Valentine’s Day—two words that trigger twitter-pated anticipation for the ladies and an equally strong sense of impending doom for the men. Many guys are romantically-challenged and struggle to find the right gift or to plan an evening that expresses their feelings. Glitzy advertising mixed with picture-perfect moments in movies raise unreachable expectations.
Keep reading to discover a framework for a great Valentine’s Day gift, but be warned it cannot be ordered online or purchased at the last minute on February 14th. Demonstrating love is a full-time strategy, not a magic elixir deployed to avoid mid-February lodging in the canine quarters. Men, here are seven areas ripe with daily opportunities to stoke the fires of love.
Address her practical needs.
There is no reasonable explanation for a healthy man to walk by the overflowing trash can, clueless as to a resolution. Want a passionate wife? Take the trash out without being asked and with no need for a brass band to parade behind you celebrating the deed.
Cleaning up the kitchen after a meal will not reduce your manhood. The vacuum is not a Harley-Davidson, but it offers opportunities to display brawn. Try moving a dresser with one hand or lifting the couch while vacuuming underneath. A female recently posted these words to social media, “There is nothing sexier than a man vacuuming.” Wonder if your lady agrees? One way to find out…
Maintain her car and check out abnormalities as she reports them. Pay attention to maintenance items like the cabinet door with the broken hinge. Fix and repair as needed. Your reputation as her problem solver will be secure.
Build a friendship.
Dating is an opportunity to discover each other’s likes, dislikes, dreams and goals. Through endless conversation lovebirds find common ground on which to build the relationship. The wedding is not the culmination of that investigation. Build an ongoing friendship with your wife.
What activities does she like? Can you join her? Would she join you in one of your hobbies or interests? Have you invited her?
If conversations seem frozen in the past or glued to the topic of children plan a distraction-free date like a picnic. Sub sandwiches, chips, and water bottles are a five-star meal beside a quiet lake.
Say something complimentary every day and mean it. Be on the lookout for chances to praise her acts of love and service.
Respect and value her.
Helping your lady into the car and holding doors for her are effective ways to declare the value you place on her. Certainly she is capable of opening a door for herself, but by this consideration you give tangible testimony to her worth. She feels it; others see it; you reinforce it.
Say “thank you” to acknowledge the 1001 things she does to make the house into a home. Speak to her with respect and demonstrate you see her as an equal, not an employee or a servant.
Conduct yourself circumspectly around other ladies, and avoid situations that might raise doubts about your fidelity. A marriage has room for two, no more.
Lavishly pour acts of love on her
The words “I love you” should be spoken and demonstrated. Write her love letters once in a while. Need help? Try a Google search and see what turns up. Find the book My Dearest Friend in the library, and read the letters John and Abigail Adams penned to one another.
Don’t just print someone else’s work and write your name at the bottom. Customize it. Your lady will give you credit for trying and will likely add the letter to her collection of memories.
Post love notes and watch her face glow when she finds them. Greet her with a kiss and hug many times daily. Follow Andy Griffith’s advice and “flat plant one on her!” Make sure she knows she’s been kissed. Don’t be afraid to hold her hand in public.
Surprise her with a thoughtful gift such as her favorite chocolate, a new coffee blend, or the rose bush she wants in the garden.
Invest in her growth.
Each couple faces a unique scenario, and husbands are called to serve and protect. Observe and consider what’s best for your wife.
For a full-time Mom the days are consumed as a field trip chaperon, taxi service, and personal assistant to busy children. Create space for her to learn new things. Budget time and money for her development. Foster growth by encouraging her to attend seminars and classes.
Enable her participation in ladies groups in the church and community, and support her need for friends. Men, taking care of your own children is not babysitting. It’s an opportunity for some dad/kid time. Take full advantage, and build the bond with the kids while you invest in your wife.
Demonstrate your trust in her.
Your wife is your wisest counselor. She has a vested interest in your plans and future. Share your concerns with her, and listen closely to her input. Discuss the future, and establish joint goals. Keep her in the loop with full disclosure.
Give thanks for her.
God has given men the responsibility of leading spiritually. Trends and surveys indicate men are abdicating this assignment. Don’t miss the opportunity of attending church with your wife and family. Take the lead, and make an effort.
Invest time praying together. Live every day with the awareness that God has joined you. Ask His wisdom in keeping life together. He’s on call 24×7.
Your action plan?
Read the list again. Do any of these spotlight possible improvements in your relationship? Develop a plan for turning these practices into habits. Schedule a quiet dinner and discuss your intentions with your wife. This may be the best Valentine’s Day yet, and your willingness to invest in your marriage might be the best gift she ever received. Next to you that is.