Faith & Thinkology

a journal of living-like-we-mean-it, by Derek Maul

outdo one another in showing honor (Valentine’s and every day)


IMG_1979-002Valentine’s Day 2014 was a good day.

Generally, I’m not a fan of anything contrived, and February 14 typically stands as a glaring example of what I call, “misappropriation of sentiment.” There is, however, nothing even vaguely contrived when it comes to how much Rebekah and I love one another; so it seems entirely appropriate to add gifts to the sentiment, and to enjoy Valentine’s Day for what it is.

  • The key question, it turns out, is “How is that love expressed the 364 other days?”
  • The critical imperative is that Valentine’s Day does not stand alone.

 Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. (Romans 12:9-1)

IMG_1975FILET: The best way – in my estimation – to make sure genuine love is not washed overboard by sloppy, clichéd sentiment, is to finesse the celebration into something that demonstrates an understanding of what “the beloved” really appreciates – what really floats her boat.

Rebekah, for example, may appreciate roses, cards, and the forbidden deliciousness of petit fours; but what she really, really loves is hand-crafted words by yours truly, and filet-mignon –  the filet de bœuf – prepared to order and served, with love, by the same guy who purchased those flowers.

My words went like this: “I couldn’t wait until Valentine’s Day to send you roses. Roses try hard to say, ‘I love you,’ but a dozen can only write the introduction to Year-38 of an epic love story. Yours, always, Derek”

And me? I’m a very simple man at the core of things, and all I want to know is that my expression of love has hit the mark. Rebekah achieved that beautifully by gifting me with the framed, signed, piece of calligraphy I pasted at the beginning of this post.

“Together is our favorite place to be.”

So I have made my peace with Valentine’s Day. I no longer push against the endemic hypocrisy of the greetings-card culture by becoming a hypocrite myself.

IMG_1978Instead, following the dictates of my “Live Like You Mean it” faith, I choose to embrace one more great excuse to tell Rebekah how much I love her.

Just so long as I remember to say it with steak! – DEREK

Author: derekmaul

Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at, and there's always something new in the works. Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor's degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida. Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men's Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

2 thoughts on “outdo one another in showing honor (Valentine’s and every day)

  1. I like that! You show your love with style.


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