I’ve always been the type of person to go against the grain. Sometimes it’s a good thing, sometimes it’s bad. Valentine’s Day has been no different. I hate it while most everyone else loves it. Like, really, y’all Valentine’s Day is quite possibly my least favorite holiday. Wait, no, Saint Patty’s Day might be number one (because, seriously, can anyone tell me why we REALLY celebrate it?). But Valentine’s is a super close second.
Besides the insane amounts of red and pink that covers every. single. store in sight, I find the holiday just a bit silly. “Let me show you how much I love you by buying you a teddy bear the size of a helicopter and a box of chocolates that costs the same as a downpayment on a car.” Swoon!
It’s really just ridiculous to me. And I know what you’re thinking, I hate Valentine’s Day because I had some horrible experience when I was single in my teen years. Nope. I’ve always thought it was silly. Single, in a relationship, single again, now married…I’ve never liked it and have never celebrated it. I just never understood it!
Part of why I hate it is because it puts SO much pressure on relationships. Not only does it raise expectations of girls who are in relationships and puts the weight of a helicopter sized bear on the poor dude’s shoulders, but it also sets the relationship up for disappointment. “If he doesn’t go above and beyond then I must not be important to him!”
Another part of why I hate Valentine’s Day is because it makes some people who AREN’T in a relationship feel like poo because they “haven’t found love yet”. Because you aren’t loved unless you have someone buying you 75 pounds of chocolate and 200 overpriced roses, right?
My heart breaks when I see Facebook status’ from single friends about being alone on V-Day or even worse, trying to find a date just for V-Day!! I remember getting so many “it’ll happen for you one day!” messages from friends in relationships when I was single. Ugh! Do me a favor and if you have single friends, just don’t okay? Refrain from all pity texts and calls!
Are you seeing the ridiculousness now? Welcome to my side of reality!
My annoyance with Valentine’s Day used to be just with the crazy hype that surrounded it and the targeted consumerism. But, over the last few years, that annoyance grew into something different. My hatred of “love day” changed and shifted into something new and heavy. Something deeper than just a holiday.
I began to realize that the reason I hated Valentine’s Day isn’t really because of the hype of the day but because it’s not an accurate picture of what love is. I especially know this is true since being married. Instead of candy, I feel loved when I get help with the dishes. Instead of flowers, I know I’m loved when Josh takes out the trash. (And if you’ve ever lived on the third story of an apartment complex you will understand why I say THAT is love! Can I get an amen!) I feel most loved when we are just sitting together, cuddling on the couch watching our favorite shows! Can anyone guess what my two love languages are?
The point is, I began to see my dislike of Valentine’s Day in a new way because I began to see love in a new way. I stopped being annoyed at the pink and red hearts everywhere and I saw Valentine’s Day for what it is: A Lie. I know it’s a lie because I know what true love is through Jesus! No longer did the silliness of it all bug me. It was the picture of love that it wrongly portrayed that bugged me!
Love is not a $150 date night once a year. Love is not a box of chocolates shaped like a heart. It’s not roses or life-size teddy bears.
While single, people will tell you “love yourself!”, “do you, girl!”, “you’re all you need!”. This isn’t love.
While in a relationship, people will say, “if he really loved you he’d put a ring on it!”, “if you aren’t sleeping together how does he know you love him?”. This really isn’t love!
Love isn’t “single” or “in a relationship”. It’s not a passionate kiss or gentle touch of the hand. It’s not sex or gifts or loving yourself first.
The world will tell you that this is love. They will say that your boyfriend, your husband, your independence is love. They will show you a sexy scene in a “romance” movie and tell you THAT’S love. THAT’S what you need to feel complete.
Friend, they’re wrong. They are so completely wrong. Love is so much bigger than that. So much better than you ever imagined!
Love is a Father who sacrificed His Son.
Love is the cross. It’s a bloodied, beaten Jesus hanging dead because of sin. My sin. Your sin.
Love is a risen Savior.
Love is daily grace. Forgiveness that we don’t deserve.
THAT is love.
And that love will never disappoint. It will never fade. It never has to be earned or bought.
Marriage is wonderful. It is truly an amazing experience. And I know without a shadow of a doubt that Josh loves me so much. But that love pales in comparison to the love I know I have from my Savior. And I’m sure Josh would say the same about the love I give him.
Knowing this love, this true love from Jesus is the only thing that will complete you.
Does this mean that Christians shouldn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day? No. But it does mean that we are called to a higher standard of love. We don’t love through presents and fancy dinners. We aren’t just called to love those who love us. But we are called to show God’s love to everyone. We show it through daily action, through living a life of love rather than celebrating a holiday of love.
So, celebrate Valentine’s Day. It’s fine, really, I won’t judge! But remember that love is bigger and far greater than any silly little holiday. Don’t get swallowed up by the idea the world will try to put in your head about love. Don’t fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others because you see them getting the “love” that you feel you need. Allow your heart to be changed by His sacrifice so that you can spread His love and joy to others every day!
Reach out to that lonely friend on a normal Tuesday and take her to get coffee. Find out how your husband feels most loved and do that daily! Cook dinner for the single mom who is probably overwhelmed and could use a night off. Or the friend whose spouse just had surgery. Look for the people who need love the most and then love them.
That is love, friends. The Gospel is the epitome of love. And that’s the only love that will complete you!
As for me, I will probably always think Valentine’s Day is silly. But I will try my hardest to show love to those around me every day. I refuse to buy into the watered-down version of what the world thinks love is because I know what love is…His love! Will you join me?