Men: Will you be her ideal Valentine?

February 14, 2017

February is Valentine’s Day. A time of anxiety and doubt for guys. You’ve got her a card – good start. What else? What’s the least I can give to keep from disappointing: Hearts, flowers, chocolate, perfume?

Or maybe – what can I do to really delight her? An expensive dinner at her favorite place or a day at a spa? Or should I get her that piece of jewelry that’s been just out of reach?

Whatever, she will be happy — sort of. Because whatever you give will be a token, a symbol, a substitute for the gift she really wants: you.
Wait, I gave myself to her at the altar, and I’m still here. What more does she want? (by the way, I said that out loud once – really, really didn’t work!) 

Yes, you’re her partner; you’re present in her home; you give her your paycheck; you get along pretty well. That’s all good. But she still wants you — heart and soul. She wants to know you from the inside out.

Years ago at a gathering of about 200 married couples, Father Chuck Gallagher, the one who brought Marriage Encounter to the United States, made a shocking but insightful revelation. “Do you realize,” he said, “that women want intimate conversation as much as men want sex?” Four hundred jaws dropped. The women thought, he doesn’t want sex as much as I crave intimate talks with him, and the men thought, how could anyone possibly want to talk as much as I want to make love?

So the gift of you — regular, unhurried, intimate conversations — is exactly what she’s looking for. You agree, but then you say we have nothing else to talk about. Think again! A

ll day long you think thoughts and experience feelings, emotions. You have a small victory at work; you see (or do) a random act of kindness. You get crossed by someone on the road, and you say — nevermind.

You have a new idea or thought, big or small. All these together, and your secret inner response to them add up to the experience of being you. Sit with her over coffee or glasses of wine and share. She wants intimate contact with the you that’s inside and hidden. She wants an invitation into your “secret garden;” to be vulnerable and enable conversations that help you bond and grow together.

Have the courage to explore the depths of her heart as well. Deep in her heart, the still small voice of God is calling her to Himself. She wants a spiritual leader to accompany her along the way and she chose, and still chooses, you. Not a boss, but a leader.

Your leadership may often consist in putting into practice her good ideas for spiritual growth. If there are kids, this is doubly important. She wants them to grow up into happy, productive adults, and so do you. The faith is central to that goal. 

With that goal in mind, Family Life Ministry is offering an opportunity for a “date night on steroids” — A whole weekend in Lent devoted to your wonderful wife, in the presence of God. The Living Covenant retreat for married couples is set from Friday evening to Sunday mid-afternoon, March 24 to 26. 

To register, call 713-741-8720. Give her the registration for Valentine’s, and it will be worth the time and money, because you will be giving the gift she most wants: you. 

Joe DeVet is an associate director with the Archdiocesan Office of Family Life Ministry.