I had a friend who was jaded by the idea that there was a set date on the calendar where we are all forced to love and be loved. I shared her sentiment in high school. The junior class raised money for prom by selling roses on Valentines Day. Every dating couple was thrilled by this thought because it took the heat off of finding a gift. It also motivated those who wanted to send a secret love rose, in hopes it would bud into a relationship. But most of us hating hearing the Junior Valentine delivery person hand out coveted roses each class period.
Because my boyfriend went to another school, frustration was my choice emotion on Valentines Day. I sat in my desk feeling unloved, pathetic and rejected until my girl friends and I had a bright idea. No one could stop us from buying roses for each other. So, the next year, we ordered each other yellow friendship roses. Each wore a smile on our face as we left the school parking lot with a few flowers in hand.
Valentines day is a bundle of mixed emotions. To the young dating couple, hearts and cupids represent a night of google-eyed romanticism. The unattached either search to find something to take their mind off unrequited love, or they hook up just to have a hand to hold. Even married couples can feel pressure to outdo last year's getaway or to recreate feelings of young love. Valentines can create feelings of isolation, resentment and jealousy.
But it doesn't have to be this way. What if we adopted a new take on Valentine's Day? If the holiday is about love, and the world is supposed to know we are Christians by our love, why don’t we give it a makeover? Why don’t we use Valentine's Day as a way to fulfill the two greatest commandments?
- Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
- Love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:37-39)
One of the greatest cures to loneliness is taking your attention off yourself by serving someone else. No one can stop you from loving God and others any more than anyone could stop me from buying yellow roses for my friends. So, I've come up with a few practical ways to love God and others on Valentines.
- Write a love note to your grandparents or great grandparent.
- Babysit for a married couple who can’t afford to go on a date.
- Hang out with some girls and make dinner together. (Do not watch a chick flick or talk about boys! That would just be torturous.)
- Love someone in need by gifting to an organization of your choice.
- Serve dinner at a homeless shelter- that will put things in perspective.
- Hang out with a single mom and make cookies.
These are obviously just a few. But let's think outside the box. What are some ideas you have to love God and others as we celebrate a day of love?
Offer It Up:
Jesus, sometimes Valentines is more depressing than lovely. I pray you would minister to each lonely heart reading this blog and let her know she is special and valuable in her own way.
© 2015 by Sharie King. All rights reserved.
- Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. (I John 4:7)
- One of the greatest cures to loneliness is taking your attention off yourself by serving someone else.
- If Valentines is about love, and the world is supposed to know we are Christians by our love, why don’t we give it a makeover?