“Stupid Cupid, you’re a real mean guy
I’d like to clip your wings so you can’t fly
I’m in love and it’s a crying shame
And I know that you’re the one to blame
Hey hey, set me free
Stupid Cupid, stop picking on me.
I can’t do my homework and I can’t think straight
I meet her every morning ’bout half past eight
I’m acting like a lovesick fool
You’ve even got me carrying her books to school
Hey hey, set me free
Stupid Cupid, stop picking on me.”
– Excerpt from the song “Stupid Cupid”, written by Howard Greenfield and Neil Sedaka
“Cupid” is on the move again, folks! February is upon us, and one might say “love is in the air”. Stores are lined with everything from giant teddies, to heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, to rose bouquets. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to get the memo – Santa Claus is yesterday’s news, and Cupid is the big man on campus now. Countless love-struck teens and desperate husbands can be found standing in every line, trying their best to score brownie points with the expectant female they fancy.
Personally, I find Valentine’s Day to be completely over-rated. Make no mistake; I’ll take an excuse for a date night with my husband just as soon as the next girl. It’s not the whimsical celebration with our loved one that is wrong, but rather the worldly expectations that may accompany such a day. If a holiday is causing any of us to give in to greed, entitlement, or bitterness…then such a holiday needn’t even be on our radar.
A woman who gauges her love for her husband based on the romance and gifts he gives her, is just like a woman who only loves God for the blessings He gives her. This sort of “love” is not really love at all…it’s manipulation and self-gratification. The love a woman has for her husband (as well as her Lord) should be based upon who he is, not what she can get out of him. Yet sadly, many women confuse these two aspects.
With the 14th of February right around the corner, I want to challenge you to consider a Valentine’s Day that may fall short of your expectations. Let us look into three ways to make even the worst Valentine’s Day a day to remember…
Experience tells me that there will be many wives this Valentine’s Day who will be dealing with disappointment. Maybe their husband forgot what day it was – or if by chance he did remember the date, perhaps he didn’t make as much of a fuss as he “should” have to appease his little sweetheart. (Note my sarcasm)
Ladies! Are we children? Or are we grown women? Listen. Come what come may. We don’t have to stew. We don’t have to wallow. We don’t have to make other’s lives miserable on Valentine’s Day because of our lack of control. We as christians have the power within ourselves to move on from disappointment and get on with our day!
Disappointment is a fact of life. Most of us know this basic truth, but it can be hard to remember when the moment of disappointment comes. No one likes to be disappointed! Yet when it comes to dealing with disappointment, practice makes progress! As silly as it sounds, we need to learn to invite disappointment (to a degree, you understand). The more disappointments we have, and meet head on with an attitude of acceptance and a godly joy, the easier they will be to deal with. As we mature, the things that disappointed us in times past will hardly merit a passing glance, as Jesus becomes more our focal point and trivial “problems” of this world seem less important.
Satan basks in the victory of our self-pity. It brings a sinister smile to his face to see a wife whining and complaining about her “unromantic” and “unloving” husband. You know, the husband who just pales in comparison to the proverbial John Doe husband (that guy who always showers his wife with gifts, compliments, and adoration on Valentine’s Day.)
God is not impressed by our modern, materialistic, entitled worldview. For a sample of what He is impressed by, consider the following:
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. – 1 Timothy 6:6-8
How many women are content with having only “food and raiment” from their man? I daresay very few. We’re all too busy whining about what we don’t have to appreciate such trifles. This is not God’s will for us. It’s time to grow up and learn to deal with disappointment.
A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches. – Proverbs 11:16
I had to laugh when I stumbled upon this passage, because it is so very true! Will we wives be gracious enough to retain an honorable attitude even when we (*gasp*) don’t get what we want? Better to have a strong man without a hole in his pocket than a pansy, browbeaten husband who rushes out to satisfy our every whim, losing his God-given authority in the process.
He that is greedy troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live. – Proverbs 15:27
At face value, this passage sounds extreme. Are we really to “hate” gifts? Well, in contrast to the greedy heart, the Christian’s attitude towards gifts certainly looks like hate. The message this passage is meant to convey is this: if greed is bringing strife to your house (i.e. Valentine’s Day bickering) then it’s better to “hate” gifts than to live in such a way! Gifts are meant to bring joy and harmony to a household, not contention. It has been said that “whatever you have to have, owns you“. How true that is. If Valentine’s Day is causing your house to be filled with trouble, then it’s time to say goodbye to that stumbling block so that you can live.
The desire of a man is his kindness: and a poor man is better than a liar. – Proverbs 19:22
It’s almost one and the same as “lying” when a husband feels he has to rush out and buy gifts out of a supposed duty to satiate his wife’s girlish expectations. How much more special it is when a man is able to freely give out of the overflow of his heart at any time of the year, without a nagging wife at the forefront of his thoughts. How much more precious to have a sweet, unassuming wife waiting at home that would be genuinely delighted and grateful for his unexpected and undemanded gift. Better to have a poor and kind husband than one who showers with gifts out of “duty”.
