(My dad and I had a discussion about Valentines day last evening. He desired to do his fatherly duty of reminding me to love my wife in a manner worthy of her great value. My response was the same as it apparently is every year, “I love her every day, I refuse to yield to the hallmark holiday of Valentines Day!!!” . . . Shortly after I came across this post that I had written last year for something else . . . and it kind of made me laugh).
“If you haven’t loved your spouse all year, don’t start on Valentines day.” Of course when I told that to Linda she thought I could say it differently . . . How about “If you haven’t loved your spouse all year, don’t just start on Valentines day, but keep it up all year long.” Linda’s approach is probably more gracious . . . and yet in her response I saw so starkly the differences in our personalities. I’ve never met anyone that didn’t like Linda. And believe it or not, I’ve met a number of people that don’t care for me 🙂
It’s no secret that I’m one of those guys that see Valentine’s Day as an opportunity for a large corporation to guilt me into buying something so that they can pad their pockets the rest of the year . . . hence the term “A Hallmark Holiday.” My typical rant on the subject usually ends in my saying, “I would prefer to love you all year long than just display it on some special day.”
The problem with that mindset comes in the answer to the question . . . Do I actually display it all year long? It’s pretty easy to sound pious on top of my soap box, but at the end of the day a marriage isn’t held together on top of that soap box.
When it comes to marriage there is so much counsel to be offered. My grandma once told me that she treated my grandpa like a king because he treated her like a queen, and one of my pastor’s offered the counsel to view men as coffee mugs and women as tea cups. Tea cups are precious and are meant to be treated with care, whereas coffee mugs are often beefy and get tossed around a bit. Both lines of counsel offer helpful insight. Whatever the analogy one may offer, we are to love our spouses unconditionally and sacrificially.
Ephesians 5:25-28 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
Loving in the same manner in which Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her . . . simply put, is really tough. But, that’s what we are called to. So then, Valentine’s Day is this week. Hopefully you have been loving your spouse all year long, but if you haven’t been, this is a good week to start. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, fight your propensity to live your life for yourself and take purposeful and dramatic steps towards sacrificially, unselfishly, and unconditionally loving your spouse.
And for Linda’s sake . . . Even if you have been loving your spouse all year, you might want to consider doing something special on Valentine’s Day as well.