Rethinking Valentine’s Day

I adore Valentines Day. Surprise! I mean candy & chocolate, big hearts, pink everything, silly-punny-sentimental cards, what more could you want in a holiday? I understand though, that this day can bring a lot of pain, a lot of hurt, to people. I get it. The struggle is real on this corporate holiday. But, maybe, just maybe, we’re missing the point of this star-crossed lovers day. What if, maybe, instead of focusing all of that love directly onto your significant other/spouse/that pint of Ben and Jerry’s Tonight Dough, we used Valentine’s Day as the one day to intentionally love others?

My mother is the queen of celebrating all holidays as if it’s Christmas. New Years Eve? Baby New Year is going to fill your shoes with candy and a DVD. Valentine’s Day? A box of chocolate for you and the most teary-eyed, heart felt card about how she loves you. St. Patrick’s Day? Those pesky Leprechauns turned over every piece of furniture in the house, and left a pot of chocolate gold. Easter? The Easter Bunny not only left you a trail of quarter-filled eggs, but a basket full of goodies at the end of the hunt (Sorry Jesus, I grew up secular). The thing is, I never understood the heartbreak of singles awareness day, and I most certainly didn’t understand the shallow attempt to buy affection’ day, I mean seriously?

In all honesty, I think I really miss the days of elementary school, where everyone gave away Valentines. Everything was so innocent, so sweet. Kids dropping perforated cards and candy into the slot of their decorated shoebox. But even then, it was trying times for people. Though I spent majority of my twenties single and boyfriend-less, Valentine’s Day was never a day where I lamented (because let’s face it, every other day was spent lamenting). My mom always sent me a heart day package full of goodies and stuff, I felt loved.

But as you grow, and have good gals and guys come into your life, you start to see the affect this holiday has on the singles brain, even the married and in-a-relationship people. For many of us, there are different emotions that swirl around this highly commercialized holiday. It can be crummy. And it’s not just the day itself, it’s like the moment the stores start filling up with heart balloons and isles of pink and red fluff you’re suddenly hyper-aware of your discontent.

My gal pals and I decided enough was enough. Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about love, and Jesus is love.So the wheels started turning and three years ago, Secret Valentine’s was born. We wanted to use the holiday to spread love to our fellow sisters in Christ (so cheesy, but remember, we embrace the cheese factor around here), rather than let it remain an exclusive couples only holiday where gals feel, well singled out. We recognized that Valentines Day is not just about romance and our relationships with men, but rather it’s about loving each other the way Christ loves us. (FYI I totally took that paragraph from our event page, though I wrote it in the first place so why bother?)

This year will be our fourth annual Secret Valentines event. I’m about to go drop off a bouquet of flowers to my Secret Valentine. It’s beautiful to see it grow over the years. We have gals in every walk of life Valentining with us. Married, Single, Dating. It’s even sweeter when girls that are married or have a significant other decide to ditch their men for one day, sorry dudes, and sorry Robert, I’m working on a way to include you without it being weird. Maybe go see Dead Pool with a brother?

Jesus’ love wasn’t exclusive. Though we can’t invite, nor should we invite everyone into the most intimate places of our marriage and relationships, those things can’t really be physically shared if you know what I mean. But on Valentine’s Day, and every day really, we can take the opportunity to pour out that love we’re so filled with onto others. Jesus chose to do it everyday. We can at least do it on Valentine’s Day.

Scripture to read: John 4:7-8; 13:34-35; 15:12-13, Romans 12.

Thoughts, questions, concerns? Tell me what you think! Let’s discuss! Leave a comment below. Get a little heated. Agree. Disagree. Throw your opinion out there. Hey, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m right. It doesn’t really matter, it’s my opinion anyway. I’m just glad you decided to join the conversation.