Holidays, especially the Hallmark variety, present some unique opportunities for choices. Presidents Day, for example, presents the simple choice of observing it or not. For holidays of the heart, like Valentine’s Day, the choices become more complicated.
For us husbands, the choice for Valentines Day is not whether you will celebrate (if you value your relationship, you will observe the day), but why you celebrate, and how. The choice you make on the “why” will probably drive the choice on the “how.” Is the day about romance, or is it about something more? And is it even about the day at all? Exactly when should we celebrate the depth of our love for our spouses?
There’s a funny meme going around the internet about celebrating Valentine’s Day. The meme list all the things the real St. Valentine went through in his life, including martyrdom, and then St. Valentine himself asks this question: “And you all exchange chocolates because of this?” Like all good humor, this meme holds a nugget of truth. Without saying it outright, this meme points out the shallowness that accompanies this holiday when only the surface aspects of emotional and physical love are celebrated.
To me, the spirit of Valentine’s Day is celebrated not just on February 14th. It’s celebrated in the middle of the night when you choose to get out of bed to feed the baby, so that your wife can sleep. It’s celebrated when, after the latest fight with your wife and you feel like giving up, you choose to honor your commitment to her, and to God, whether you made that promise 25 days ago or 25 years ago. And when you surprise your wife by choosing to stay home from that not-so-important business trip, you can be sure that some Valentine’s Day-like celebrations are likely to follow.
“A man shall leave his mother and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” (Matt.19:5) Husbands, if we’re truly “one flesh” with our wives, aren’t our wives’ burdens our burdens as well? Sure, cards, flowers and chocolates are great on February 14. But husbands, let’s use our God-given choices to celebrate our wives (and our own Valentine’s Days) on the other 364 days in the year as well.