Saturday, February 7, 2015

Flowers again?

by Andrew Cromwell

What are your plans for this Valentine’s Day? If you’re like me, you’ll wait until the last minute and then either end up overpaying for ugly last minute flowers or doing nothing at all. Your loved one will be less than thrilled at your lack of planning and you will celebrate another memorable V-day. 

Valentine’s Day, like all the other holidays on our calendar, has been turned into an excuse to market things for us to buy so that our life will be better. The ads have already been running and we are being sold everything that will make our lover love us more, from cars to diamonds from lingerie to flowers. 

And while every girl wants to give her guy diamonds (for her) and every guy wants to give her lingerie (for him), these highly overpriced items, though they might lead to a special night, won’t really help your relationship much. We really want them to and I believe that is why we swipe the credit card and hope and pray that this V-day will move our relationship to a better place.

So this Valentine’s Day let me suggest that your investment not just be a relationship band-aid made out of flowers, chocolate or lace. Instead (or maybe in addition to), invest in something that will result in a better relationship over the long-term. 

Here are a few ideas:

During your V-day dinner this year, take time to plan some date nights just for the two of you.  These don’t have to be expensive dates, but could even be “stay-in” dates where you setup a picnic on the living room floor or on your bed. The key elements are: (a) no kids allowed; (b) it has to be different than your normal routine, and (c) you have to spend lots of time staring into each other’s eyes.

Buy a book on relationships and read it! And I don’t mean buy a book for your mate and tell them to read it. Some recommendations: His Needs, Her Needs by Harley, If Only He Knew (for him) and For Better or Best (for her) by Smalley, and Love Talk by Parrott.

Take an honest snapshot of your relationship and find out where you’re winning and where you need to work at it. As a counselor, I have found this tool to be incredibly helpful for couples that want to grow closer. It’s on sale the week of Valentine’s Day too! Check it out at

Go to a marriage retreat/seminar. There are many great options out there. FamilyLife ( has excellent getaways. Our church will be holding one on May 15-16 (

Whatever you do this Valentine’s Day with your love, make sure you always have their best interest in mind. So often we have twisted motivations and hidden agendas and these can lead to disappointment and distrust. The only way I know to truly deal with these twists inside of us is to get our heart right with Father God. If you haven’t done that, you will discover it is the best Valentine’s Day gift you could ever give.

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