Happy Valentine’s Day.
Well, I tried to do some research for you on the history of Valentine’s Day. I didn’t come up with too much.
I had always thought that some person(St. Valentine) from the old days had done something really special for some young lady and wrote “Roses Are Red”. It turns out that was a really nice idea, but historically not accurate.
In truth, there were several St. Valentines from ancient Rome who were martyred for their Christian faith. And, in that, there is a lesson about love in the deepest sense of the word (love for another to the point of death).
However, there seems to be no historical connection between these St. Valentines and the “romantic” love of our Valentine’s Day.
From what I can gather, the start of the modern equivalent of Valentine’s Day began in the late 1700’s when poems began being written that expressed a suitor’s love for his woman. A “roses are red, violets are blue” poem can be found as far back as 1784. In 1797, an English publisher wrote a book of sentimental verses for suitors who couldn’t come up with their own.
And, from that somewhat insignificant start, somehow we get to these facts about Valentine’s Day:
1. $ 14.7 Billion will be spent on Valentine’s Day (an average of $ 60 or so for every couple).
2. Women spend half as much as men on Valentine’s Day.
3. Condom sales are highest on Valentine’s Day.
4. And, a recent survey shows 14 percent of women would appreciate a special dinner plan, but that’s not the most popular gift idea. Laurie Puhn Communications conducted an online poll and it shows what women would really love is a day off. 72 percent say they want a day without housework or childcare — not diamonds, chocolates, or a dinner date. Only 9 percent wanted any kind of gift.
Interesting, huh? Only 9 percent of the women wanted a gift !
So, if it is true that most women don’t want a monetary gift (and I can tell you that most guys don’t either), then can I suggest a growth assignment for today that will not cost a penny yet will have a lasting impact for the entire year.
Find a quiet place and a few minutes away from the kids. Look your spouse straight in the eyes and say these words, “Honey, what is the way that you experience my love the most?”
Then, wait. First, you need to wait for your spouse to pick themselves up off the floor (because, really, when was the last time you said that to them?). And, second, you need to wait because you really want your spouse to dig deep into their spirit to come up with a true and impactful answer.
I did that exact thing this week with my wife. In a quiet moment, with just the two of us, I asked her that question. And, I waited for her answer. And, you know what. Her answer surprised me. It wasn’t something I would have picked. But, it was her. And, it was straight from her heart. She said, “I feel your love the most when you don’t criticize me when I make a mistake”.
Wow. We’ve been married 21 years, and I didn’t really know that this was the way she felt my love the most. Powerful. Impactful. Transformative.
So, in that moment, I resolved that I would spend an entire year not criticizing my wife. Ever. And, I resolved that I would put a dollar (and I don’t have many of those these days) in a jar each and every time I do.
Didn’t cost me a nickel (not yet anyway!). But, I think I just hit upon the true essence of what the writers in the late 1700’s were trying to do ~ woo that special person to themselves.
Oh, and I’ve also written my own valentine this year. Mine went like this:
Roses are red, violets are blue, I’ve killed criticism, because I’m in love with you!”
OK, I know. I’ll stick to my day job. But, you get the point. Valentine’s Day may be one day, but its essence is supposed to last a whole year long.
What do you think? Don’t you think that a simple question and a year-long resolution beats all the hype of a one-day gig? If so, I wonder what your special “Roses are red, Violets are blue” line will read this year? What is it that you will kill, die to, or add so that your mate will truly feel your love all year long?
“Roses are red, violets are blue……………………………………..because I’m in love with you !!!”
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