Last summer I had the pleasure of attending one of Chef Alli’s Pot Roast Presentations. So many truths penetrated my heart that evening. God opened up a well in my heart and intentional respect for my husband began to freely flow into my marriage. The landscape of our love changed when I learned to add elements of respect to the scenery.
Chef Alli wisely instructed us to release the hidden desires of our hearts to our husbands. This was a stronghold for me. You see, I would like for my husband to have the ability to read my mind. Satan has whispered into my romantic heart and I have knit his thoughts together with the deepest longings of my soul.
He says to me. . . you know if He really knew you and really loved you, he would know what you want for Valentines Day. . .
He gives me crafty ideas. . . Say “nothing” when he asks you what you want . . .because if he really loves you he will surely surprise you with something even if you said “oh nothing please”
Test him. . . trap him. . . measure his love for you by secret expectations he could never imagine. . . yes I would think. . . that makes sense. . . that will get me where I want to be. . .
But somehow I was the one who was trapped and tricked. . . and I would drown in a sea of disappointment. . . I would look through a mirror smeared with the enemy’s vaseline. . . and be devastated that Gods clarity didn’t shine back at me.
So this year I could hear Alli’s voice ringing in my ear from six months ago:
” LADIES, JUST TELL YOUR HUSBAND WHAT YOU WANT. DON’T MAKE HIM GUESS. IT ISN’T ANY LESS ROMANTIC. IT DOESN’T MEAN HE DOESN’T LOVE YOU BECAUSE HE CAN’T READ YOUR MIND. HE REALLY DOESN’T KNOW AND HE NEEDS YOU TO TELL HIM”
This Valentine’s Day my husband and I made plans to have a wonderful date night. We decided on a mutual gift we will both enjoy. To surprise him, I also crafted a gift of respect just for him. But five days before Valentine’s Day he asked if a mutual gift and date night was really enough . . . He loves me and he doesn’t want to disappoint me. He wants me to feel loved. But he doesn’t always have instincts to guide him in expressing the love I desperately need as a woman. Just like I sometimes struggle to find respectful ways to connect to his deepest needs as a man.
So I did something I have never really done in all our married life – – I told him the truth. I told him that I was thrilled for our date night and mutual gift. And then I took a deep breath and added this:
” I would also like a card or a love letter from you that’s just from your heart. That little gesture would really make me feel loved and special. . . and it would be a surprise to read your words. I would like a little something on Valentine’s day since we are doing our date the next day.”
Satan has told me this would ruin the gift. . . that having to tell my husband what I need would mean he doesn’t know me. . . doesn’t love me. . . and that any gift that came from that request would be empty and meaningless. . .
So I must declare and expose those lies for the mess of garbage-filled deception that they are. I want to tell you the truth. The surprise I always thought I secretly wanted was never really a surprise if I was expecting it. . . demanding it. . . encouraging it to do battle with the man that means the most to me. . .
I know what I am getting for Valentine’s Day. I know that my husband is going to get me a card or hand write a letter for me. He is doing that because he wants me to be happy and feel loved and he know its what I want. Oh what a tragedy.
The truth is that’s pretty romantic. The truth is that doesn’t set either one of us up for failure. Am I bummed or deflated because there’s no pressure on my hubby to read my hot mess of a mind? Not in the least. My heart is filled with anticipation. Since I started intentionally respecting this man of mine, the love that flows out of him overwhelms me. It touches me and surprises me . . . it’s real and authentic. . . and unique to who I am and who we are becoming together.
And I am not saying goodbye to surprise and romance. But I am going to let those sweet treats find me when I least expect them – – when they drift out of my farm boy’s heart and float over to mine. . . and melt it in a way that only he can.
And that’s the truth.