I love my Bethlie Joy! She is my wife, my best friend, and my favorite person in all the world. We love Valentine’s Day and it is a special day for us in more ways than one. It is our “half-an-anniversary” and this Valentine's Day is 27 and a half years (exactly 6 months from our August wedding date). So every year we have one extra reason to celebrate!
Two Valentine’s Days especially stand out to me. The first one does, because after all, it was the first one! We were employed as college reps for our Alma Mater and were working in San Diego, California during Valentine’s Week. It was a beautiful week and to celebrate we spent an awesome day at the World Famous San Diego Zoo, had a very good and very fun dinner, and well, capped off the day with some fireworks, if you know what I mean (after all, we were very happily married)!
Our second Valentine’s Day stands our more clearly though. It is the one I remember the best. We were just getting started in our ministry of evangelism and we had too little to be able to do much celebrating. We were living in a small apartment and that Valentine’s Day we couldn’t afford to go out or to buy presents for each other. So you know what we did? We stayed home, pulled out the china someone had bought us at our wedding, dressed-up (I wore a suit and tie and she wore a beautiful red dress that was one of my favorite’s), and made spaghetti. We had a beautifully romantic candlelight dinner at home. We might have even danced a bit, although I confess that I wrote that in a whisper! After all, I am Independent Baptist, you know? We had nothing, but we had each other, and that was enough.
Many Valentine’s Days have come and gone. We ALWAYS celebrate - cards, flowers, presents, dinner, parking (sorry, I didn’t mean to include that), and so forth. We even buy small gifts for the kids. We splurge if we can. When we can afford it, we will visit The Melting Pot. It is a fondue restaurant, which means we will eat very slowly in very dim lighting and my wife will have my undivided attention the entire time. Did I mention that we will eat very slowly? She loves that and I owe it to her. Life is busy and my attention is often on sermon preparation and the people we serve in our ministry. The times when she gets the entire focus are always wonderful to her and she deserves it. We remind ourselves that love is amazing and wonderful and ought to be celebrated!
This year will be different. Bethlie’s mom is battling cancer and she will be Mom’s care-taker during Valentine’s week. We won’t be together — but absence makes the heart grow fonder — and trust me, we will celebrate before she leaves to be with Mom and after she returns home. This year gets two celebrations. Love is like that. It is worth celebrating!
So go ahead. Tell her you love her. Treat her royally. Surprise her. Go parking! Or just walking! Hold hands and look into her eyes and thank her for being your wife, your best friend, your favorite person in all the world. And remind yourselves why you fell in love in the first place. Make it a Happy Valentine’s Day.
Oh yeah — I almost forgot. If you are single, go ahead and celebrate. Buy a gift for your best friend. Take your mom or sister on a date. Celebrate with a niece or a nephew, or maybe with a grandmother or grandfather. Resist the popular urge to be cynical and to ridicule the day. Singleness is a gift and so is love. So are all the relationships of life. So make Valentine’s Day a wonderful day of love, joy, and celebration. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did!
Thanks for reading, and Happy Valentine’s Day.
Your sincere friend,
Dave Young Evangelistic Association - Milton FL