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February 14, 2017

6 Valentine’s Day Layups

By Mark Dance

Are you in need of an inexpensive layup for Valentine’s Day? It is no secret, especially to your wife, that pastors and planters are not in the most lucrative of professions. Even though you may be broke, you can still make Valentine’s Day special for your first lady. Just because this holiday is named after a romantic martyr, that doesn’t mean you have to become one!

I have six last minute layups that will score you more points than penalties.

1. Handwritten Love Letter

I’m starting with this three pointer because she deserves it for putting up with you. This is something you can do quickly, but take your time and do it right because she will never throw it away. Also, it will likely become the gift that keeps on giving for both of you.

This holiday is named after a romantic pastor in Rome named Valentine who secretly married young couples in A.D. 270, despite the emperor’s edict forbidding it. Legend has it that, while in prison awaiting his execution, on February 14, Valentine fell in love with the daughter of the jailer. He signed his farewell message to her: “From Your Valentine” — which started a bit of a trend.

2. Chocolate Covered Anything

I blew it one year when I hastily grabbed a heart shaped box of low-grade chocolates. Janet prefers Russell Stovers and I wrongly assumed that they were all pretty much the same. Last year she wanted to change up in favor of chocolate covered strawberries. I confess that I was a little nervous, but she liked them so much that she wants them again this year, so I’m calling that a three pointer!

3. An Outing

Adventures require some planning, which is not that hard to do in a pinch. Print off a picture of your hike, picnic, or road-trip and put it in a regular Valentine’s Day card.

4. Ask Her Friend or Sister

Women are a superstore of ideas. Additionally, they enjoy a group dynamic to conniving that is hard to understand, but impossible to ignore.

5. Gift Card to Her Special Store

The amount doesn’t matter as much as the effort. If you don’t know where she enjoys shopping, look at your bank records or default to #5. You move to the 3 point zone when you offer to go with her.

6. Coupon Book of Favors

This does not have to be crafty to be hyper-romantic. Simply write a few things you can do for her on index cards and put them in a nice Valentine’s Day card. (i.e. baby sitting, massage, date with her mom (just kidding)).

Each year, guys will spend $14 billion dollars buying 150 million Valentine’s Day cards, 180 million roses, and 36 million boxes of candy. The key is to notice what makes your sweetheart smile, then translate that into a personal gift.

Every woman is different, so the fact that you gave it some thought will run miles and score points. The fact that you are waiting to the last minute is our little secret.


Mark Dance

Mark Dance (@markdance) has decades of pastoral experience. He speaks at churches, conferences, and retreats–often with his wife Janet. Mark has contributed to several books and offers encouragement at MarkDance.net.


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