I hear many men grumble about Valentine’s Day. They often say, “Why do I need a special occasion to show love for my partner? I do it every day.” I can relate to this grumbling because I’ve done my fair share of it. I guess you could call me a Valentine’s Day Scrooge. Bah Humbug, Cupid!
However, I realized that it’s much easier to rail about Valentine’s Day than it is to consistently express unconditional love the rest of the year. I often use the Bible verses 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 to measure how well I’m doing. I replace the word love in the passage with my name:
Frederick is patient, Frederick is kind. Frederick does not envy, Frederick does not boast, Frederick is not proud. Frederick does not dishonor others, Frederick is not self-seeking, Frederick is not easily angered, Frederick keeps no record of wrongs. Frederick does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Frederick always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Frederick never fails.
After reading that passage, it is clear that Frederick doesn’t always measure up. While it is easy to send an unexpected bouquet of flowers or buy a special gift, it is much more difficult to consistently meet my partner’s emotional needs in a way that is fulfilling and uplifting.
My son’s teacher always encourages her students to “fill each other’s buckets.” In other words, she wants them to build up their classmates with kind words, helpful deeds, and unselfish acts. In relationships, we must do a better job of filling each other’s buckets.
Although I despise the commercial aspects of the fake holiday, I’m not stupid. I know that my partner loves Valentine’s Day and all of the romance associated with it. Therefore, I buy the flowers, cook the candlelight dinners, and partake in the chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne. But for the rest of the year, I will work on expressing love in a way that will make Hallmark envious.