Written by Zach
I didn’t want to ruin anyone’s big day yesterday, but now that Valentine’s Day is officially over, I’ll confess that Ashley and I didn’t celebrate the holiday of love. Before you roll your eyes, I’m not trying to be a pessimist. I’m not even saying that we won’t ever celebrate Valentine’s Day.
When Evie becomes old enough for her classmates to pass out those cute Valentine’s cards, you better believe she will have THE COOLEST card in the class. So, we will (and even do) celebrate the holiday, it may just look different.
I also love gloating over my wife, and I will gloat over her on our wedding anniversary and on her birthday. This just might not happen on Valentine’s Day compared to those other dates. Yesterday I was asked, “What did you get your wife for Valentine’s Day?” “Nothing,” I said. You would’ve thought I committed a crime judging by the responses I received.
Some pushbacks I heard about the way we atypically celebrate February 14th:
1. “Your wife needs to feel special.”
Amen! She needs to feel special every week of our marriage. Am I perfect? Heck no, but I try my hardest to pursue my wife every day during the month of February. This pursuit might look like a romantic date (which we’re doing tonight and avoiding the Valentine’s crowds!), but it could also look like making the bed, washing the dishes, or taking the baby away for 2 hours so she can take a bath. I am not against romance. In fact, we are learning how to be romantic during this new season of life with a baby, because let’s face it- it’s difficult.
It’s easy to forget to pursue each other throughout the year while we then pursue hard on Valentine’s day because it’s high-pressured and social media-filled holiday. I work with a lot of students and young people who think that one elevated day of affection is weird and confusing when parent’s don’t show love in their home on normal days. I pray Everly will not grow up with confusion, but that she’ll see Daddy and Mommy love and pursue all the time. By the grace of God, Everly’s standards for her future husband will be high because she’s seen constant pursuit in her home.
2. “Your Daughter needs to feel special.”
I pray Everly will feel loved by her Daddy and Mommy every day of the year. She will say, “Daddy takes me on date almost every week, not just one day out of the year!”
Personally, Ashley and I have a hard time celebrating a holiday that immediately excludes a large population of people. Many singles may feel left out the minute they wake up and look on social media. I’ve been married almost 7 years, but I still remember being single. It may not have been this way for you, but for me, Valentine’s Day was lonely and awkward.
We want to start a different Valentine's Day tradition of celebrating love in our home. Not the common romantic love that is associated with Valentine’s Day, but a communal love.
Yesterday we were able to love a single woman whom God has placed in our lives during this season. We told her, “We know this day can be weird, but we want you to know that we love you and we are thankful for you. HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!” Ashley, Everly, and I gave her flowers and some of her favorite chocolates. The joy it created reminded us why we love our new tradition.
I don’t mean to be the Grinch who stole Valentine's Day. If you want to take your spouse out for a nice dinner on February 14th, by all means, do it! Let’s just not let it be the only day we take our spouses out for the next 3 months. I hope celebrating Valentine’s Day will be a jump start in your marriage that will lead to a consistent pursuit of one another.