Valentine’s Day is all about the romance. Florists, jewelers, chocolatiers, and restauranteurs cashed in this weekend after persuading you that the only way to appropriately express your love for your spouse is with flowers, candy, diamonds, and a fancy dinner!
Don't get me wrong - I'm not a Valentine's Day hater. I love spending romantic time with Luella, and I would encourage you to set aside time with your spouse to intimately connect. That being said, I’ve counseled way too many marriages to know that Valentine’s Day can be a discouraging event. While everyone else in the world seems to be loved up, you feel as if your marriage is stuck, completely drained of any romantic emotions.
Perhaps you and your spouse were able to enjoy the occasion; maybe the love sparks flew for the first time in a while. But my guess is that it didn’t take long for other sparks to fly, sparks of anger and irritation: “How could someone just profess their love for me so romantically and then be so selfish the next day!?”
Here's the theological problem with Valentine's Day - a marriage of unity, understanding, and love is never built on romance. Sure, romance can be exciting and intimate, but it doesn't last long. Valentine's Day has come and gone, and you're already back to the mundane grind of life.
If romantic holidays aren't the solution to your marriage struggles, what is? I think I know the answer - GARDENING. Let me explain.
Marriage really is just a long-term exercise in gardening. When you see a garden in full blossom, you know that a lot of labor was invested - clearing land, digging holes, weeding, watering, and pruning. Those flowers didn't just appear on their own.
In the same way, a healthy marriage doesn't develop overnight; it takes the daily work of pulling weeds and planting seeds. We wish that with just a little sprinkle of romantic Miracle-Gro like Valentine Day's, our marriage would blossom, but that's not the reality.
My friends over at Crossway have made the seventh chapter of my book, What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage, available as a free PDF download. Appropriately, the chapter is entitled "Pulling Weeds" and exposes 6 of the most common weeds that suck the life from your marriage.
I would highly recommend that you and your spouse read the PDF individually, then sit down together for a time of confession, repentance, and reconciliation.
It will be a difficult conversation, I can guarantee it. Your spouse will accuse you of things that you think you're innocent of, and you'll be tempted to remind them that you're not the only sinner in the room! But silence your inner defense lawyer. Jesus has declared you innocent before the Judge, and when you honestly confess your weaknesses and failures, you'll experience a romantic marriage of unity, understanding, and love.
What Did You Expect?
If you would like to purchase this book or DVD curriculum, visit www.paultripp.com/marriage.