Tim was the most romantic person when we were dating! Looking back, it seems like everything was tinged with roses, chocolates, getaways, and songs he composed for me--seriously! My high expectations? He did it to himself ;). Then, BAM, children arrived and time for romance, well, it's not as available. Between two kids, a military career, graduate school, spending time with extended family, and chores around the house, it's no wonder romance is not a part of our daily routine. Yet, I have to applaud Tim. He randomly brings flowers home, leaves me surprise notes, opens my door, and takes me on dates pretty regularly. We also try to get away as a couple once a year. In between the date nights and vacations, I think it's still important that husbands attempt to be romantic in order to keep the love alive (and same goes for us women!).
So, in those times where I might be daydreaming of romance, I just need to be a little patient and reminisce on the past. I need to wait for the moment to present itself that will enable Tim to create something that is particularly meaningful to me and our marriage, not the romantic gesture I heard about some other husband providing for his wife. In perfect timing, the moment arrives and Tim takes my whimsy wishes of romance and surpasses my imagination. Let me set up the scene...
While stationed in Tucson, I volunteered at a faith based crisis pregnancy center as a client advocate, presenting options education (and Jesus, when appropriate) to women facing unplanned pregnancies. Working with the employees, volunteers, and clients at Hands of Hope has been one of the greatest blessings and honors of my life. God has completely broken my heart for what breaks His--the loss of innocent babies--and allowed me the opportunity to serve Him in this capacity. I have found an unlimited treasure of joy in teaching these young women about their options, their strength, their purpose, and hopefully leading them to choose Christ and life for their unborn child.
So, my last day volunteering at Hands of Hope was emotionally challenging. I wanted to keep working at THIS organization, with THESE specific staff members, and for THESE mothers. However, I had complete trust in God's plans to move me from Hands of Hope and plant me where He needs me during this next phase of our lives, in Alabama. Before I said goodbye to the lovely women at HOH, we fellowshipped over cake and each staff member and volunteer took turns praying for me. I couldn't have asked for a better place to serve the Lord!
When I got home that afternoon, Tim surprised me with gifts, chocolates, champagne, flowers, and balloons. I was moved to blubbery tears when I read his sweet card. Tim wrote that the blue balloons represented the baby boys I partnered with God to save, the pink ones represented the little girls, and the purple ones stood for the children I will meet in Heaven one day.
Those balloons were the most powerful and moving gift my husband has ever given me in the 17 years of knowing him. It was something so simple by the world's standards, but the meaning behind each floating color was everything. Therein lies the key to loving your wives well, men; make your gesture meaningful to her. To another woman, those balloons might have just been a frivolous decoration, but to me, I saw the faces of women I counseled, broken and tear-stained. I sensed her fear of the seemingly impossible and saw the flood of hope in her eyes when she learned the truth. I saw the sonogram picture of an innocent and perfectly formed baby that would live to fulfill His unique purpose, and I heard the ache in a woman's voice telling me she had made another choice. It transported me to the ultrasound room where I witnessed the unforgettable moment when a client saw her child for the first time. And the most precious sight, when a previously abortion-minded client walked up our stairs with a newborn child cradled proudly in her arms.
The old me might have read an account similar to the one I just wrote and thought, Gee, I wish Tim would do something like that for me. But the something that husband did for his wife wouldn't have meant nearly as much as this surprise did. Trust me, my point is not to say "Look at me, my husband is always romantic and we have a perfect marriage." My point is this: If you're feeling a little "woe is me" in your marriage, your moment will come. And it will surpass the other woman's, because it's your's.
And to the husbands, start planning her moment. She wants to feel special, heard, appreciated, and desired. Find something that matters desperately to your wife and capitalize on that. Tim made me feel loved by tapping into my passion to save the unborn child and celebrating my time in that ministry. What is your wife passionate about? Identify it and get moving, gentlemen! Romance awaits. And your marriage deserves it.
P.S. If you have experienced an abortion, you may be dealing with physical and emotional side effects, immediately afterward or even years later. You are not alone and there is healing available through counseling and the love of the Lord. If you feel like you could benefit from counseling, please seek out a church or organization in your local area to receive support!
Your little boy or girl is rejoicing in Heaven and you have the opportunity to spend eternity with your son or daughter through welcoming Jesus into your life. I pray that you feel the forgiveness and comfort that only comes from the peace of knowing Jesus.
"And we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
Romans 8:28 (emphasis added)