When Your Heart Longs to be Romanced
- Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Let me guess. You are a woman who doesn't look forward to Valentine's Day! Whether you are single and without a special someone in your life, or married and tired of being disappointed from unmet expectations on the "Day of Romance," you are not alone.
Surveys show that countless women feel frustrated every year and let down on February 14th primarily because of unmet expectations. Women look for expressions of love that will meet their preconceived romantic notions. And many times, even well-intentioned men can't possibly compete.
In a recent study of what makes married women happy, it was found that the biggest predictor of women's happiness is their husband's emotional engagement. The extent to which he is affectionate, to which he is empathetic, to which he is basically tuned into his wife was the most important factor in predicting the wife's happiness. The study also found "if the wife had to choose between having a husband who is taking half the housework and having a husband who is really making a conscious, deliberate effort to focus emotionally on his wife, the emotional focus is much more likely to be a paramount concern."
That speaks volumes of what women want and expect. And men, who tend to be more action-oriented in how they show their love (by helping with the chores, repairing the garage door, and bringing home a paycheck) can miss the mark with us when it comes to trying to express their affections on Valentine's Day, or any time, for that matter.
That said, fulfilling a woman's idea of romance is not something most men, in particular, specialize in. In fact, many men struggle with how to convey their feelings in a way that their wives or girlfriends will understand and appreciate. And often times, what they think will impress you, doesn't.
But what if this year you took the man in your life off the hook? What if this year you focused not on your expectations or the disappointment that the "Day of Romance" tends to bring, but on the Author of Romance, Himself, and what He's been trying to show you day in and day out about how cherished you are in His sight? In other words, what if this year you looked to God to meet your expectations first and then let the man in your life (if you have one) do what he can and see it as an added bonus?
For instance, look at the tender words God says, in His Word, to and about His people:
• He calls you unforgettable: "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! (Isaiah 49:15).
• He says He has always loved you and always will: "...I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness" (Jeremiah 31:3).
• He calls Himself your Husband: "For your Maker is your husband - the Lord Almighty is his name - the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. The Lord will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit…" (Isaiah 54:5-6).
• He says His love for you is greater than anything you'll ever find on this earth: "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13). And then Jesus did just that -- He laid down His life for you...one He calls "friend."
• He promises He'll never leave you: "...Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5).
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