willing to run an errand when I’m not feeling well, standing by my side through sickness –the list goes on.
7) He gives me the gift of kindness every day. Many men beat their wifes, get drunk and mistreat them, are angry and bitter, yell, do drugs, refuse to take responsibility, refuse to be involved with children the helped create, refuse to work, etc. My husband is a stand-up guy who has taken good care of our family. I choose to be thankful for what he has done that many men don’t do, and I choose to tell him I’m thankful for him being better than many men I know.
8) I’m not entitled to gifts. I think the thing that bothers me most about Valentine’s Day is the notion that I’m owed a frivolous gift simply because I’m loved or to prove that I’m loved. If I’m really loved, a gift won’t change that. If I’m really loved, I won’t need proof of it. I’m not owed anything. Our world thinks we have rights –that we are owed things. The Bible teaches that we should be willing to sacrifice our own rights and give selflessly for others like Christ. Christianity is all about our responsibilities and giving up our rights. Demanding a gift is the exact opposite of selfless behavior and dying to self which we are called to do.
So, on Valentine’s Day, if he shows up with an expensive gift, I’ll be thrilled.
But, if not, I’ll be thankful for things I do have, content with what God has given me.
Godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6:6
When people are all over the world are starving for lack of food, how spoiled do I have to be to whine that I didn’t get a gift of something I don’t really need that I’m not owed simply because I wanted it?
Instead, I’ll spend the day being grateful that God saw fit to give me such a wonderful man, that somehow between his brokenness and my brokenness we’ve found a way to exist peacefully, and to remember that true love –godly love– is about sacrifice.
And I’ll remember that I’m called to love sacrificially even when and if he does not.
Even if he doesn’t communicate that he love me in the way I want him to.
Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
P.S. I am sure you could come up with a list of things that you’re thankful for regarding your husband, too. Even unsaved husbands have good qualities and should be thanked for what they do or try to do well. But, most importantly an attitude of gratitude changes us regardless of what our husbands do. In a world where it is acceptable to complain about our spouses, let’s be the ones who don’t, the ones who appreciate and praise each other for the little things.