First, although there are various historical stories about the origin of Valentine’s Day, I found one that was interesting to note. It appears a St. Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned saint named Valentine sent a greeting to a young girl he fell in love with--possibly his jailor's daughter--who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed "From your Valentine."
The question remains, however, what did his love interest think of the note? Did she really feel loved? Or was she merely flattered?
Now, turning to true story, written by Solomon with the help of his muse, a Shulamite girl named Naamah. Naamah gives what I believe is the secret to what women want for Valentine’s Day. And it’s not all your heart, money, trinkets, and over the top treatment. (What a relief, right?)
But before you get the secret, you have to recognize the difference between two types of love:
- Emotional - This kind of love is based on feelings.
- Sacrificial - This kind of love is based on actions.
Men often fall into the trap of getting caught up in emotional-based love. Their feelings, whether penned on paper, spoken or even sung, can be an effective short-term exercise in sharing what you think and feel about your loved one. But, I think this temporary expression of love pales in comparison to a long-lasting, sacrificial love.
In the Song of Solomon (aka Song of Songs), 8:6-7, Naamah gives men the secret to being the ultimate Valentine in her note to Solomon. Here it is:
- “Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love, it would be utterly scorned.”
Here’s how I break down her note. “Place me like a seal over your heart…” tells me a few things.
- Women want your love to be Permanent - The “seal” she refers to is what kings used to decree law, finalize judgement or make the records clear. This symbol means she wants to have a permanent place in your life.
- Women want your Proximity - Where does she want to place the seal? Right, smack dab over your heart. She desires to have time with you and to be close to you. So close, in fact, you cannot separate a seal from the paper, and your very identity is fused together. The closer she is, the more secure she will be.
- Women want to be your Priority - Naamah says she doesn’t want to be like everybody else in his life. Women don’t want the scraps of time you can muster, and compete with. They don’t want to feel low on your priority list. Women have a healthy jealousy for your time, affection and attention.
Notice what Naamah doesn’t want. “If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love, it would be utterly scorned.” In other words, her love can’t be bought. You can’t overwhelm her with wealth, because money is not meaningful.
To win her heart, you have to hear your heart. If you’re really listening to her, you won’t have to ask what she wants for Valentine’s Day. Take a tip from Naamah this year and give:
- Pledge of Permanent Love -- Let your faithfulness to her be known, and your purity pass the test.
- Pledge of Proximity -- Give her security and protection by being together, face to face. Not text to text.
- Pledge of Priority -- Show her she’s like a “seal over your heart” with the gift of time, so you can show her you care, and listen to what is going on in her life, thoughts and feelings.
This pledge requires a sacrificial love, and will be better than chocolate shaped hearts…. although, those never hurt.