Here’s my advice for you this Valentine’s Day:
Greet the day with zero expectations. The less expectations you have, the more freedom you will have. Having a peaceful, thankful, and joyful heart in all circumstances is one of the greatest gifts that you can offer to God, to your husband, and to yourself. Determine to keep a good attitude no matter what. You may not get the day you would have hoped for, but it can be a beautiful day nonetheless.
If by chance you do receive something from your husband? Good for you, girlfriend! Make it worth his while. Thank him! Adore him! Be truly and genuinely ecstatic that he would perform such an unexpected and undemanded act of love for you. This attitude only comes from a spirit of humility and gratitude. A prideful heart says “I deserve, give me more”, but a grateful heart says “Why, I don’t deserve this at all, what a pleasant surprise!”
Don’t let Stupid Cupid pick on you or me. Deal with disappointment, and be set free.
Once disappointment has been dealt with, it’s time to show that our heart is right by our actions. One way that we do this is by putting on a cheerful smile and donning our daily duties. We know that “a merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance” (Proverbs 15:13a)…and if our heart has truly dealt with disappointment, then we can easily take on a countenance of humility and servitude.
The world tells us women that on Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Anniversaries, etc. that “it’s OUR day! It’s all about US!”. God’s word, on the other hand, says no such thing. In fact, we are to be humble servants of our husbands every day of the year, holiday or not. Do we have a humble and willing spirit towards our wifely duties all year long? Or do we give ourselves license to resent them when man-made holidays roll around? If the latter is true, we need to repent!
We may be tempted to have an attitude toward our husband that says “he doesn’t do anything for me, so I’m not going to do anything for him.” Do not be deceived, this stiffnecked behavior is not of God, but of the adversary! Our mighty God takes none too kindly to those who puff themselves up in their foolish anger and desire for revenge.
A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit. – Proverbs 29:23
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. – 1 Peter 5:6-7
Let none of us be counted as a silly wife forsaking her duties this holiday of her own volition. Rather, let us strive to emulate the virtuous woman described in scripture. When I read Proverbs 31, I don’t get a sense of a self-entitled woman demanding pampering and “me-time” for herself. On the contrary, I see a woman who works willingly with her hands (v. 13), rises up early to prepare food for her household (v. 15),girds herself with strength (v. 17),clothes her family (v. 21), watches well over her household and is not lazy (v. 27). These are only to name a few of her many attributes! If we desire to be virtuous women that please God and our husbands, then we need more work, and less whining.
“What is the reward for my labor?” you might ask…”what is the point of slaving away for my husband when he can’t spoil me every once in a while?” Do not lose heart, for your labors (however disregarded and unrewarded they may seem now) will in fact account for something when all is said and done:
Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. – Ecclesiastes 11:1
Notice the phrase “after many days”? The reward for our labor does not always come right away. In fact, it may not even come in this life at all. However, there is a natural law that says we reap what we sow. We don’t know when we will reap a reward, but we do know that we will reap a reward! If our heart is right, it should give us great comfort to know that our Heavenly Father sees our efforts at all times…even when others (including our husbands) don’t. We just have to be patient, and not lose sight of our purpose in the meantime.
Don’t let Stupid Cupid pick on you or me. Don your duties, and be set free.
We can deal with disappointment, we can don our duties…but if we want to really make this Valentine’s Day a special day to remember? Then we must make it so. If Valentine’s Day is something important to us, then why not make a campaign to bless others rather than thinking of ourselves? There is much joy to be had in giving.
Instead of thinking: “I can’t wait to see how my husband will bless me today…”
Think: “I can’t wait to see the look on my man’s face when I bless him today.”
Instead of thinking: “I am going to be treated like a queen.”
Think: “I am going to treat my husband like a king.”
Charity…seeketh not her own. – 1 Corinthians 13:5b
If we take on this attitude with a sincere heart, it won’t take us long to realize that it is more blessed to give than to receive. We can choose to let putting our husbands first embitter us, or empower us. The world calls us to live for self, but God’s word calls us to die to self! (Romans 6:6)
Pleasing our husbands can be FUN! – If – we let it be. The more we focus on our husbands, the more natural it becomes – and the less natural it seems to be thinking of ourselves.
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. – Philippians 2:3-4
Don’t let Stupid Cupid pick on you or me. Dish out delight, and be set free.
My dear friends, let us purpose in our hearts this day to lay aside all worldly expectations that may accompany February the Fourteenth. Let us be joyful and thankful in all circumstances, for our treasures are not of this world, but in Christ. In Him, we have the power to take any and every day from a disappointment, to a duty, to a delight. The choice is ours. Let’s not let “Stupid Cupid” pick on us this Valentine’s Day, because…
Cupid is a knavish lad, Thus to make poor mortals mad! – William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
For God’s Glory,
Chelsea Bolks is a church of Christ minister’s wife, and the home educating mother of two children. She and her family currently reside in Northwest Iowa.