Tuesday, February 14, 2006

St Valentine

Whilst I know that it is good practice to make a small post each day it is also good not to speak when you have nothing to say, a habit which makes me poor company from time to time. OK, regularly. Reactions to my last few posts have left me feeling like a grumpy curmudgeon who is not intending to rest until he has annoyed all his readers. A bit more sarcasm in your disagreements folks please. My tongue is often in my cheek but it doesn't affect my spelling as much as my accent.

Anyway Valentine's Day. Got one card. Think I can guess who it was from:

1. After 32 years of the same hand-writing.
2. She signed it.

Interesting piece in the Independent yesterday from the always provocative Johann Hari suggesting that the idea of staying romantically in love with your partner is a modern invention. Most people, he said, used to separate life-long relationships and romantic love. It was the fault of the Brontes & co that the two were put together. Philosopher Seneca (fast becoming my hero), the champion of having realistic expectations, apparently denied fully that you could have passion with a long-term partner. Passion was for the mistress; partnership for the wife. Some French Prime Minister (it would have to be French) said that when one marries one's mistress one creates a vacancy.

Well all that may be true. What I found difficult to take on board was the underlying feeling that if it is a modern invention to keep passion with your partner then it is a bad thing. The bad thing, if there is one, is the unrealistic expectation that the hots you had for each other in the early days will survive by repetition. Passion needs to be kept alert and so I suggest flowers and champagne (these are random items readers, make your own up if one of you sneezes at flowers or pukes at bubbly) on January 14th or August 3rd (these are random dates readers, make your own up if they are inconvenient) followed by sex on the stairs (January) or in a wood (August better) and yes these are random places too.

A minister I know often uses these criteria for single men choosing a wife:

Is she already married?
Is she a Christian?

I am always amazed that, 'Do you want to have sex with her more than anything else in the whole world?' isn't on the list.

I looked to see if there were any links to Valentine's Day from the BBC this morning and all I found was this article about Greeting cards by e-mail carrying viruses. How sad.

Maybe the cartoon blog will have a picture of Jesus and the Prophet (PBUH) exchanging cards and encouraging followers to do likewise.

Still, I hope nobody is lonely today. Tonight we're having some friends round for a Valentine's non-event. Shouldn't be passionate although Celine Dion will not be present and this may help.


Rach said...


I have to agreed fully with this notion of not just having those two criteria notions. I can remember as a teenager asking youth leaders how would i know they were the 'one' for me. One replied "on the honeymoon". Very unhelpful i can assure you.

I know that Andy B and I came up with an 8 point list for our criteria to help get rid of the chaff from the wheat and saved our hearts a lot of heart ache. I think it is well worth doing to all those seeking a partner. Not really picky things, coz everyone is only human, but generally preferences.

Caroline said...

32 years!?


a little bit of sad envy and regret

but also a smile, that two folk I liked all those years ago still enjoy random Valentines.

The Other Caroline

Mike said...

Grumpy? You? Surely not!

Enjoyed your St V D piece, Steve. Totally agree that absence of sexual desire for future lifelong partner specification list is a major omission.


PS Remembered to buy the freesias - her favourite

Chris said...

Just ran a 6 week course with our older youth group (14-18s) on sex and relationships. Had our 6th week on Sunday and we were a little dis-heartened when we were concluding and the discussion came up that many of the group didn't see a problem with sex before marriage. *Sigh* I began to wonder what exactly we did teach them?!

Also of interest to our group is that they are really against the idea (like seriously oppossed) of not going out with / not marrying a non-Christian. I fear some previous approach to the topic (in a previous incarnation of the group) has made them hard-lined on this issue and has clouded any realistic discussions we have on the topic.

So, we ran 6 week course which had some interesting discussions in it and only on week 6 do we really touch on the issues that currently grate with their existing way of living. We might need some more time to discuss things...

Anyone got any clues as to any material that might be helpful?!

Steve - do you mind me using your blog as a forum for finding out info to help my youth group!!?


St said...

Chris. Will post on this tomorrow. I have no problem but if you ever wnat to raise a matter less publicly e-mail steve@godstuff.org.uk