Gentlemen, if you are thinking about doing something nice for a loved one for Valentine’s Day, I have one word of advice: Fuhggedaboutit! Why? The answer may surprise you.
Please understand; we should do nice things for our loved ones more often than we probably do. Every husband ought to give his wife an abundance of love, affection and attention! Treating your spouse to a meal at a nice restaurant, or giving a gift of flowers—these are good and welcome gifts.
But not for Valentine’s Day! Think for a moment about what that day represents, and where it came from. The real origin of Valentine’s Day goes back to the earliest centuries of human civilization, in which the warrior Nimrod was portrayed as “Cupid”—meaning desire. That “desire” was the lust Nimrod’s mother had for her son! Her desire grew so deep that she eventually married her own son! In Egypt, Nimrod was known as Osiris, and ancient inscriptions call him “the husband of his mother.” He became the childhood hero many women desired—he became their “Cupid.” But whether going by the names of Adonis and Venus, Osiris and Nut, or the Babylonian Tammuz and Ishtar, these figures represented ancient idols that were associated with all manner of “abominations” and vile sexual practices (Deuteronomy 12:30–32).
Certainly, a day celebrating such vile affections is not a day for celebrating the love between husband and wife!
Consider, too, the commercialization of the day. Recent statistics show the following:
— Spending for Valentine’s Day 2016 almost topped $20 billion
— Valentine’s Day is the second most popular card-sending day behind Christmas
— It is the third largest retail holiday of the year
— It is fourth in candy sales after Halloween, Easter, and Christmas
— The average consumer this year is expected to spend almost $136 on average for Valentine’s Day gifts
— Over $2 billion will be spent on flowers alone this year
Valentine’s Day is big business and big money. Instead of honoring a vile pagan practice and feeding the coffers of commercialism, why not try the following suggestions as to how you can show your wife you love her—every day of the year?
Zig Ziglar, world-renowned motivational speaker, credited his long successful marriage to the fact that he never stopped “courting” his wife. Courting your wife means regularly doing things to let her know how much you love her. Make a daily habit of saying, “I love you.” Give her a kiss or a hug (or both) from time to time, without expecting anything in return. Look for reasons to say “Thank you” to her, to show your appreciation for what she does. Leave romantic notes for her around the house—in the kitchen, on her computer, etc. Plan special times together; working in the yard, taking a walk, visiting a museum or planning and cooking dinner together. Make it a regular habit to have a “date night” together, perhaps monthly or quarterly. And in every way, look for opportunities to share your time, plans, hopes and dreams together.
Doing things like these will help you focus on all the reasons you fell in love with your wife! Truly happy and successful couples never take their marriages for granted.
Each of us must give 100 percent of ourselves to make our marriages thrive, not simply survive. The Apostle Paul emphasized this point, writing instructions to the Ephesians for successful physical and spiritual lives. He told husbands to “love your wives” with the same love as Jesus Christ showed all of His people (Ephesians 5:25). They were to “nourish and cherish” one another and to love their wives as they loved themselves, if not more so (vv. 28–33).
Finally—and you can test me on this—try sharing this commentary with your wife. Most wives I know would eagerly trade a “Valentine’s Day” gift for some of the ideas suggested here. A truly joyous marriage is not built on vile pagan ideas or on one commercialized day of gift giving. If you would like more “keys” and time-tested principles that can help produce truly joyous marriages, order our free booklet God’s Plan for Happy Marriage.