Why My Husband and I Don't Celebrate Valentine's Day
- Asheritah Ciuciu OneThingAlone.com
- 2016 2 Feb
“What are you doing for Valentine's Day?” The question hung in the air as my college roommate twirled around in her chair. My long-distance boyfriend had just moved from Romania to Ohio, and this would be our first Couples’ Day together.
“Nothing,” I answered, busying myself with textbooks to avoid her gaze.
“What do you mean, nothing?” She stood to get my attention.
I looked up, picking my words carefully. “He doesn't believe in Valentine's Day.”
By the look on her face, you’d think I’d told her he was a convicted criminal.
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“I mean--” I rushed, fidgeting with the lid of a pen, “he says that every day should be Valentine's Day.” I held my breath.
"Aww." She plopped on her bed. "That's cute!"
My parents, however, were not so thrilled.
“He must not care for you,” my father concluded when he discovered my beau’s take on Valentine’s Day. “If he won’t take you to a nice restaurant and buy you flowers now, how do you think he’ll treat you in ten years?”
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That question haunted me for the remainder of our dating years and into the first two years of our marriage. Does he really love me? I’d wonder. How hard can it be to pull out the stops once a year?
But over time, I’ve come to realize the wisdom in those simple words.
Every day is Valentine’s Day.
At its heart, February 14 celebrates the legacy of Saint Valentine of Rome, a second-century priest who was persecuted by the Roman Empire for serving Christians and refusing to renounce his faith in Jesus. Legend has it that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry, thus becoming the patron saint of love-struck couples.
But Valentine’s story has little to do with heart-shaped candies, dove-stamped cards, and Cupid-inspired quotes. It has everything to do with sacrificial love.
The truth is, professing our eternal love is not that difficult when we’re surrounded by candlelight and riding a chocolate-cake-induced sugar rush.
But living out that love when the baby wakes up at 3 am, when the garbage can is overflowing, when work deadlines loom, when the grocery budget is tight… that’s a whole lot harder.
As a girlfriend, fiancée, and now wife, I have discovered the wisdom in my man's choice to buck the system and not celebrate Valentine's Day. Sure, there were times when I wished he would have. And there were times (early in our relationship), when I pressured him into doing something special on that one day a year.
But over the years, my husband has consistently modeled for me Jesus' love for His bride, showing me day after day the sacrificial servant love our Lord has for us.
He has loved me through my times of hard-heartedness and through brokenness, through temper tantrums and withdrawals, through my seasons of busyness and hopelessness, through angry words and ugly tears. This man knows me better than anyone else on the planet, he has seen me at my best and at my worst, yet he has never left my side. He believed in me and in God's call on my life as a writer even when I doubted and wanted to give it all up, and he has relentlessly sacrificed to make my dreams come true.
That is the stuff romance is made of.
That is the true spirit of Saint Valentine, which reflects the spirit of Jesus Christ.
I’m not saying Valentine’s Day is bad, or that couples shouldn’t do something fun or special on February 14. Quite the contrary—I believe this day can be a powerful reminder of why we fell in love with our spouse in the first place, and it can rekindle all those warm and fuzzy feelings we felt when we first started dating.
But the real question is this: What are you going to do on February 15? And the day after that? And in the weeks and months to come?
Let’s stop expecting one day to accomplish what can only be done in 364 days a year. Seek to foster friendship and romance every day, sprinkling romance and adventure into daily life instead of reserving it for one night a year.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. List how your husband shows quiet love in mundane ways, and keep that list close by so that when you’re tempted to complain that he never gets me flowers or he doesn’t take me out on dates, you can remember all the ways he DOES love you. Here are some ideas to get you started.
- My man comes home to me every night.
- He faithfully works a demanding job (with little thanks) to provide for us.
- He texts me on his lunch break to see how my day is going.
- He welcomes me into his arms even after I've lost my temper.
- He pays our bills and oversees our finances but keeps me in the loop.
- He wakes me up with silly kids songs just to see me smile.
- He keeps my car's gas tank full and oil changed.
2. Learn your husband’s love language, and look for ways to intentionally pour love into him every day, without expecting anything in return.
3. Surprise your husband with a love note listing 14 things you appreciate about him.
4. Pray for your husband every day. Ask him about work and life, and listen for specific things you can pray for him. Then follow up later, and ask him how those things are going.
5. Thank him for something he does that you usually take for granted. Step up close, cup his face, and look deep into his eyes as you whisper, “Thank you.”
6. Greet him with a ten-second kiss, the kind that will remind him of your dating days and the back seat of his car.
7. Buy a Valentine’s Day card and give it to him on a random day of the year, just because every day is Valentine’s Day.
There's more to a vibrant relationship than checking the right boxes and following mainstream advice. In fact, after three years of dating and almost six years of marriage, I’ve found it’s more fun when each couple forges their own “normal” and defines their own “romantic.”
Looking back at that dorm room scene, I’m grateful for my roommate’s gracious response. But you don’t have to be a star-struck student to recognize the beauty in that 19-year-old-boy’s words.
Make today, and every day, a Valentine’s Day.
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Asheritah Ciuciu is a writer, speaker, and video blogger who helps overwhelmed women find joy in Jesus. She married her high school sweetheart, Flaviu, and they have a blast raising their baby girl in the farmlands of Ohio. She blogs at OneThingAlone.com where she inspires women to sit at the feet of Jesus so they can dwell with Him deeply, love others recklessly, and live their lives fully. Come find a community of grace-filled women there.