AHHH – VALENTINE’S DAY!
That magical day when romance is in the air and many women have higher expectations than EVER for their men.
For men – it can be a day filled with consternation, apprehension, anxiety and fear – that what they plan or do will not meet their woman’s standard. This is especially true if things did not go well in the past.
This is also a day when women who don’t have a special man in their lives can easily sink into major depression as it seems the whole world revolves around people having “the perfect romance” and you can’t even go to Wal-Mart or the grocery store without tripping over boxes of chocolates and teddy bears.
WE HAVE FREEDOM
As believers in Christ – we are free from the carnal expectations and demands of the world. THANK YOU, GOD!!!!!!!! We don’t have to buy into the world’s ways and the world’s system and what the world says we must do or should do. There is freedom in Christ – even on Valentine’s Day in our relationships!
We are free to appreciate our men, enjoy them, respect them, and release them from cultural expectations and our own expectations. We set our hearts on Christ alone. We are content in Him. Anything else is icing on the cake. We can appreciate all that our men do if they do something for us. But we are not slaves to expectations any more. We don’t have to react sinfully if we don’t get what we want.
Really, I don’t even have to be a slave to what I want anymore! I have died to self. I live for Christ. I seek His will and His glory, not my desires any more!
Let’s talk about our expectations for Valentine’s Day. There is nothing wrong with liking to feel loved, pampered, adored and treasured. We LOVE romance as women, don’t we!?!? But where is it that we go wrong sometimes? And why is it that Valentine’s Day can sometimes be the most miserable day of the year for some people?
For those who don’t have a current relationship, the pain can be even worse:
- God better send me a man.
- It’s not fair that I don’t have a boyfriend and “everyone else” does.
- I just want to feel loved by a man.
- I should be getting Valentine’s gifts, too. What’s wrong with me?
- Maybe I’m not lovable?
- Men hate me.
- I’m worthless. No one cares about me
And the spiral into deep depression can just continue down and down and down.
My precious sisters, these are not the words of the Spirit of God, but of the enemy! Please do not allow yourself to be taken captive by the enemy’s destructive words!!
Sometimes our expectations as girlfriends/fiances are HUGE:
- he should “just know” what I want without me telling him
- it’s “not romantic” if I tell him what I want for Valentine’s Day
- he should plan the whole thing all by himself and surprise me
- he should take me to MY favorite restaurant and get me a spa package and get me my favorite flowers
- if he really loved me, he would do X
- he should know what kind of jewelry I like and it needs to cost at least $XXX – or he obviously doesn’t love me
- if my man doesn’t get me X – he doesn’t care about me at all
- he should send me a 2000 word love letter/email gushing with all the romantic reasons he loves to be with me
Let’s notice something here…
Those expectations I just listed – do you see where my emphasis is? “HE SHOULD”
This is where I get into trouble. I am in charge of me. I can control me. I don’t control him. Is it fair or right or reasonable to expect a man to read my mind, or to do things just because I expect them?
The other dangerous thing in some of those statements is how I am assigning evil motives to my man if he doesn’t do what I want. I don’t know his heart! I cannot accurately make assumptions like that. I will push him away and make us both miserable if I assume he hates me and constantly want reassurance of his love. A woman’s neediness repels her man – it is a sign she has made an idol of him and has made him 100% responsible for her emotions and happiness. I need to find my reassurance that I am loved, accepted, cherished and valued in CHRIST alone.
I can ASK my man for things or tell him what I want with a smile, a pleasant voice, and respect in my heart. But I cannot demand. That is rude! It is unbecoming. It is disrespectful. And men do not respond to demands very well (no one does, really).
A very good definition of happiness is that the closer reality is to our expectations – the happier we will be. Conversely, when our expectations are very high, and reality doesn’t come close to our expectations, we are easily disappointed, resentful, discontent and unhappy.
The changeable factor here? OUR EXPECTATIONS!
