Today is Valentine’s Day. The day set aside to sell cards, candy and flowers. This is a day where society, or at least the retail side of society, attempts to force your hand to show your love through stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I agree that most of us need a nudge or shove to express our love to those who mean the most to us. That’s not how it should be, but unfortunately for too many among us it is the sad truth.
My issues are not the setting aside of a day to express love. I struggle with the idea that you can substitute things for love. To be clear, I have purchased many a card, some flowers and other stuff in an attempt to express my love. But a balance is needed.
We need to express love for those who mean the most to us regularly. If we would focus on communicating our love more regularly we would be able to avoid the trap of thinking that stuff is sufficient to express our love. After all, few of us could afford to express our love with the cards, candy or flowers every day. We must learn more meaningful ways in which to express our love.
Here are some other ways to express love:
*Time – spend time together. How the time is spent is much less important than spending the time together. But the greatest impact would be if you chose to spend time doing some things that the other person enjoys.
*Hand written notes – you don’t have to be a wordsmith to do this one. Just jot a few words down and leave it someplace where they will see it. It can be as simple as “I love you”, “Just a reminder I am here for you”, “You mean the world to me”, “I thank God he created you and brought you into my life”. You get the picture. Cards that you purchase are good, but a handwritten, or typed one for those of us whose hand writing is illegible, is even better.
*Go for a walk, or a bike ride – I prefer the walking because you can hold hands and talk. I have found that the hand holding is tricky when riding bikes.
*Do a chore together – wash the dishes, or empty the dishwasher, or plant some flowers or paint something, etc… This can also be dangerous if you have strong opposite opinions on how to do these chores, but you ought to be able to stifle that long enough to spend some quality time together.
*Talk – this might be the most intimidating one. To just sit down and talk with each other. Share some pleasant or funny memories, such as … “What is our most memorable Christmas together?”, “What do you remember about our first date?”, “If we could take your dream vacation where would we go and what would we do?” Actually talking with your spouse, child, parent or friend requires more than one word answers.
These are just a few ideas. I am sure that you already have some great ideas. Let’s move from having the ideas to doing the ideas. Let’s balance our love so it is expressed all year not just on birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day or Christmas. You will be amazed at how fun it is surprise them with unexpected expressions of love and you will be moved by how much it means to them as well.
Shout out: to my wife. Happy Valentine’s Day honey. I love you. As we move closer to our 40th Wedding Anniversary, I love you more now than on our wedding day. You are my friend and lover. You are my greatest supporter. You mean so much more to me than I can possibly express in a few words. We have been blessed with 3 wonderful kids and God answered our prayers as they all chose wonderful spouses for themselves, then they have doubly blessed us with 9 grandkids who bring us so much joy. Happy Valentine’s Day! I love you!