It’s the morning after Valentine’s Day, and some single women and even couples are waking up with the lingering hangover of disappointment, crumpled tissues littering the floor next to the bed and swollen eye bags greeting them in the bathroom mirror.

But it’s not only the single ladies waking up to a clouded dawn of disappointment. A handful of wives threw away all hopes of a romantic evening with the middle-of-the-night dirty diaper.

Three years ago was my tenth married Valentine’s Day, and per my request, I opted to spend it at home with a few single girls from church. My husband was laboring late into the night, and would only get home after the kids had to be tucked into bed.

As we sat around the table laughing and playing games, my attention kept shifting to my watch, as the minutes ticked later and later into the darkness. Eventually I picked up the phone to call my husband, as I expected him to be home much sooner from work. Much to my surprise, he was at the store, looking for the toilet paper I had asked him to buy.




Husbands who love their wives like Christ loves the Church might take their brides out for a candlelight dinner. But they might show the extent of their love by scouring the aisles of the grocery store for the right brand of toilet paper after working late on a Friday night in the middle of a freezing cold winter.

The world will tell us that love looks like chocolate and roses. God says that husbands ought to love their wives as Christ loved the Church. Christ didn’t show His love for His bride with chocolate and scattered rose petals. He demonstrated His love through the ultimate sacrifice — Himself.

Men who love Christ and seek to imitate Him will go beyond the champagne and candles. They will show their love by imitating their Master, who laid down His life for His bride.

And sometimes that looks a lot like buying toilet paper.




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14 thoughts on “when love looks like toilet paper

  1. Thanks for that, Kate. We can both praise God for the godly men He has given us. Ian and I will celebrate 40 years of marriage tomorrow.

  2. Hi there,
    I am your neighbour at Tell His Story. I love this. I have been married for 42 years and we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. It is a “Hallmark”, buy day. We show each other little acts of kindness – laundry, shopping, dishes, cooking, going for walks and talking. It’s all about connection not “what’s he going to get me”. TP sounds like a very loving item to me.

  3. There is so much truth here. W, girls, especially tend to get the princess syndrome, thinking that love is all about the romance and the sweet stuff. But fast we get into the real life after marriage. It the “Toilet paper” moments that really count. … The giving of ourselves which most of us tend to forget.

  4. Love this, Kate…and the title’s a real hook!

    The first Valentine’s gift I bought for Barbara was a MagLite and a high-end Buck knife. We were in a long-distance relationship, and I wanted her to have the tools to be safe.

    She said it was the most romantic gift she’d ever received, because it showed that I really cared about HER, and not about some cultural idea of romance.

  5. Yes, it does (look like toilet paper). I wholeheartedly agree, and if this is missing, even the chocolate and flowers will not have the same depth of meaning. I also believe we need to be purposeful about creating and maintaining “romance” in our marriage relationship. (I naturally tend to lean way too much towards the “practical” side of things, so need the reminder.) In the end, you’re right that our husbands’ love should follow Christ’s modal of loving the Church and laying down his life. And then there’s our part….. 🙂

  6. Well said! My husband often traveled for work. He always made sure my car had gas and windshield wiper fluid before he left. One day when he was taking care of these things, my daughter asked me if he had left for his trip before saying goodbye. I replied, “No, he’s just saying ‘I love you’.” 🙂

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