I heard a customer in a tire store ranting about how he hates Valentine's Day and how he refuses to celebrate it. He went on and on about how Hallmark and the candy companies invented the holiday to make money, and that it's not a "real" holiday, and that they are definitely NOT getting any of his hard earned shekels. No flowers will he buy. No sir. No night out. No stupid, frilly card with hearts all over it and, one hundred percent, no romantic meal out at some overpriced restaurant or some weekend at B and B where they rip you off for a night's sleep and a breakfast that you can get cheaper at a Waffle House. And, by the way, no chocolate that she does not need anyway.
Right about then, I thought, I'm also betting on no marriage either. Not for long, anyway, and I'm willing go out on a limb here, that for as long as the marriage does last, I bet she is seriously unhappy. In fact, maybe suicidal and, even more likely, murderous. He was massacring a frothy little holiday which is really just a good excuse to show somebody you love that you do, in fact, love them.
Likewise I once heard a pastor friend say that the story of St. Valentine was real and holy not not to be celebrated with chocolate and teddy bears. Valentine's Day may not be a "real" holiday and the story of the original St. Valentine may be absolute real or to some extent apocryphal. I like the story either way, but the thing is this; I don't need it to be true for me to celebrate Valentine’s Day with my sweetheart.
For reasons as diverse as a religious spirit that despises non-Biblical holidays to sheer miserliness to an over-blown tough guy self image that just "don't like all that mushy stuff," foolish husbands massacre St. Valentine's Day year after year. Their long-suffering wives brush it off, claiming they don't care about such silly stuff as Valentine’s cards and chocolate hearts, but deep down inside many of them do care. They feel neglected and emotionally shortchanged.
The relational cost can be substantial. An anniversary missed here, a birthday forgotten there, and Valentine’s Day brutally massacred annually, and, after a while, it piles up on a woman's fragile heart. Decades of tiny cuts can make for a badly damaged marriage and a deeply wounded woman.
Ok, you're a big tough guy, not very gifted at all the romantic stuff. I promise you that if she sees you genuinely trying to be romantic, your most awkward efforts will touch her with healing love. Go on, buy the stupid pink teddy bear with the red box of chocolates in its furry grip. Go all the way! Go hog wild! Get her a dozen roses. You don't have to be George Clooney in a tux to be a little romantic. Just hand her the roses, give her the stupid bear, and tell you're going out to eat whatever she wants to go. Then act like you enjoy every minute of it.
Maybe you're not the tough guy type. Maybe you're just a bit squeamish about the commercialization of St. Valentine's memory. I have a thought for you on that. When she wants romance, a cold religious spirit is a sad substitute. Forget the religious history lesson and just show the girl a good time. Be extravagant, spend more than is reasonable on the woman you and I both know you don't deserve.
It's today. It's tonight. Right now. Did you forget? It's Valentine's Day! Hurry. Get those flowers on the way home. Call now and make that reservation. It's not about the chocolate. It's about her. She needs, can you hear me, NEEDS to know that you cherish her. Happy Valentine's Day, Big Guy. Now, go ahead, make her day!