Happy Valentine’s Day week! It’s that time of the year when we are surrounded by paper hearts and lots of chocolate (and I’m definitely not going to complain about extra chocolate!) But, instead of talking you about how much I love my husband, I wanted to tell you about something that has been on my mind lately. Best rest assured, it still has lots to do with love, love, love.
My daughter-in-law, Caroline, guest posted an insightful blog a while back. You may remember it; it was called My Husband Doesn’t Fulfill Me. She has been married just over a year and has come to the conclusion that her husband, my son, does not fulfill her. Now, lest you think that is a blight against my dear son, it isn’t! When she says her husband doesn’t fulfill her, she is making the point that a man is not supposed to totally fulfill his wife.
Total fulfillment can only come from God.
Her post got me to thinking. I have been married 27 years and my husband doesn’t fulfill me either. In fact, he never has. And the sad thing is, I used to blame him for it.
For the first decade of our marriage I expected my husband to have more maturity than me; display more emotional control than I did and in general, be exactly like perfect Daddy was!
Not much to ask, right?! HA!
No wonder the man didn’t fulfill me if those were my expectations.
I was naïve and selfish. And I blamed for not being able to measure up to my unrealistic expectations. Not fair. But, I didn’t even know I was doing it.
Sometimes we go into marriage with a truck load of unrealistic expectations that we dump on our spouse and it buries them. And, here’s the thing. When you treat the man like he isn’t good enough, he starts to believe he isn’t good enough. When you scream and yell because he isn’t doing what you want him to do when you want him to do it in the way you want it done, he has no motivation to even try.
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I heard a speaker at a conference once say that she tries to treat her man like the man she wants him to be. Instead of treating him like the man he may be acting like, she treats him like the man she wants. That idea has been an encouragement to me throughout the years, because my husband is human just like me. We all need to be shown grace from one another.
If you want him to be respectable, respect him.
If you want him to be kind to you, be kind to him.
If you want him to be a gentleman, treat him like one.
It’s almost as if he will become what you expect him to be. It’s just that those expectations need to be rooted in reality, compassion and truth.
As Martin Luther put it, “Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.”
As we celebrate a day that loves to calculate how much we are loved, my challenge for us is to focus on how well we can love. Let’s show the important people in our lives – be it our husbands, children, parents, coworkers, classmates – how much they are loved. Our love will point them to the One who loves perfectly – so much so that He gave His life to know us.
Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!
Question: Have you ever thought about Valentine’s Day this way? Who can you show a little extra love today?