“Top 7 Best Gifts Challenge for Men”
By Dennis Rainey
I just spent some time online looking at the best of the best gifts for Valentines. A select few were luxurious, others were lame, and several were lousy! So to spare you men further anxiety, I’m going share with you the BEST OF THE BEST Valentine’s gifts, not found in any store or online.
Before we jump in here are three options for you to consider as you read the list.
Option #1: Pick one of the seven gifts on this list, follow the instructions, and give her your gift.
Option #2: Read through the list and carefully choose three without the instructions, write them out and ask her to pick the one or two that would be the most meaningful to her. Execute the instructions found below.
Option #3: Show her the seven ideas without the instructions. Ask her to select three that you will complete on three different dates in February, March and April.
Ready? Never fear … it’ll be hard to mess one of these up if you put your heart into it. That’s what matters most to her in the first place. Step up and be a courageous husband!
1. Install a solid security system around your bride and family (Married men only).
Create a romantic setting and reaffirm your wedding vows to one another. If you don’t have your original vows, here’s one below to get you started. Invite a family member, friend or one of your children to lead your vow renewal. Sign and date them and consider asking those present to sign as witnesses. Then later frame your vows beautifully and hang in your home. Conclude your time by reading Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:24-27 and pray together.
If you are living together and not married, there’s not much security you can offer her without these promises. Marry her, or one of you move out.
Our Marriage Covenant
Believing that God, in His wisdom and providence, has established marriage as a covenant relationship between one man and one woman, a sacred and lifelong promise, reflecting our unconditional love for one another and believing that God intends for the marriage covenant to reflect His promise to never leave us nor forsake us, we, the undersigned, do hereby reaffirm our solemn pledge to fulfill our marriage vows. Furthermore, we pledge to exalt the sacred nature and permanence of the marriage covenant by calling others to honor and fulfill their marriage vows. Husband In the presence of God, and these witnesses, and by a holy covenant, I _________________ joyfully receive you as God's perfect gift for me, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love you, to honor you, to cherish you and to protect you, forsaking all others as long as we both shall live. Wife In the presence of God, and these witnesses, and by a holy covenant, I _________________ joyfully receive you as God's perfect gift for me, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love you, to honor you, to respect you and to submit to you, forsaking all others as long as we both shall live.
2. Write a great love letter.
Purchase some very nice stationary, find an online thesaurus, research great love letters in history, make notes from music lyrics or great lines from a movie when you dated, and be a humble husband who asks God for help. Your Creator God will delight to give you inspiration. Use your own imagination or the suggestions below.
Handwrite the letter on cool paper. Your wife will appreciate the time and effort and your own handwriting. Do NOT run it off on a printer! Craft the words from your heart and let the paper carry them to hers. Fold it carefully and put it in a classy envelope, seal it, address it to her, and give it to her in an imaginative and romantic way on Valentine’s day/night.
Suggestions for things to write about: What qualities attracted you to her when you first met? How has she enriched your life as a man? As your married partner for life? As a friend and soul mate? What do you really like about her? What does she do that makes you proud of her? Why you are so glad she is still your wife today. Tell her why you’d never want anyone else.
Rewrite and revise. Revise. Revise. She’s worth it.
3. Give her a dozen “RAVES” in a vase.
No, not roses ... RAVES. Roses are beautiful but they will be dead in a week. Why not give her some RAVES that you’ve grown instead?
Ask God to help you as you begin to make a list of a dozen or more qualities that you appreciate and admire about your wife. Consider her character qualities, her strengths, her beauty, her actions of love and devotion to you and your family, the way she encourages or prays for or helps others. Go to a craft store and buy some smaller sized envelopes, some romantic stationary and some fancy pens. When in doubt, ask a woman to help you. Write the dozen or two dozen raves, one on each page or card. Insert in the envelopes and on the outside address with different names for her or phrases like “for my love,” or “this is why I love you.”
Cut 12-18-inch branches from your yard or go to a flower shop, tell them what you are doing and ask for their help. Then clip an envelope or two to each branch. Put these raves in a vase, add some green foliage and maybe ribbon. Present the vase of raves to her, then as she opens each of the envelopes tell her more about why you chose that quality. You will be a winner! You or your wife should consider posting a picture of the finished product to inspire other husbands.
4. Ask for forgiveness.
Maybe you need to take a step back and make some repairs before trying these ideas. Think for a moment: When was the last time you asked her to forgive you … for something you did or didn’t do … or for an action or attitude that was disrespectful and hurt her? If you don’t know ask God. He knows all.
Perhaps it’s time to pitch the cheap Valentine’s gifts and move toward a real relationship with her. How do you begin?
Make time for the two of you to have a face to face conversation. Look into her eyes and specifically name your selfishness and sin or what you've done to harm her. Pause and tell her you are sorry for how you have hurt her … do not say “if” I’ve hurt you. Ask her to share with you how your actions or passivity wounded her. (This may take a while, depending upon what you’ve done. Especially if you have abused her emotionally, sexually, or physically, or are having an affair or addicted to porn.) Part of this gift is the promise and follow through of getting help.
Ask her to forgive you. Now, listen to her again. And tell her you love her and that you are truly sorry. Talk about what needs to be done to restore and begin building again.
And if you really want to convince her that you are serious about making things right and better, surprise her with a weekend getaway to one of FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember marriage getaways. Over five million people have attended FamilyLife’s events worldwide since 1976. These getaways are THE BEST investment you could possibly make in your marriage!
5. Ask her three key questions.
One option is to write these three questions on three pieces of stationary, put them in three envelopes, tie them with a ribbon and give them to her. Ideally in a beautiful, quiet place where you can talk. Be prepared—she may ask you to answer them, too.
Here are the three questions for your Valentine’s Day:
From our time together, if you could keep just one memory (of an event, a gift, or a period of time), what one memory would you keep? Why?
As you think back, what have been the three most romantic times we have had together as a married couple or when we dated? What made these times so special? How can I contribute to keeping the romantic side of our marriage alive, thriving and exciting?
In what single way would you most like to see me grow personally in over the next 12 months? In what single way can I help you grow in the next year?
And if you've got a great question, present it along with the other three!
6. Ten DIY creative dates.
Court your wife by custom designing one date night per month for the rest of the year. Give her this gift written on a card in an envelope or in a gift bag. Then open your calendars and schedule them. There’s only one rule: No sporting events unless you both enjoy going together!
Then begin to think about your wife’s interests, passions, and gifts. My wife, Barbara, is an artist who loves to paint (oil and water color paintings, rooms in our home, furniture), read (history, art, theology, faith hero stories, and great fiction), and garden. All those give me clues to the types of creative dates she might like. Ask your wife to suggest places and activities she’d enjoy.
7. Make a decision that you’ve been putting off.
For single guys: If you are in a long-term relationship with your girlfriend, get wise counsel and either ask her to marry you or let her go. The middle of the road is not a healthy place for her or you. And … if you are a woman in a long-term relationship with “benefits,” move out and call for “THE QUESTION.”
For married men: Is there a major decision that you’ve been slipping, sliding, or just flat out resisting? Something she’s been wanting your family to do, an upgrade to your home or going to church together? Face your indecision and evaluate why you are stuck. Talk with her about it and find a way to accomplish this goal or dream of hers. Trust God to help you push through and show her you love her.
A very good friend of mine said, “Almighty God can bless a decision, He can’t bless indecision.”
Why are these ideas better than a dozen roses?
The value of this list versus pre-packaged purchased gifts is one word: Relationship. All of these gifts give your wife what she really wants from you in life and in marriage … a rich deep relationship with you, the man she loves the most.