The red heart-shaped holiday has sunk its chocolate-coated fangs into Western society with a merciless bite. Men and women alike feel compelled to purchase expensive cards and gifts for the one they love or the one they hope will love them back.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy receiving gifts and cards and flowers as well as the next woman, but making these things the tipping point of a relationship is just silly. Don’t settle for faux love packaged in a little heart-shaped velvet-lined, rose-scented box of romantic gestures. Real love doesn’t come wrapped in pink paper.
One of the history stories about St. Valentine, was that he was put to death for performing marriage ceremonies for men in the military. The roman ruler had decreed that soldiers should remain single and apparently burning with rage and hormones. There was more than one St. Valentine in history, but this one is my favorite because he was romanticized for doing something that society today often makes fun of. Marriage has taken a beating in the past years.
Movies and television most often depict married men as cow-towed, beaten, overweight losers, or unfaithful middle-aged slime, constantly looking for opportunities to cheat on their wives. That leaves single, unattached, womanizing men to be the heroes of our society. They are considered, fun, cool, sexy, and they all have huge muscles, fancy cars, and never run out of money. These bad boys are what woman are supposed to crave, and never get enough of… guys who refuse to settle down and get married because that would be the end of life as they know it.
But is that romance? What’s the point of Valentine’s Day if there is no true love and the gift giving is just to satisfy a temporary desire? I want more than that… even though I really like chocolate. Thank God, I have more than that. I have a husband who loves me and shows it everyday in dozens of ways. Sometimes by bringing me flowers or presents, but most often by living out I Corinthians 13 to the best of his ability.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
Marriage is meant to last forever. Love is meant to grow and weave it’s way through the hearts and souls of a man and a woman, binding them together through grief and joy, good times and bad, the ups and downs of life, until they are truly one. It’s not always hearts and roses. Some days there are bloody thorns. But when it’s real and the one you love is part of your forever, you don’t need a card company to tell you what to do. You find opportunities all along the way. Valentine’s Day is just one more gesture of love in a long line of gestures. Some as simple as a note left on a pillow or handing the television remote to your spouse for a change, making their favorite meal, or carrying a fresh cup of coffee upstairs to their office where they’re working on their newest book. Throw in a heart-shaped box of chocolates and you’ve got a heady night of sugar-induced hand-holding.
Happy Valentine’s Day!