Valentine’s Day marks the culmination of National Marriage Week here in the United States. Conceived as a “collaborative campaign to strengthen individual marriages, reduce the divorce rate, and build a culture that fosters strong marriages,” the effort mirrors the ongoing daily work of our ministry.
The traditions surrounding Valentine’s Day may frustrate some, but I’ve always enjoyed them. Jean has been my Valentine for three-plus decades now, and I consider her a gift.
For my fellow male readers, I’m going to assume you’ve already taken care of the cards, the flowers and chocolates. Maybe even a little gift, too. As I’ve said before, you don’t want to be “That guy.”
You know who “That guy” is …
At worst, he’s the guy who forgets about Valentine’s Day altogether, at least until he gets to the office and is reminded when he sees all the red and the flowers and boxes of heart-shaped candy on the desks of his female colleagues.
He’s the guy who waits until 6 PM on Valentine’s night and stops off at the supermarket to try and fulfill his obligation. He can usually be seen, dazed and confused, examining the picked-over flowers and chocolates near the bananas.
He’s the guy who buys the card, but just signs his name to it, figuring the stranger at Hallmark must know what his beloved wants to hear better than he does.
He’s the guy who may ignore the holiday altogether, citing some contrivance or conspiracy of greedy capitalists. “We don’t need one day to acknowledge our love when we do so the other 364,” he might say, feeling pretty smug.
He’s the guy who ignores his wife all week, instead sitting in the glow of the lights of ESPN’s “Sportscenter,” but expects her to suddenly become romantically inclined because he is.
He’s the guy who buys his wife a vacuum cleaner for Valentine’s Day.
Don’t be “That guy!”
I was “That guy” once … but no more. J Each year, I’ve attempted to show my love for Jean each Valentine’s Day by cooking a special meal for her. I pull out the candles and the table cloth. I try to find a recipe that she’ll love almost as much as I love her.
To help you celebrate and strengthen your own marriage, I want to provide free access to our most popular programs this past year on the subject of marriage. There is something for every couple here. These programs will be available for no charge for the next 30 days. Listen separately or together. Most importantly, the content is solid and immediately applicable to your relationship with your spouse.
Here are the programs:
1) Loving and Leading Your Strong Woman I-II – LeRoy and Kimberly Wagner
2) Experiencing a Fulfilled Marriage I-II – Patricia Ashley
3) Cherish Your Spouse, Change Your Marriage I-II – Gary Thomas
4) Enjoying Physical Intimacy as a Woman I-II – Cliff and Joyce Penner
5) Establishing Good Communication in Your Marriage I-II – David Clarke
You’ll also want to access our Free Resource of the Month, which is a collection of broadcasts featuring, among others, Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley and Pastor Ted Cunningham.
Please let me know what you think.
What’s your Valentine’s Day tradition?