He reached for my hand and pulled me to himself. “I love you, baby,” he said. “You know that, right?” I smiled and kissed his forehead, but he put both hands on my face and stared intently into my eyes. “I mean it,” he said. “You are the perfect woman, and I would be lost without you.”
Those dreamy words are exactly what every woman longs to hear, and my husband actually said them.
To be fair, I should mention that he was in a drug-induced state at the time, just hours after undergoing surgery. I should probably relate the rest of the story as well. Moments later, when I changed his oozing, sticky bandage, he yelped like a banshee.
Our culture promotes a chick-flick view of romance that would have us believe the man’s role is to spout dreamy words on demand and to be helpless to resist us even when we’re snarky. It’s a view of romance in which there are no oozy bandages and in which the man exists only to meet the woman’s every need.
Take this poem, for instance (by Colin Martin) which is quoted on social networking sites as if it were scripture.
Find a man who calls you beautiful instead of hot,
Who calls you back when you hang up on him,
Who will … stay awake just to watch you sleep…
Who wants to show you off to the world when you are in sweats.
Does such a person exist? Yes, but it’s more likely to be our best girlfriend than our husband. As for me, I want a real man, even if it takes a little Percoset to make him gushy.
Listen, we’ll never find love if we’re looking for romance. We’ll only find romance. Maybe.
Here’s my new motto…If you want love, don’t pursue it. Simply be loving. In other words, put his needs before your own. It may sound old-fashioned, but I believe a good wife dotes on her man, builds him up, and yes, even tries to look good for him. (A good husband does the same thing, but that’s not our business.) And we shouldn’t be surprised to discover that by submitting (yikes! I said it!), we gain so much more than we lose. That’s typical in the kingdom of God.
(A disclaimer: If you’re in an emotionally or physically abusive situation, that’s totally different. Please seek help.)
Believe me, I know this isn’t easy and I’ve been through more than my share of hurt. I used to demand love, and I lost it entirely. Now I focus on giving love, and I get back more than I dreamed possible. You can do the same. Take a risk. Trust God. Love! Let God worry about what comes next.
“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers