February is a month traditionally associated with romance. In this month, we celebrate Valentine’s Day, which involves exchanging cards, flowers, candy, and special gifts. Centered around Valentine’s Day are banquets and special romantic events that help fulfill the mission of the month, which is to express our love or fond affection to someone special and to ignite the romance in our marriages.
I think Valentine’s Day was established for men as a reminder of what we should do on a daily basis, that is to express our fond affection to our spouses. Although Jan always appreciates the expression of affection I give her on Valentine’s Day, it is received with some degree of expectation. I mean no one, especially me, wants to be the inconsiderate oaf who fails to do something on Valentine’s Day!
As men, we are so compartmental in our thinking (that is a nice way to excuse insensitivity) that the only time we think of demonstrating our affection, appreciation, and commitment is on Valentine’s Day or when we are trying to get something. Throughout the years o four marriage, Jan has periodically reminded me that I never send her flowers, candy, or a card to tell her that I love her. In the back of my mind, I always respond, “What about last Valentine’s Day?” I have been working to overcome this insensitivity, which really does not reflect the love, affection, and appreciation I have for my beautiful wife. I think I am making progress, but as Jan would attest, I definitely have not arrived.
The Apostle Paul wrote to husbands that we should love our wives as Christ loved the Church (Ephesians 5:25). Think just a minute of how Jesus expresses His love. Fist of all, it is public in the sense that He reveals Himself when the Church meets, often demonstrating His personal affection to individuals in the service through the message delivered, a personal healing, or a miracle that touches the need of the moment. He promises that affection every time we meet.
This rather flies in the face of the man who has a hard time holding his wife’s hand in public or opening the car or building door for his wife to make her entrance. This is certainly not following the example of our Lord and Savior. And Jesus never waits a long time to express His open love and affection to us, His Church. Somehow I just can’t hear Jesus say, “Well, I demonstrated my affection for you twelve months ago. What do you expect?”
Second, though the pages of Scripture, circumstances, and personal messengers, He sends love messages to us on a daily basis. You would think that the Sovereign King and Creator of the universe would have an excuse to lose thought of us every once in a while. Yet He demonstrates over and over that we are His cherished possession, the apple of His eye, a real priority to Him. Once again, I measure this against my demonstration of love and affection to Jan and my attitude in expressing them. I am embarrassed at how far I fall short.
Over the years, one excuse I have given for my insensitivity has been a lack of money. It is expensive to send flowers, cards and candy all the time, especially when the house, kids, cars, or some important activity demands all available resources. This leads me to the way Christ demonstrates His affection. Jesus, the owner of everything, the “Kazillionaire” of the universe, demonstrates His affection with words and actions, not things. Money or resources are not problems for Him, but He knows that words and actions mean more than anything money can buy; and they last longer, too! To be sure, gifts are nice, but they are no substitute for words and actions that demonstrate our love and affection.
I have made a commitment in this new year to love Jan as Christ loved the Church. I have fallen far short of this in the twenty-six years of our marriage, but I have resolved to make this a year of change. What about you? Would you like to do the same? Let’s make this month of romance the beginning of a change in our behavior, and love our wives the way Christ loved the Church.
Copyright © Jimmy Evans, Used by Permission. Author & one of America’s leading authorities on family and marriage relationships, Jimmy Evans is Founder & CEO of MarriageToday. He and his wife, Karen, host MarriageTodayTM, a national television program. Jimmy is the author of many resources including the books Marriage on the Rock, Freedom From Your Past, 7 Secrets of Successful Families, and Resolving Stress in Your Marriage. He also travels nationwide presenting life-changing truths for couples through his marriage seminars and conferences. Jimmy and Karen have two children and two grandchildren.