Valentine’s Day might be the one holiday that leaves people feeling polar extremes of warm fuzzy or arctic cold.
Honestly, it’s a holiday that holds a mixed bag for me, too. I had one boyfriend call our relationship quits on Valentine’s Day (necessary but not exceptionally thoughtful). Other years, I’ve celebrated “Galentine’s Day” with my girlfriends instead. This year, I’m focusing on old and new friends alike.
I guess somewhere along the way, I realized that I can celebrate Valentine’s Day, regardless of my relationship status.
Let me say that again.
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be about our relationship status.
That’s where we go wrong. We see the heart candies, roses, and those ridiculous large bears and start to daydream of our romantic relationship or lack thereof.
There’s our problem. We make the day about us. Did I get a card? Did he remember to send me flowers? Did she get me a gift?
When we make the day about us, we’ll be disappointed every time, because there is usually a gap between expectations and reality. I’m not saying we shouldn’t give gifts or send flowers. Not at all! Those things are wonderful and can be thoughtful expressions of love.
But here’s the kicker: We don’t have to have a specific relationship status to do so.
Valentine’s Day can be a day to celebrate the people we love.
Maybe that person is a significant other or spouse, and if so, celebrate that special relationship with gusto. Relationships are gifts, and couples should enjoy a day set aside to honor their love.
However, we don’t have to limit ourselves to romantic relationships. Instead, we can expand our horizons so we don’t miss the other people we’re blessed to love. Maybe that person is a father, mother, brother, sister, son, or daughter. Maybe it’s the teens in our youth group or peers in our Bible study.
Bottom line: Make the day about someone other than you. Cook dinner for your parents. Send flowers to your little sister in college. Bake brownies for the church teens, or host a game night at your house. And if you do have a special someone in your life, find a way to show that person how much you appreciate him or her.
After all, Jesus Himself commanded us to love (John 15:12). He said that we’re to love one another as He loved us—and He didn’t just say He loved us; He showed it by dying on the cross for us (John 3:16). The love God wants us to model isn’t sappy or shallow but sacrificial.
My college Bible professor captured that idea in a simple definition of love. It’s one I haven’t forgotten and hope I never will:
“Love is purposing the good of another person.”
Isn’t that what I Corinthians 13 says? The “love” chapter is all about giving of ourselves selflessly. Love is not “self-seeking” but generous (I Corinthians 13:5 NIV).
This Valentine’s Day week, look outward, not inward, and see how you can shower the people in your life with love. I think you’ll find that when you do, you’ll have the happiest Valentine’s Day yet.
How to Have a Happy Valentine’s Day – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)
This Valentine’s Day, look outward, not inward. – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)