Sometimes our reactions are AWFUL
How do we respond to our men if we are disappointed with what the did/did not do for us for Valentine’s Day (or other days)?
- yell and scream?
- call him names?
- become hateful and full of contempt?
- ruin the entire day, or maybe a week, with our wrath?
- pitch a fit?
- give him the silent treatment for the rest of the day, or week or month?
- criticize and condemn our men?
- bash our man to other women and tell everyone else what an unthoughtful jerk he is?
- act like we are “entitled” to have him do magnificent things for us – but care very little about his feelings?
What kind of behavior does Jesus expect from us?
We think a lot about romantic love as women, and we expect our men to love us the way we want them to. But how do we treat them? What do they expect of us? What do we expect of ourselves as women?
Whether it is on Valentine’s Day – or any other day of the year, Jesus expects us to:
- respect and honor our men out of reverence for Him (Ephesians 5:22-33)
- cooperate with our men’s leadership out of reverence for Him
- be kind to our guys (I Corinthians 13:4-7)
- be patient with them
- not be jealous (of how they spend their time, etc)
- not be arrogant/prideful and think we are better than and more spiritual than they are
- not be rude to our men – EVEN if they sin against us!
- not be selfish/self-seeking
- not be easily angered against our men
- keep no record of wrongs
- not delight when things go wrong for them
- rejoice when the truth wins out in our relationships
- always protect our men spiritually, emotionally, financially, physically
- always trust our men whenever possible (and if it is not possible, we will trust God to work in our husbands for their good)
- always hope in God
- always persevere once we are married
- not quarrel (I Corinthians 3:3 – quarreling means we are worldly, and not spiritually mature)
- not argue
- not complain (that Jesus might shine brightly in us as we hold out the Word of life! Phil 2:14)
- have a servant’s heart and pray for God to show me how I can bless and serve my man and make the day special for him – and not make it be all about me (Luke 22:26)
And what does Jesus expect us to think about ourselves? Only things that line up with the truth of God’s Word! Check out “What Does God Say About Me?”
There are many more things Jesus desires us to do. But I think this gives us a great place to start.
Keep in mind that to Jesus – the way I treat other people – is the way I treat Him.
WE HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE OR BREAK VALENTINE’S DAY, LADIES!!!!!
I get to decide if we have a wonderful day together or if it will be miserable torture. It is ALL in my attitude and my response to my guy.
Let’s choose to be thankful, pleasant, grateful, calm, gracious, accepting, respectful, admiring and let’s choose to be flexible and roll with whatever happens with a cheerful attitude. Let’s NOT argue or complain, but be a godly example to those around us.
IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT ME
Why is it that we think Valentine’s Day, or our anniversary should be all about us getting stuff and being pampered? One of the best gifts we can give our men is to lay all our expectations and all the pressure aside and just accept, love, respect and treasure our men exactly as they are.
Let’s focus on what our men would enjoy and be thankful every day for them being in our lives.
If we don’t have a relationship right now, I think it is a perfect time for us to look around and see who might enjoy some attention, encouragement and love. Maybe there is an elderly neighbor who would enjoy some homemade cookies? Maybe there is a young girl down the street who would enjoy painting her nails with you? Maybe there is a teenage girl who is depressed who could use a godly, loving mentor and who would love to go with you to the movies? Maybe you have single friends who would enjoy spending the evening together? Maybe there is a ministry you could take part of?
As we give of ourselves to meet the needs of others – we get to experience real joy in Christ.
I pray You might help us to keep our eyes on You. Help us to honor and love You and to obey Your Word. Help us to keep our hearts set squarely on Christ, on desiring Your presence, on loving Your Word, on wanting to be more like You and seeking Your will and Your glory.
Help us to stop looking at ourselves and what we will get and help us to have servants’ hearts and focus on serving You primarily and then our men (if we have a relationship). Make our relationships strong, vibrant, healthy and godly and let Your Name be greatly glorified in our lives!
In the Name and power of Christ,