Today is the day of love. St. Valentine, the patron saint of love, called up Hallmark and they arrived at a marketing deal. Thus began the annual cycles of profits for all manufacturers of heart shaped containers, chocolatiers, florist, card makers, and writers of short quips to put on those terrible tasting candy hearts that nobody really likes to eat.
Wow, I just reread that paragraph and it sounds cynical. Some of you may already have moved to pity for my wife considering what is written above. To be honest, our family cycle begins with a birthday in November and Christmas, our anniversary, and three more birthday’s later, and our budget isn’t ready for making a big deal out of Valentine’s Day. We are pretty practical that way, and we genuinely trust in each other’s love enough to not depend on a specific holiday for its expression.
It is true that I don’t express my love for Linda in ways that equal her worth. I did buy her flowers “just because” a couple of weeks ago, but it doesn’t happen as often as it should.
But I am not primarily writing this blog about my wife and I. I wanted to write in a more general way about the expression of love in our society.
I am convinced that Valentine’s Day IS a good in our culture in that it at least forces a day to consider what love should look like. Despite the fact that this holiday skews heavily toward accommodating the love language of “gifts”, Valentine’s Day at least reminds me that there is this amazing woman who has remained by my side all these years and she deserves to be cherished and she needs ongoing expressions of love and affecti0n.
From this perspective, every dude likely agrees with me that we can become pretty forgetful when it comes to giving affection and expressing our love for our wives. There are huge seasons of my life where I take for granted that she knows I love her. And her experience may be quite the opposite. I hear that in marriage counseling all the time. He thinks everything has been going great! She has been silently stewing and feeling taken for granted for years.
I have always joked about Valentine’s Day being a “Hallmark holiday.” But I am thinking about it differently this year. I am taking it on as a reminder to not take my wife for granted. She is a treasure and joy!
Valentine’s Day should not be an obligatory day to scramble and just do something. But it does provide a beneficial day to reflect on whether or not I am adequately showing my love for my spouse. And from that standpoint, I am convicted that I have more that needs to be expressed than this one day can hold. I am taking this Valentine’s Day as a reminder that my entire YEAR should be shaped by some of the things that give joy to my wife. And from that perspective, if all of us took this on, Hallmark, florists, and chocolatiers should be doing well all year long.