Valentine’s Day is coming up next week. Here is my attempt to explain love and affection from the male perspective. Ladies, pay close attention!
Guys view romance much differently than women. To some women, romance equals a bouquet of roses. To others, it’s a quiet evening together. Maybe you’re a lady who appreciates your husband doing the chores around the house so that you can have a “night off.” Perhaps you’re the kind of woman who really wants to hear the words you look beautiful today. Most of the ladies I know are fluent in many different romance languages, meaning that they have a preferred language that communicates romance, but they’ll take any show of affection. Some of these ladies have told me that their husband doesn’t have a romantic bone in his body.
Gals, don’t get the wrong impression; men can be equally as romantic as women. The problem is romance to a man is usually expressed very differently than the way a woman expresses romance. Ladies, that means you’re going to have to do a little bit of work to hear how your man is trying to be romantic. Guys, that means you’re going to have to work a little bit at speaking romance in a way that your wife can hear it.
Consider this blog a language lesson in masculine love and affection. Here’s what I want the people closest to me to know about my heart:
Love my children
I want my five children to know I love them. I want them to understand I love them for who they are and not for what they do. I try hard to give my children the impression that I love them equally. Obviously, I show my daughters I love them in a different way from how I show my sons I love them. And I show one son I love him differently than another son. In other words, even though each of my children are different, and I show them love differently, I try to be equally affectionate to all of them.
I also try not to place my expectations on my children. In other words, I try to allow my children to be strong, independent men and women who have my blessing to live their own lives. At the same time, I also want them to know I am proud to call myself their father.
Love my wife
I also want my children to know I love their mother. I married my high school sweetheart many years ago. Even though we’ve had our ups and downs, my commitment to her remains the same today as it was on our wedding day.
I want my family to know I am a man of my word. When I said my wedding vows at the altar… I meant them! And I will hold true to my commitment to Dawn no matter what life brings our way. My wife needs to know I’m in this marriage for the long haul, but it’s equally important for my children and grandchildren to see my commitment to my wife as well.
My ability to love my wife and children well comes from my love for Jesus. He has command over my heart, which means he must be my greatest love. 1 John 4:19 makes a profound statement about love. This verse describes a Christian’s capacity to love.
There are two ways to understand the verse “we love because he first loved us.” The first way to view this verse is to see it as an explanation of our ability to love others. In other words, my capacity to love other people was created by God. It’s God who put in me the ability to love others well. The second way this could be interpreted is to understand it as a description of our ability to love God. By the way, in case you’re asking which interpretation is correct… I think both are absolutely accurate! Certainly, John is describing our ability to love God in this verse, but I think he is also implying that our ability to love others is influenced by God’s love at work in us. I am able to love my wife because Jesus first loved me. I am able to love my children because God the Father loved me enough to make me his child. But, I am also able to love God because he first loved me.
Here’s where some men and women both struggle when it comes to love. Love is a verb. Verbs are action words. Real love must have actions with it. It’s not good enough just to say you love someone. You must show it as well. I don’t want to just tell my children I love them, I want them to see it and hear it! Dawn deserves to see I love her, as well as hear I love her.
Now I want you to pause for just a second, and think about the men you know. If you were to look at the way they live, where they give their energy, what gets most of their time and money… what would you say is most important in their lives? If you were to just purely observe a man, what do his actions show is most important to him? Whatever these point to is the thing he loves most.
Many men I know, despite what comes out of their mouths, show they love sports most. It’s all they talk about. It’s all they watch on TV. It’s where they spend their money. They even wear it on their t-shirts. The Super Bowl or March Madness makes it pretty clear sports is the first love for many men (and a few women).
A lot of guys give me the impression they love themselves more than anybody else. They show this by working hard, and making a lot of money, only to spend it all on themselves. They always think about themselves first, and they think about themselves most often. They put themselves before others around them.
Here’s what I’m trying to say today—you can’t fake love. What gets your time and energy is what you love. So, does your spouse and children know only Jesus is more important to you than them? If not, maybe you should buy yourself roses this Valentine’s Day.