I remember the first ever Valentine card that I sent to my fiancée (now my wife), from Chennai to Bangalore. I got the same card back, making me wonder if she had returned my card. But to my surprise, we had chosen the same card for each other, even though we were miles apart!
It was a friend who explained to me what Valentine’s Day was all about– it was not so popular back then. He was the one who advised me to send a card to my fiancée. However, even he had his own misunderstandings about Valentine’s Day. He thought it was a festival for all “modern” people who are in love. I think that notion still prevails among Indians. That is why there has been so much protest from the so-called guardians of our Indian culture. Despite those past protests this has today become a festival when companies mint money through the sale of cards and gifts, and malls and restaurants make the most of the day by decorating the place and attracting the young.
14 February is a day when many make their love known to each other, when many hearts break, and many youngsters indulge in all kinds of revelry. We see a sharp decline of these emotional highs once they get married. The real valentine is not someone who shows romance on special days and indifference on other days. After our 13 years of marriage and 3 years of courtship, today valentine means something else to me.
Very Important Person (VIP):
There is no one in our lives as intimate as our spouse, because it is God who brings that person into our life as our life partner, a VIP, to make us complete. Who else can be more important than our spouse? My wife, my valentine, is the Very Important Person to me.
Available for my needs:
Eve was made for Adam and Adam for Eve, so that they would be available for each other. Many of us are available for the world but least useful at home for our spouse and children. It’s good to be available for society, work, friends and so on but our VIP needs us most. My wife, my valentine, has been available for my needs.
We may not like everything about our spouse, but our calling is to love in spite of his or her weakness. Some couples choose to quit, rather than staying together to make the marriage work. Marriage is not the coming together of two perfect people, but two imperfect people waiting to be perfected by a perfect God. My wife, my valentine, loves me in spite of my imperfections.
Words of encouragement and affirmation strengthen a relationship. On the other hand, negative words and sarcastic remarks can wound deeply and leave lifelong scars. We all need encouragement, not only when everything is fine, but even when our partners mess up. We need to stand by each other especially when the rest of the world lets us down. My wife, my valentine, encourages me always.
Marriage can be so rich when we are transparent with each other, when we do not have to pretend with each other. We need to give our partner the freedom to express their feelings. We need to be real in a marriage relationship. There is no need for special perfumes and fancy clothes to hide our real selves. Being transparent makes the relationship so enjoyable. My wife, my valentine, never pretends with me.
This is a very important component of any relationship. If a spouse is constantly suspicious of our moves, that marriage can turn out to be hell. Trusting each other in all circumstances makes us vulnerable. We actually give away ourselves to each other completely by trusting each other. Since my wife trusts me, I’m even more careful not to break her trust. My wife, my valentine, trusts me.
When we follow the world’s idea of togetherness, our marriage can become so boring and drab after a few years. In the early days of courtship and marriage, a look, a wink, a touch can send shivers down your spine. There is so much of inspiration that we can draw from even each other’s presence. For instance, when I make a public presentation, my wife’s presence there in the front row is such an inspiration. Does your spouse inspire you? Does their presence make you lose confidence or gain confidence? My wife, my valentine, inspires me.
Nurtures the relationship:
Any relationship needs to be nurtured in order to grow. Nurturing is done by consciously making time for each other. It’s such a joy to spend time with my wife in the presence of our Creator. There is no substitute for it. My wife, my valentine, nurtures our relationship.
Endures even during tough times:
I remember the days when we first got married. We were both still students. We chose a tough internship – to be house parents for 16 street kids. Our first posting was in the most backward district of Karnataka, with drinking water at a distance of 2 Kms. My wife had three miscarriages during that time. She endured it with a smile, never even once blaming me for the tough life. My wife, my valentine, endured hardship even during tough times.
I really praise God for the suitable helper He has gifted to me and I want to reciprocate by being a great VALENTINE to her.
Published in the February 2014 issue of the Forward Press magazine
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