Boys and Valentine’s Day
by Hal and Melanie Young | February 13th, 2014
Moms tend to be big fans of Valentine’s Day.
We love relationship stuff, chocolate, hearts, and flowers.
Boys? Not so much. Chocolate is good, but the rest is kind of gooshy.
So what do we do about Valentine’s Day in a houseful of boys? If you’ve been around here for awhile, you know we love to use holidays to teach our children Biblical principles. Valentine’s is a great time to talk to our boys about some things that they aren’t likely to hear anywhere else.
Marriage is a Good Thing
We live in a culture where marriage is endangered. In 1972, 72% of adults in America were married, now barely 51% are. The percentage of married adults between 25 and 34 has dropped even more drastically. According to the US Census, about 85% of 25-34 year olds with a high school diploma only were married in 1960, now only some 45% are. Sadly, almost 60% of those who do get married live together before marriage.
That’s the culture. The Bible suggests a very different attitude toward marriage:
He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the Lord. Proverbs 18:22
Our boys need to hear that. They need to know that having a wife is something to look forward to, something priceless:
Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. Proverbs 31:10
And we should teach them that having children isn’t something you get trapped into, but is part of the mission of most men in this great war between good and evil:
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth.Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate. Psalm 127:4-5
Love Is More Than They Think
Romance is fun. It’s like the icing on the cake, but there’s a more important kind of love your children need to be introduced to pretty early:
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. John 13:34
If love was just a feeling that we couldn’t control, something we fall into and fall out of like some kind of emotional accident, then why would the Lord command us to love? We’ve found a better way to define love is, “Putting someone else’s needs ahead of your own.” Read 1 Corinthians 13 to them and talk about the way it describes love (and notice how often that kind of true love means putting your own selfish reactions aside!) Brainstorm some ways you can show that kind of love to one another in your family.
As they grow up, we need to teach them that love of that kind would not take advantage of a young woman. A man who loves like that would not engage in an intimate relationship without giving her–and the children she might bear–the protection of a committed marriage.
Wish more folks taught their sons that!
You Have Your Own Love Story
Valentine’s Day is a fantastic time to gather your children around and tell them one of the most interesting stories they’ll hear: how they came about! Tell them how you first met your mate and what attracted you to them. Talk about your love story, and explain to them how you came to marry. Be sure to tell them what a blessing your marriage has been. If you have a wedding video, your guys will probably be really intrigued to see the two of you when you were young. Explain what’s happening, the promises you made to one another, and why you made them. Teach them those verses we talked about earlier.
Marriage is Worth Celebrating!
Appreciating your mate is one of the best things you can do to give your children a right view of marriage. Greet your mate with a kiss. Speak to them with courtesy and respect. Have some fun today! Get all dressed up and go out to dinner together. Or, have an elegant dinner at home with the children serving as waiters and waitresses. They will love it!
Showing your children how much you care for each other makes them feel secure about your marriage and their home, and it helps them look forward to marriage themselves.
What About Hearts, Valentines, Chocolate, and Iced Cookies?
If you can eat it, boys are generally in favor of it. Valentine cards, though, really depend on your son’s age. At some ages, boys will enjoy cutting out hearts and making Valentines for their moms and grandmothers and family members. Friends, though? Probably not. (In fact, you probably ought not to even try. ) Usually, Valentine’s Day is much more palatable (and less awkward) to a boy in the context of family.
Beware of “Singles Awareness Day”
Amid the celebration of romance, Valentine’s Day can be pretty difficult for a young man who would love to have a sweetheart and bride of his own, but isn’t ready or doesn’t believe the time is right yet or hasn’t found the right one. It’s also pretty brutal for the young lady who’d rather not be waiting. The young adults we know who are in that place call it “Singles Awareness Day,” and for most of them it is not their favorite holiday. This is a good time not to ask the singles you know when they are going to get married, or why nobody’s asked them yet!
Valentine’s Day is a great time, though, to teach our boys that marriage is a good and manly thing, something to look forward to. That will be good for them and good for our society, too!
Hal & Melanie
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