With Valentine’s Day approaching (a day dedicated to love), we’re going to share a few things we’ve learned about it. We’ve learned many things about this type of special Valentine celebration. We’re all for celebrating love (for those of you who don’t, here is an article written to explain our side: Why We Celebrate Valentine’s Day). But sometimes our expectations can lead us in the direction of disappointment, rather than delight.
In a Crosswalk.com article titled “Valentine’s Day: Let Christ’s Love Fuel Your Marriage” April Motl gives the following insight that you might want to prayerfully consider:
“With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, many husbands out there are starting to feel their palms sweat with the pressure of living up to the high expectations this holiday brings. …Valentine’s Day can bring out many of our insecurities, all the while setting high standards for our spouses. Whether it’s Valentine’s Day or not, many of us are walking around with our emotional cups out stretched. We’re like beggars on the street corner, waiting for our husbands or wives to fill them with security and significance.
“However, the reality is that our spouses were never meant to fill our emotional cups with those things —only God can. When we expect our spouses to meet all our needs we inadvertently put them on a throne in our heart that was designed only for our Lord. When they fail to meet our high expectations, we become disappointed and dissatisfied with them. This Valentine’s, give your spouse the gift of a relationship centered in God’s love.”
In other words, lets keep things in perspective. Our spouses cannot fill all of our expectations and needs. This is especially true of the ones the “world” advertises we should expect. They’re not designed to do so. They’re not God —they’re human. It’s important to enjoy who they really are when they’re with us —not who we want them to be. And we need to do what works for the two of us, as “unto the Lord.”
Ah Hah Moment Concerning Our Valentine Celebration
I’ll never forget when God showed me this reality. It was an “ah hah” moment for me, and eventually for both of us. We were sitting in a posh restaurant, and I was straining to see Steve and the food set before me. They had the lights turned down so low —to set a romantic mood that even the lit candles on our table weren’t enough for me to see much. I’m struggling along, and then suddenly reality hit me. This was stupid. Why were we struggling to eat a meal we couldn’t afford? It wasn’t that great anyway, straining to see our food and each other in a crowded, noisy place?
It’s because THAT’S the way the media and others presents that we should celebrate that day. We’re to go out to a nice restaurant, buying each other expensive gifts, and such. And I/we went along with it. But it’s just too much for us. We’re simpler, quieter people. It just ushers in disappointment. I shouldn’t —we shouldn’t set our expectations upon those of others.
Because of this ah hah moment, we woke up and together we’ve made it our mission to empty out THEIR expectations and talk about what WE want —what we know would work for us, as God designed us. That has brought such freedom!
Now let me say here, there’s nothing wrong with going into elaborate celebrations. If your budget is tighter, it’s good to SAVE UP for more expensive meals and gifts. This is something that many, many couples enjoy doing, which is great. But don’t do it because it’s what others present to you. And don’t do it because they expect you to do it. Do it because that’s what you enjoy. Do what works for the two of you.
So, in closing, below is a Family Life Today idea, written by Mary May Larmoyeux. It is close to what we’re planning to do this Valentine’s Day (with a few modifications and additions). And then below it we’re providing web site links that will lead you to additional tips. That way you can see if this or something else would work best for the two of you:
“Create an intimate Valentine’s Day evening at home, without the children. The woman who suggested this idea said that she and her husband ‘enjoyed planning the menu. They enjoyed shopping for the meal, and ultimately preparing the meal together. Cooking to soft, romantic music can really be a turn on! While dining, the same soft, romantic music is a wonderful mood-setter. Dinner was followed by just the two of us having the whole dance floor, our den, to ourselves. I won’t say what all this led to, but it was a truly romantic night that would not have happened at the local restaurant!’”
Below are a few web site links with a lot of different tips to help you celebrate your Valentine’s Day together.
Read, glean, adapt, and find what works for you:
• 25 VALENTINE’S DAY IDEAS FOR COUPLES
• TAKE PRESSURE OFF THIS VALENTINE’S DAY
• INEXPENSIVE WAYS TO HONOR YOUR SPOUSE THIS VALENTINE’S DAY
• ROMANTIC VALENTINE’S DAY IDEAS
• 14 WAYS TO BLESS YOUR SPOUSE THIS VALENTINE’S DAY
• VALENTINE’S DAY AND BEYOND – Marriage Message #290
Whatever you do, love each other well, and HAVE FUN!!!
Cindy and Steve Wright
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