Valentine's Day - the day of so much expectation and pressure. The husband is expected to remember to buy the flowers, get the candy and get off work in time to take his wife out to dinner. The wife is expected to look like a model, be as sensuous as the most sensuous woman in the world and still make sure the house is clean and the kids are bathed. The boyfriend or girlfriend is expected to put their best foot forward and make the evening the most romantic thing since Romeo courted Juliette. That is a lot of pressure for an ordinary husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend. Many a man has failed to reach that level of romance. Many a woman has failed to reach that level of romance.
I have to admit that I have fallen prey to the "Valentine's myth." Don't Google that term. I just thought of it. The Valentine's myth is that you can create romance for one brief evening and in that evening you will attain the highest level of sexual desire and pleasure. The moment you buy into that myth, you will be sadly disappointed. The reason? There is no way to live up to the hype that is put forward by society. All the Valentine's myth does is cause disappointment, frustration and hard feelings.
Now don't get me wrong. I am a romantic who enjoys time spent with my wife. In my eyes, she is that supper model who is the most lovely person that there ever was or ever will be. Why do I feel that way? Because I love her. I love her as she is not as society expects me to love her or as society expects her to be. I love her as Christ loves me.
That is the message that is given to us in Ephesians 5. The love of a husband and wife is a sacred love, created by God in their hearts, melded together by God in the gift of marriage and sustained by God as they move and live together in Him. There, in God's Word, in the heart of God Himself, we see the true meaning of Valentine's Day. Love - as you are loved by God.
There can be candy. There can be the dinner (though the dinner I ma giving to Penny is the wonderful dinner at the Southern Illinois District Convention - woohoo!?). There can be sexy clothing. All of those things are great and can add a dimension into the husband/wife relationship. But if that is all there is in the relationship, it will fall short. The love that is present in the heart and life, prior to Valentine's Day is the love that will make the day the most wonderful day possible. Love begins the day over a cup of coffee with a discussion of what is taking place that day. It is goes through the day when you are at the office, in the classroom, on the road or at home. And that love touches the heart in a special way as the day draws to a close. That is Valentine's love - based in Christ, reflected each day, blessed by the Spirit working within.
Gentlemen, don't forget the candy, flowers and card. Ladies, don't forget to be appreciative. Enjoy Valentine's Day. Celebrate your love. Rejoice in that person God has given to you. I know I will. I love my wife with all my heart. She is a beautiful woman, a fantastic wife, a great mother and my closest friend. As God intended, she completes me. The two have become one.