I realize that Valentines Day is a very difficult time for a lot of people. The awkwardness of dating, the pain of past relationships, the angst of mis-communications – all of these things are a part of the drama that Valentine’s Day represents. On top of that, 50% of marriages statistically end in divorce. Valentine’s Day has become a painful memorial of relational failure.
But we can change that.
We can redefine what Valentines Day is about.
We can begin by establishing a new view toward relationships. We can bring honor back into the picture. Remember honor? In days past, when a couple didn’t know what to do they could always fall back on manners. What do we have to fall back upon now? It’s almost like we don’t know what to do unless we are leveraging sexual chemistry toward goals of self satisfaction. When asked if he was a waiting until marriage to have sex, football star Tim Tebow startled a press room into silence with his allegiance to virginity. It seems that we have little vocabulary for virtue in our public persona. We have become prejudiced toward self control and therefore ignorant of it’s benefits.
I’m not advocating a return to Victorian manners, but maybe we need to revisit some of the time honored ways that men and women interacted over the centuries. There needs to be a modern hybrid of restraints that can guide our relationships. We were made by God to be attracted to the opposite sex, so boundaries are a celebration of health, not of dysfunction. They become a safety net that we can live with.
I’ll be celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary with my bride this year. We love each other now more than ever and I am still reaping the benefits of the integrity of our early years. My relational security stands in stark contrast with a generation that carry the scars of the narcissistic revolution. I grieve over the malformed souls of young adults who needed their mom and dad to honor each other. I am sorrowful with the demotion of sex to simply a physical act with self gratification at the center. We have substituted the language of intimacy between two unique individuals to proper technique and we wonder why we experience loneliness in the aftermath.
I believe that if we begin to honor each other we give the breathing room for individuality to blossom again. We can destroy the performance anxiety that we experience because we have ejected performance for uniqueness. We can make Valentine’s Day a day of honoring those we have attraction to by exploring not how far we can go, but how far we can rise. It may be an awkward process, but the process itself can create a road map for full and vibrant relationships in the future.
There is a world that is groaning to see some sanity rise out of the wasteland of our current relational landscape. May you be one of the pioneers to bring healing to this world. That is my Valentine Day wish.