Skip to main content

A thought or two about this weekend

This weekend marks one of the three pillars of romantic relationships in mainstream American culture. It’s Valentine’s Day. If you believe the jewelry ads, and the flower ads, and the chocolate ads, February 14 is a critical day to get right. It’s also the easiest of the three, because the other two are your wife/girlfriend’s birthday and your anniversary. Those two are different, and nobody’s screaming on the radio to remind you of them!
(And yes, I just went with wife/girlfriend because that’s where the stereotype is.)
How important is it? Let’s consider how much a dead flower is worth. Any given day, it’s worth next to nothing because it’s dead. However, given as a romantic gesture, it’s worth a bit more. But the cost of those flowers? It will double, nay triple, by the magical date. It’s a bit insane. I am not an unromantic soul, despite what you may have heard from a few select individuals. Here are a few suggestions, though, amidst the madness.
First, remember that a relationship is about multiple days, not one big DAY. True, there are days that are more important than others. Married folks, celebrating the moving of years is important at your anniversary. Noting the grace of another year of life at birthdays, great. Celebrating romance? Not a bad thing.
Make those days elevated towers of celebration, rather than the pillars on which your relationship is built. Putting the pressure of an entire relationship on your Valentine’s Day plans will cause a breakdown. Let it be great if it works, and be a fun memory if it doesn’t.
Second, remember that your relationship is about you two, not everyone else. Seriously: how much debt and stress comes from trying to outdo someone else? Too much. It also leads to doing things that neither of you enjoys just so you can show off what you did.
Focus on what the two of you enjoy, not what will compete in the next day’s discussion.
Third, remember that your attentive time is a precious gift. Give it. If the fancy-schmancy-dinner plan requires you to work right up to it, then watch your phone the whole time, and be distracted, then maybe Pizza Hut was a better idea. This is why even couples who work together need to spend time that is not work-related. Don’t be silly, parents, and claim you are not going to talk about the kids. You just need to not focus on them. Especially those couples who have one at-home/primary caregiver and one not. It’s not the time to catch up on what you should be keeping up with about your parental responsibilities. But a few kid stories shouldn’t kill the evening.
Give your full attention to the time you have.


A word is necessary here about receiving gifts and plans at romantic times. It will take some pre-day communication to establish what you are both after out of the day. And for the love bacon, do not couch this as an attempt to cheap-out, skip the “artificial” holiday, or any other self-serving excuses. Let it be a decision, together, to shift the focus. That may mean you have to remember a few romantic flourishes through the year. That’s not a bad idea, anyway…

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book: By the Waters of Babylon

Worship. It is what the church does as we strive to honor God with our lips and our lives. And then, many churches argue about worship. I have about a half-dozen books on my shelf about worship, but adding Scott Aniol’s By the Waters of Babylon to the shelf has been excellent.

First of all, Aniol’s work is not based on solving a musical debate. While that branch of worship is often the most troublesome in the local church, By the Waters of Babylon takes a broader view. The starting point is the place of the church. That place is a parallel of Psalm 137, where the people of God, Israel, found themselves in a strange land. The people of God, again, find themselves in a strange land.
Second, in summary, the book works logically to the text of Scripture, primarily Psalm 137 but well-filled with other passages. Then it works outward from how the text addresses the problems submitted in the first chapter into how worship, specifically corporate worship, should look in the 21st century Weste…

Put Down That Tablet! Exodus 35

Moses assembles the people of Israel at Sinai one last time before they set out into the wilderness, headed for the Promised Land. He gives them a reminder of some portions of the commands of God and emphasizes the construction of the Tabernacle (Exodus 35 link).He also gives the one Biblical mention of tablet-type mobile devices in Exodus 35:3, where the command is given not to use your Kindle Fire on the Sabbath Day. Some of you just groaned. Some of you skipped the one-liner, and others just missed it. I’ll address you all in turn, but first let us address the person who thought this might be the hidden meaning of that command. After all, we are so easily distracted from our worship and commitment by all of the digital noise around us, why would we not take this text in this manner?The quite simple answer is: because it is not about digital devices. In total, the command to focus the day on Yahweh, Covenant God of Israel and all of Creation, and if your device subtracts from your f…

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…