Well, it’s my first Valentine’s Day since Tom met the Lord this past summer. He was the great love of my life and I am incredibly grateful for the years that God granted us to love one another.
So here’s the thing. I’ve never been a huge fan of this holiday. I am not a VDay basher, either, just never got all excited about obligatory gifts and junk food. Tom, on the other hand, was a pitiful romantic. He never missed an excuse to show his love for me, whether I expected it or not. He would not allow me to be a grinch about love.
This holiday has always had mixed reviews, right? Some people look forward to it each year with the anticipation of a 16 year old in love for the first time, while others loathe the commercial aspect of this created holiday and grumble about the implied responsibility of this day.
After all, who wants to feel compelled by social pressure to say, “I love you” or to buy a card, roses and candy? And they jack up the prices so! Shouldn’t those things come more than once a year? Shouldn’t they be spontaneous?
Of course, the answer is yes to both of those questions. The romantic gestures that express love and appreciation for your spouse and children should be a natural overflow of your acknowledgement that each is a unique and precious gift from God.
And yes, they should come from your heart any time of year, but before you dismiss Valentine’s Day altogether, indulge me a moment.
As I sit here at my computer on our made up “romantic” holiday, missing my husband, watching all my precious friends loving one another today, I want you to think about this day as a memory rather than today.
Think about what this day will mean 5, 10, 20 years from now to your spouse or your kids, or their kids…
One day, you will leave this world. Aside from the Lord coming again, we will all die one day. Once that happens, all your good intentions die with you. Everything you wish you’d said or done are worthless. You have but one sacred life to live on this earth. Your legacy matters.
And you WILL leave one.
When you are gone, will your wife be able to feel your words surround her on Valentine’s Day? Will she be able to recite your words of love and affirmation from memory? I can. I can hear my husband’s words as if he were standing here right now because of all the countless times he spoke them. Will your sons and daughters know from your example what it means to selflessly love another? Will they know how to love their spouses well, after you are no longer here to show them?
I am so proud of the man I married who not only loved me well, but who taught our 5 boys to love me well too! It is due to his incredible example that I received flowers for Christmas and my Anniversary in his absence. They knew that their Dad would want that. They knew that he would want them to show his love to me since he can no longer do it himself.
I am confident that one day, when the Lord brings each of them a godly woman to love and serve as husband, that they will know how to love them well too.
I urge you, regardless of what your feelings about this holiday are, to consider embracing each and every excuse to love well. Yes, even if that means celebrating Valentine’s Day! Serve one another. Hug your spouse now. Tell them that you are thankful to have them, even if you aren’t feeling it at the moment. Life is so short and we are all so guilty of taking one another for granted.
Men, you have incredible influence in your homes. Use that influence to leave a legacy of love. It can change generations.