Why Romance is Dangerous Business . . . for Husbands

Attempts at romance are dangerous business for men. Romance exposes the vulnerability of the most confident man.

Does your husband write love poems to you that start like this?

She walks in beauty, like the night

  Of cloudless climes and starry skies;

And all that’s best of dark and bright

  Meet in her aspect and her eyes;

No?

Neither does Lisa’s!

Not that I haven’t tried, but the effort often feels like I’m sitting in a cave wearing animal skins, and grunting while earnestly striking two rocks together, hoping for a spark.

Many husbands feel like cavemen when it comes to romance – even the husbands who are attentive to these things. Just glance at the expression of the guy packing a bouquet of flowers through a busy mall. He’s trying to mask his suspicion that everyone thinks he’s goofy – even as practically every woman he passes wishes flowers were waiting for her at home.  That’s how dicey this whole enterprise is!

Attempts at romance are dangerous business. Why? Romance exposes the vulnerability of the most confident man. Vulnerability and men don’t go together so well.

What will she think of my stupid little poem? . . . of this awkward note? . . . of these flowers . . . did I even get the right kind? Probably not.

Most men want to be good, loving husbands and wives play a vital role in their growth in this area. The spark of romance lay not only in the fledgling efforts of a tentative, untrained husband but also in the response of a wife, willing to receive from an imperfect effort what she truly desires.

There is no question that men have the responsibility to reach out to their wives in acts of love. Any Christian man who doesn’t regularly love his wife is walking contrary to what the Bible teaches and it grieves me to say, I’ve heard from countless wives who are living this travesty. It is a scandal in the Church of the living Christ that there is even one wife who isn’t cherished. A lack of love for one’s wife reveals a lack of love for Jesus Christ.

But . . . (you saw that coming, didn’t you?)

When it comes to romance, the wise wife removes the danger most men feel. Instead, she encourages and teaches – yes, that’s right, teaches, her husband in the matter of meeting her romantic needs.

Remember, husbands are risking it . . . maybe only a little (a small spark) but they are risking it. Maybe his efforts aren’t exactly what she had in mind . . . but they are efforts – steps in the right direction. When wives express pleasure and approval, it shows husbands that being vulnerable wasn’t so perilous after all – something every husband needs to know but so few come to understand.

He may not be writing epic poetry today (okay, for most of us, never! But, you get the idea) but, if that spark of inspiration is nurtured by appreciation rather than extinguished by ingratitude, it will grow over time into something that will turn any cave into an inviting oasis.

Lisa has taught me a lot but if she had approached me like a schoolmarm pushing horn-rimmed glasses up her nose while looking down at me, it wouldn’t have turned out so well! If you take care with your approach, he’ll be better able to care about your words.

Romance isn’t today’s destination, it’s a journey of two lives learning to love richly, as God, the Author of romance intended.

Matthew L Jacobson

100 Ways to Love Your Wife Small CoverNEW eBook:  100 Ways To Love Your Wife by Matthew L. Jacobson

and 100 Ways To Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson

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Written by Matthew L. Jacobson

Matthew Jacobson has been in the book publishing industry for 22 years and is currently the president of Loyal Arts Literary Agency. For the last 10 years, he's served as a teaching elder in his local Church. Matthew and his beautiful bride of 21 years, Lisa, raise their 8 children in the Pacific NW. You can join him at his blog by clicking here: MatthewLJacobson.com or find Matthew on facebook. Check out his NEW book: 100 Ways to Love Your Wife.

10 Comments

  1.  avatar

    Darlene,
    Thank you for sharing this. I totally agree and this is very important. The only things that isn’t really called out in a clear way is that a wife’s negative reaction, even to horribly bungled attempts can become a seminal moment in a husbands life and become a critical barrier to continued improvement. Husbands are looking to see love and approval for their efforts – even one bad experience with this effort can have long term negative effects. In marriage we must learn to entrust our hearts to each other, believe it or not entrusting another with one’s life is actually easier for a man. If this happens, it can be fixed – but will usually require some effort.

    Colin
    http://catholichusband.wordpress.com

  2.  avatar
    Elissa P says:

    Love is a two way street and the one we choose can either bring us closer to God or pull us away from Him. I never like Valentine or any holiday that promote love, because love is not about a day, it about two people learning about and from each other every day of their lives for the rest of their lives.

    Thanks for another wonderful post, Mr. Matthew.

  3.  avatar
    Christa Barnhizer says:

    I told my husband a long time ago (we’ve been married 20 years) that I appreciated a box of ammo more than flowers – the ammo told me he loved me and wanted me to be safe. He said I was the most unromantic woman he knew, but he brings me ammo, so I know he loves me. And he still buys flowers when he thinks he needs to apologize for something – it makes me laugh… I tease him that he didn’t bring me ammo ’cause he was worried I might use it. I think this works for us because we the laughter defuses the tension, and reduces the sense of vulnerability. If you cannot laugh at yourselves, you are taking it all too seriously.

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    Audree says:

    This is sometimes a no-win situation for wives. From personal experience I can tell you that lovingly accepting an imperfect gesture has had lasting consequences. The old saying “it’s the thought that counts” and not wanting to come across as unappreciative has fooled my husband into thinking he aced it

  5.  avatar
    Amber D says:

    Maybe I am the only woman who has a husband like this, but he KNOWS what makes me smile. He has done countless things in the last 8 years of marriage that has gotten him into trouble with other men in the Church. You see, when he does something sweet, I like to tell the girls about how wonderful he is. I never realized that not every husband is as wonderful and considerate as mine. The guys would go to him later and tell him to tone it down. Really?!?! I was not happy with that one, but he tells them that he won’t and then says maybe they could learn a thing or too.

    My sweet husband has set the bar high, and then HE challenges men to meet that.

    I understand that some women are not encouraging as they should be. There is a lesson for both sides really. Guys need to take that risk, they love risk in every other area of their lives, why not in romance. And ladies, if you are not gushing like a geyser when he does something sweet for you even if it is not exactly what you would have like…well, shame on you.

    Yeah my honey had some hang-ups, and I have loved him for every attempt. Isn’t that how it should be though?

  6.  avatar
    jewelz says:

    I’ve been mArred 5 years. (Ironically our anniversary is Valentine s day). My Husband does not know how to think out of the box. We go to dinner and I get flowers (because he has set up an automated reminder online) every year for our anniversary/valentines day. When I tried to get him to try to be creative this year he got mad and apparently I’m never satisfied etc etc. How can a wide direct her husband in the romance department without hurting his ego ?

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