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Father Time Blog

Welcome to Father Time Blog. This is a collection of questions and answers that have come during our conferences this past 15 years of travel, preaching and coaching. If you have subjects you would like to have included please email me at: fathers@mac.com. We are committed to praying and seeing your family healthy, growing and full of love.

A Dose of Romance Reality - for Valentine's Day

This month I've asked my assistant Mary to share with you, from a woman's perspective, on the most romantic day of the year - trust me men, this is not the sappy love story you're expecting and trust me women, you'll still want to read this!

A Dose of Romance Reality


My husband and I have been married for just about 3 years. But before you write us off as newlyweds with nothing new to offer in the way of marital wisdom or maintaining a healthy romance - let me share a little bit about where we came from.

I grew up in a happy Christian home, one of three kids, where my parents stayed together through thick and thin for 47 years until my father passed away. My husband grew up in a rather chaotic home as one of eight kids, and saw his family literally broken apart by his parent's divorce (the kids were divided between 5 homes). Ours is a second marriage for my husband, the first of which produced two beautiful girls (now grown) and ended in divorce.

If you've concluded that I'm a step-parent, you're keeping up with me. Hopefully you've also concluded that we've been around the block and may have something worth saying about marriage.

When my [now husband] and I were looking at rings together, I remember him saying, "When a man starts spending money, you know it's serious." Did some of you men say - AMEN?! That's not exactly my definition of romance, but it stuck with me.  (continue reading...)

When my husband proposed, he chose my favorite restaurant - not anything fancy and in fact, a place we'd been to only a few nights before. After a nice meal we went for a walk and sat down on a nearby bench. When a homeless man started doing magic tricks for us, talking incessantly and insisting that my [now husband] should either marry me or ask me to marry him, my [now husband] thought that would be the perfect opportunity to get down on one knee, pull out a ring and ask me to marry him - AND ask for what would be our first kiss. The poor homeless man, probably experiencing his first moment of sobriety in years, sat down next to me, with my [now husband] on bended knee facing the two of us, and pronounced he was so moved he was 'going to cry'.

I, on the other hand, wanted to cry for completely different reasons! I had no idea what to say. 

When the homeless man was later carted off by the police, my [now husband] was still waiting and wanting his kiss!! Ladies - can you feel me here?! This was not what I would call romantic!!

In hindsight, while our proposal story was not quite what I had expected, it has provided us with many a laugh since and taught me quite a bit about romance, expectations and my husband.

Allow me to elaborate.

Romance is not what you see on TV. Those are fictitious relationships, based on fictitious characters under perfect conditions. Someone still needs to take out the trash, clean the kitchen floor and pay the bills. That's what they don't show you.

Romance in marriage is about continuing to pursue someone you've already sworn to love for a lifetime - even while taking out the trash, going to work and putting the kids to bed. Sometimes its flowers and chocolates, other times its telling them what you love about them, sometimes its admitting your faults and still other times its helping them carry their load even when you don't feel like it. Its saying you're sorry, biting your tongue and preferring someone else above yourself. Romance in marriage is sacrificial.

In our few years together, I have realized that when my husband works on projects to fix up our home - he is telling me, "I love you. I want you to have an amazing home." Even though quite often I hear, "I'm really excited about my latest project, so I'm going to spend a lot of time working on it in the garage without you." These unspoken acts of love often go unappreciated on account of the fact that I don't understand the language he's speaking.

As a result, my husband and I have both had to work on our expectations. As I've learned to hear what he is really communicating ("I love you, I want you to be happy, so I'm building an awesome home for you" OR "I'm spending money on you/our family/etc to show you I love you"), it's been a lot easier for me to receive his acts of romance. It's also helped me to better communicate my expectations with him. Rather than thinking, he should just know what I need and letting his efforts go unnoticed; now, because I'm hearing his language of love its easier for me to say, "Thank you so much for doing that for me. You're doing an awesome job and I love it. But I would like to spend some time with you too - can you come in a little earlier? Or can you take the night off of projects tomorrow?"

In case you're missing the subtext - let me break it down further for you...

Women want to hear: I love you. I want to be with you and spend time with you. I think you're a beautiful princess and I'm so glad I get to spend my life with you. I would give my life for you.
Men want to hear: I respect you. I appreciate how hard you work for me and our family. You are doing a great job. I will support you and follow you wherever you go. I believe in you.

This goes both ways. Sometimes as women we need to appreciate our husbands first, and give them our appreciation and respect in order for them to hear our love language (read: we want relationship, affection, adoration!). Sometimes we need our men to take the first step and read in between the lines - our complaining and whining is really us crying out - we're missing something... we're going on empty in the romance department. 

I want to encourage you this Valentine's Day to take a good long look at your spouse - the one you promised to love 'til death do us part'. Before you get caught up in everything you don't have, are unhappy with or aren't getting, try to listen for what language of love they might be speaking to you, and see if you can't start learning how to woo their heart again.

Now that's romantic.

-Mary

Scroll down for tips from Ed on "Practical Steps to Win Your Valentine's Heart"

 

PRACTICAL STEPS TO WIN YOUR VALENTINE'S HEART

Remember - You Are The Only Person You Can Control
We talked a little about this in our on Thanksgiving Huddle Up blessing your family. You can't force anyone else to change. The goal here is choosing to - as much as it depends on you - make your relationship a priority. Choose to love and serve your spouse no matter what their response is.

Start Planning Date Nights!
A great way to start reigniting the flame in any marriage is by making Date Night a priority. Sure - we're all busy. But if a healthy marriage is a priority, you'll make time for it. It's just that simple.


MY PRAYER FOR YOU

Father - thank You for the ways You have pursued us and loved us into Your family. I pray for each and every person reading this, that You would help them to love their spouse and their kids the way You love them. I pray that You would teach us how to romance our spouses, and that You would help us to hear the language of love they're speaking to us! Thank You that You are the God of new beginnings and second chances!

ED'S NEW BOOK - ONLY $1.99!!
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