By Jen Vuk

Happy Valentine’s Day!

According to 1970s glam rocker Bryan Ferry, the price of love was a debt you paid ‘with tears and pain’, but nowadays — especially around at this time of year — it’s a debt that can burn a hole in your wallet.

February 14, a day of romance, breakfast in bed, heart-shaped chocolates, actually has Christian and ancient Roman origins. Young Roman men composed notes of affection to the women they admired. These little cards came to be known as ‘Valentines’, after Christian martyr, St Valentine.

By the 18th century, exchanging handmade cards, usually of lace, ribbons and with illustrations of red roses or cupids, become common in England. Later, some suitors added small gifts, such as an engraved hand mirror or freshly-picked flowers.

As we come under greater economic pressure, perhaps we will return to these simpler gifts and realise that it is not the Rolex watch but time itself that’s become the most expensive commodity.

Trying to spend half an hour a day with our significant other is now one of our greatest challenges. In the game of love, absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder. It just makes it grow weary.

What about a romantic note, a single rose or an impromptu date? How about going out for a cheap meal or getting the kids to bed before ordering takeaway and snuggling down to a couple of favourite movies?

While the Bible unsurprisingly overflows with the word ‘love’, the following quote captures the spirit of love that those fortunate enough to be in a loving relationship should be grabbing with both hands:

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends” (1 Corinthians chapter 13, verses 7, 8).

It’s not how much we spend on each other that matters; it is how much time we spend together, and—especially when it’s in short supply — how we spend that time together.

So, this Valentine’s Day, why not put the credit card back in your wallet and exercise your imagination instead

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