When Roy comes to meet Pam at the end of the workday, she tells him that she's upset about not receiving anything from him. Roy, in response, says:
"Well, Valentine's Day isn't over. Let's get you home, and you are gonna get the best sex of your life."
At these words, Pam does not look thrilled. I think I can understand Pam's feelings in this episode of The Office. Roy pretty much ignores her all day, and when he does come up to talk with her, the one thing on his mind is sex; he has no thought or concern about what she actually wants or needs. His words and actions (and lack of action) portray an attitude of selfishness, of self-gratification. The way he approaches their entire relationship is pretty much summed up in this scene, and it's disgusting to see Pam treated in this way. Do you know what else is disgusting? All of the times that I act like Roy in my relationships with other people and God.
All of the times when I neglect a friend until I need to ask for a favor.
All of the times when I only pray to ask God to grant my requests.
All of the times when I am so focused on my needs and desires that I don't even ask my husband how he's doing.
All of the times when I put personal pursuits or motherhood before nurturing my marriage.
Even if we don't use someone for our sexual gratification like Roy, we can still act just like him in countless other ways. It is so easy to slip into selfishness in large and small matters. Yet, just because this is simple to do (ahem, concupiscence) does not mean that we can say "Well, I'm only human," and continue to choose to act in these ways. We are called to so much more in our relationships with others, regardless of whether or not they are intimately sexual.
“A person's rightful due is to be treated as an object of love, not as an object for use,” writes Karol Wojtyla in Love and Responsibility. We need to choose to love others each and every day-they (and we) deserve nothing less. Yet, to be completely honest, this is challenging. Some people drive me crazy, and it's hard for me to choose to love them. And even with the people whom I genuinely like, well-life happens, and I get tired and overwhelmed and don't want to think about anyone other than myself.
I've recently thought about how, pre-kids, I did a lot of things to show my husband that I loved him. But now? I've done this a lot less. I guess this is understandable; I'm very consumed with caring for two tiny people all day long. However, I use the excuse of "I'm an exhausted SAHM" way too much, just to make myself feel better about not doing much for my husband or other people.
"This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends," Jesus tells us (Jn 15:2-13). On Valentine's Day-and all year long-let's try to live up to this calling.