I’m horrible at buying gifts for Lisa.
For her first birthday after we were married, one of the gifts I bought her was James Dobson’s book What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew About Women. As soon as she opened it, a funny grin immediately crossed her face.
“What?” I asked.
“I really appreciate the gift, but aren’t wives supposed to give these to their husbands?” she replied.
“Maybe I felt that you needed to know all the things that I needed to know about you as a wife. Did you ever think about that?” I said.
That gift sort of set the pace for the next twenty years. A few years later, Lisa had said that she wanted something practical for her birthday, so I got her a cordless phone. When she opened it up, she held it in the air and said, “Hey, how ’bout this? A phone!” “You said something practical! We needed a cordless phone, so I got you a phone.”
“It’s nice and everything, but I was hoping for something a little more personal and heartfelt than a household item.”
Taking that advice to heart, the next year for our anniversary I got her a vacuum cleaner, which was a step up from the time I got her sneakers. Finally, a few years ago I put cash in a birthday card along with a little note that read, “I give up. I think this is what you want.” When she opened the card, looked over at me and slowly raised one eyebrow, I knew I was headed straight for the Dr. Phil show.
The gift that took the cake was, ironically, the one I felt was just supergenius on my part. I paid attention all year to what Lisa said she really needed, and all I heard was how she couldn’t lose those few extra pounds of pregnancy weight. I talked to all my guy friends, and we all agreed I should get her a treadmill. Listen to me.
If you are a man and you can take away only one thing from this devotional, let it be this: never ask your guy friends what they think your wife would like for her birthday.
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