Date Your Spouse. Date Your Children.

Valentine’s Day. Did everyone have a good one yesterday? I hope you were all able to spend some extra quality time with your significant other yesterday. Or at least have something planned for the future to spend some time together. My husband and I didn’t spend a whole lot of time together yesterday, but we have a Valentine’s banquet at church tonight, so that will be our Valentine’s Day time. My husband was able, however, to spend some time with our girls yesterday. And it melts me every year.

For those of you who read my intermittent blog posts over the last year (I’m working on being more consistent), you probably remember my post from last year about Valentine’s Day. For those of you who are newer, I don’t like Valentine’s Day. It’s gotten better over the years, though. I used to HATE Valentine’s Day. And it had absolutely nothing to do with the reason for Valentine’s Day. I hated Valentine’s Day because of some life circumstances that were beyond anyone’s control. Yesterday was the golden anniversary of when my mom was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. That is why I hated Valentine’s Day. Today isn’t a ton better as it is the anniversary of when she left for treatment and also the anniversary of when my Grandpa died. I’m not a big fan of February!

But, this post is not meant to be about all that mess today. Today, it’s about relationships. What else would you talk about around Valentine’s Day?? Today I want to talk about dating your spouse and dating your children. I know this probably seems like a weird concept to some, but it’s really not.

Relationships don’t just “work.” They require work. A lot of it. I’m not saying that you can’t have an amazing relationship with your spouse even if you don’t date each other, but dating each other definitely helps. My husband always says, “If you used flowers to win her before you were married, you sure better use flowers to keep her after you’re married.” And, no, he’s not saying you need to buy your wife flowers every day of the week. What he’s saying is that you went through all the steps to prove your love before you were married, why should that change once you are married? We need to date our spouses. Phillip always tries to be sweet. He’s very thoughtful and caring. And I love that. He is always thinking about me and our family. His main priority is to take care of us and to love us. He has always said, that if he can accomplish those two things, he feels like he is a successful man, dad, and husband.

Valentine’s Day is Phillip’s favorite holiday. He absolutely loves to surprise me and our girls with flowers or something on Valentine’s Day. It is a major highlight for him every year. Each year he will get flowers and surprise the girls at school. They absolutely love it. They love the spoiling they get on this one particular day each year. And I love that he wants to surprise them. He loves his little girls more than words can say. The love he shows for me and the kids makes me fall in love with him more each day. We have been married for almost 12 years, and I love him more today than the day we got married. Sounds cheesy, I know, but it’s true.

Here is the reason why he “dates” our daughters. When our girls get older and start getting interested in guys, he wants them to know how they should be treated and not just fall for the first guy who says they are beautiful.  He wants them to learn that they should be treasured and cherished. He wants them to know that they should respected and protected. Not because they are helpless, but because the man knows the girl’s value and always wants to guard that relationship. He wants them to know that they need someone who will nurture her and their relationship. Ever since I found out I was pregnant with my first child, I started to pray for their future spouse. I don’t have a clue who that will be, but that doesn’t mean I can’t pray for them to stay pure and do right things. I want the best for my children, as does every other parent for their child. It can never hurt to pray. Nothing bad ever comes from prayer.

There is one other thing. Mommas, date your sons. They are watching everything. They are watching how Daddy treats Mommy. They are watching how Mommy treats Daddy. Take your sons on dates. Show them how to treat a woman. Show them how to open the door for her. Show them how to make sure the girl is taken care of. Show them how to make sure she is seated and comfortable before sitting. Show them how to stand up from the table when she is coming or going from the table. But, moms also need to show their sons how they should be treated. The same thing is true for the boys as it is for the girls. They also need to be respected, treasured, and cherished. That is not a one-way street. Women need to treat men well also. Our sons need to see how a woman should act and how they should be treated in a relationship. Teach your sons chivalry and manners. In my opinion, those two things can never go out of style. They will always be needed and well received.

So, here is the moral of the story. Valentine’s Day, at least for us, is not just about giving and getting flowers. It’s not just about “love.”  There are a lot of meanings of love and ways to show them. God was the ultimate show of love when He gave his Son to die for us so that we could spend eternity in heaven with Him. That is not what most of the world thinks of when they think about Valentine’s Day. But, why not? I think of Valentine’s Day as more of a special day to nurture relationships that are extra special to you. For us, that means dating our spouse and dating our children. I think it’s amazing that Phillip takes our sons with him to buy the girls flowers each year. Our son will remember that for the rest of his life and will, hopefully, put these lessons into practice when the time comes for him to be a husband and father. Our main priority in our marriage is to have a strong marriage so that our children have a steady home and a strong model for what marriage should look like when they are older. Children see everything. They watch everything. I want them to see what a real relationship looks like and how to nurture and care for that relationship.

I hope this all makes sense to everyone. We always try to make our relationship a priority, and we try to show our children that it is a very healthy thing to do so. If our relationship is not as good as it should be, it affects our entire family and home life. Make time for your relationship. If you do, everything else will fall into place. Make time for each other. Your entire family depends on it. Your entire home life depends on it. Give your children the biggest and best gift you can. Give them a secure home with parents who love each other and show that they love each other. That is the healthiest and best thing to give your children. It will have lasting effects to which you may never know the extent, but they will feel that security and love. And that, to me, is the main point of Valentine’s Day. Keep your relationships strong. Date your spouse. Date your children. It is time that will be cherished forever.

So, go out and have some fun with your kids, and go on a date with your spouse. It will be worth the time and effort! Have a great weekend, everyone!!

 

 

P.S. You are probably wondering why I put a picture of a cardinal on the top of the post today instead of some sappy Valentine’s Day picture. Well, here is why. Cardinals remind me of my sweet momma. She loved cardinals. She had a pair that made a nest each year in the bush under the kitchen window at my parents’ house. She would watch happily as each year the babies would hatch and learn to live and fly. The year mom passed away, the pair didn’t come back to nest as they had for the many years before. Since Valentine’s Day is the anniversary of her diagnosis, it seemed fitting to put her favorite bird on here for her golden anniversary.  I have come to love cardinals as well, and I love that every time I see one, it reminds me of her and her love for all of us kids and for my dad. She was an amazing example as I was growing up even though our time was cut way too short. I love her and miss her every day and can’t wait to see her in Heaven some day!

 

 

 

 

 

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