Valentines Day: For Men

Most have caught on by now that Valentines day and its customs are vastly controlled by the entertainment and sales industries.  We see little heart-shaped boxes of chocolates in the asiles as early as december, and we see men lining up at jewelers and flower shops.

But even though we know the control that the market has over this “holiday”, we still desire it.  And we still buy into the season and do everything that we are supposed to do.  The men go all out for their girlfriends or wives, and the wives and girlfriends are always delighted to have those precious moments with their men.  However, it would seem that this pattern indicates something; women seem to be more focused on.

Think about it, do men get chocolates, flowers, or fancy paid-for dinners? Not often. Do men want those things? Well, maybe a nice steak 🙂 . But in all seriousness, as a man, its kind of odd how we do not seem to be focused on at an equal level as women on this day, at least in marketing and popular culture. But perhaps this is our own fault?

Men are stereotyped as having limited emotions, independent  not caring about the relationship as much, and not wanting to make a big deal out of romantic things.  In the same line of stereotyping, women are seen as uber-emotional, dependent, and wanting to make a big deal about romantic things.  But at the heart of it, those stereotypes are usually untrue.  For we are all humans, and most of us have a desire, a need, a longing, for a companion…and when we have one, its beautiful.

As a quick side note, some Christian groups get uncomfortable with this idea of “needing” a companion other than God, so let me clear that up.  Adam was created before Eve, and before Adam could make any petition to God, God said in Genesis 2:18,  “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him”(NASB).  Bear in mind that those are the words of God, spoken before the fall, to a man named Adam.

Going on, we know that humans have a longing for companionship, and we know that the need for a companion was first seen in a man, Adam.  So, as a man, that tells me that there is no need to withhold my appreciation and romanticism from my girlfriend or wife, and that those emotions are nothing to be ashamed of.  It also tells me that men should be focused on during valentines day as well, and I have no doubt that I will feel unashamedly loved on that day.

But heres the thing, I feel loved everyday, I seek to express my love everyday, and I seek to honor and cherish my loved one everyday.  To me, Valentines day is just an opportunity to express that love further, and I look forward to showing love, and being shown love on that day, and beyond.  Make “Valentines Day” happen more than once a year.

I hope that you have a great Valentines day with your companion; whether this year, or another.

-Jon

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Soul-Searching

I am dating someone now who really is my friend; she is not just my girlfriend, but a true, real, close friend.  This is the first time in my life when the terms “girlfriend” and “friend” became one so harmoniously.  And so, it has been an adventure in this new way of viewing a relationship; it seems a lot more real, and a lot more serious(in a good way!).  I have been blessed in my life to have been given three great women of God that I have dated in the past that have shaped me, have made me view things differently, and who have shown me what I really need in a girlfriend, and subsequently, what I need in a wife.

I have learned that it is important to discover what you want, and what you need, in a relationship and from that other person.  Before this time I focused so much on fulfilling others that I kind of forsook my own soul-searching to discover what I needed and wanted.  For a girlfriend, I need and want a friend.

Today, I was struck by the concept of a working relationship.  How a girlfriend becomes a friend, and then how a wife becomes family.  Both words “friend” and “family” have always been “fear” words for guys to hear.  “Oh, you’re such a good Friend”(to guys this means that she will never date you).  Or, “You’re like a brother!”(To guys this means…no chance on earth; worse than friend-zone). Or at least that is how my guy friends and I have understood them.  So, we grew up in a society that somehow says that if someone is legitimately your friend, they cannot become a significant other.  Or, how if someone treats you so well that they are like family, then they can never be a significant other.  But in working relationships, we see that the girlfriend and boyfriend are legitimate friends, and we see that the husband and wife are still friends, but they become family.  So really, if you are looking for someone to date with the intention of marriage…look for someone who you could be(or are) real friends with.

That being said, I am very thankful for my girlfriend, we’ll call her “C”, and for our friendship with one another.

Peace & Love,

Jon