I purposely waited until after Valentine’s Day to publish this post.
A couple of days before Valentine’s Day I was reading along on Twitter and saw a pattern emerge, “What I want for Valentine’s Day is …,” or, “All I want for Valentine’s Day is …” Although framed in many different phrases, it all boiled down to drawing the emphasis to self: Me. I. My. Considering who Saint Valentine was, I found this pattern at odds with his message.
Have we over romanticised all that Saint Valentine died for? As much as we like the cushy gush brought to us by marketing and advertising, let’s look a little beyond that to some facts:
- Saint Valentine believed so strongly in what marriage stood for that he was willing to die for it.
- He honoured Christian marriage and chose to break the law to preserve its sanctity.
- He endured a beating and stoning before decapitation.
Doesn’t exactly inspire a trip to People’s Jewelers and a romantic card from Hallmark.
There’s an excellent article in which Father O’Gara of Whitefriars Street Church in Dublin, says, “What Valentine means to me as a priest, is that there comes a time where you have to lay your life upon the line for what you believe. And with the power of the Holy Spirit we can do that — even to the point of death.”
Try Something New
I’m not a ‘buzz-kill’ that believes in looking for reasons to not celebrate. I love to partae! And, I believe in ALL things that celebrate marriage! I just want to find a better way to honour this courageous hero of marriage than:
- Making it about self.
- Making a mockery of his name sake by assimilation into the emotional promotions of flowers, frills and sales gimmicks.
A way of celebrating that would be more of an echo of Jesus. Saint Valentine knew the heart of Christ and followed His pattern. Inside Jesus was giver not a getter. He died giving, not getting.
If you really believe that Valentine’s Day is about marriage and lovers, and you want Saint Valentine’s death to mean something, I challenge you to drill down on giving. Don’t just give this day a fleeting acknowledgement that’s filled with expectations of getting. If you are a wife, celebrate your marriage by being the best, the most stupendous partner for your husband! Always being superior in your giving and excelling to do more than enough. (1 Corinthians 15:58)
Instead of starting February 14th in the AM and ending February 14th in the PM, start now – February 17, 2014, and continue through to February 14th 2 0 1 5. Then, on Valentine’s Day 2015, you will really have something to celebrate.
Set aside a devotional time just for your husband, not to pray with him, but to pray for hm. Let God into all the recesses of your heart concerning your husband. It’s not a time to pray about his faults – it’s about praying for your growth areas as a wife.
Put the expectations of Valentine’s Day on yourself and make it about what you are going to give to your husband over the next year.
- Reconnect with God about your marriage vows. Ask God if He’ll be able to say to you, “Well done good and faithful servant?” And listen to His response. (1 John 2:6)
- We all suffer from immaturity. There are areas within all of us that need to grow up. Ask your spouse, “What is one thing that I need to grow in for you. An area that will help me be less selfish and a little more like Jesus.” (Romans 8:29)
- Ask God to reveal mindsets that are destructive to your marriage and egotistical attitudes. Make it a season to learn how to apologize for something you said that was hurtful. In an effort to grow up and be responsible for your own behaviour. Even if your spouse was 99% responsible and your reaction was 1%. Own one hundred percent of your 1%. (Ephesians 4:31-32)
- Ask for encouragement. Ask your man to tell you any area(s) that you are hitting it right! (Hebrews 3:13)
Concentrate on the cosmic picture of eternity. Does God really want me to grow into a spouse that’s able to get the most or a spouse who’s able to give the most? What will you give this Valentine’s Day of 2015? The day you were married you promised this man a lot … you need to give more than you promised.*
*Adapted from the quote by Anthony J. D’Angelo: Promise a lot and give even more.