If you know me or have read my stuff for any length of time, this little truth probably does not come as a shock. I’m one of those bah-humbug types that loathes Hallmark for creating a day that forces me and millions of Americans to spend money on overstuffed bears, overpriced roses, and oversized chocolates that send us into a sugar coma.
And now that I have children I must choose between being the Pinterest Mom, who makes her own Valentine’s out of pipe cleaners and fairy dust, or being the Slacker Mom who buys Valentine’s at Walgreens the night before. I’m sure you think I belong in the latter group of moms. And based on previous blog posts, I deserve this assumption. But I have you fooled. I’m in an altogether different, more shameful, category. I am a Cheapskate Mom. I buy the Valentines post-V-day when they are 60% off, and save them for the next year.
Sorry, kids. Not into Frozen and Trolls this year? That’s all I got.
But it’s not all the overspending and added stress that has me hating on St. Valentine’s big day. It’s the way society puts pressure on us to show love just one day out of the year. Aren’t we supposed to show love 365 days out of the year? Aren’t we supposed to love God, love our neighbors (Luke 10:27), and even love our enemies (Mt 5:43-45) every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year of our lives? Not just when cupid shoots his arrow. Not just when we decorate with red paper doilies.
But All. The. Time.
Another reason I shy away from V-day is because it feels forced and inauthentic. I want my husband to bring me flowers because I’m awesome (yeah, I said it), not because a Facebook Ad told him to. I want an unmarried friend to invite me to coffee because she values our friendship, not because society has made her feel lonely and second-class.
Some of you might not feel very lovey-dovey today—or any day. You might be nursing fresh wounds. You might be carrying around baggage so heavy you’re practically dragging it behind you. You might have built up a wall around your heart to prevent others from getting in. If this sounds familiar, please know that there is no way you or anyone else can love others apart from Jesus. That’s why Scripture says, “We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19) When He lives inside us, we are able to pour that love out to others, no matter what date is on the calendar.
So today, don’t go down the road of self-pity by drowning yourself in Halo Top while binge watching Gilmore Girls, or curse the day with eye-rolls as you scroll through social media. This year, try loving someone in the name of Jesus: Take flowers to your elderly neighbor. Invite the new family to your house for dinner. Make cards and cookies for the fire station. I guarantee your feelings about Valentine’s Day will shift from self-focused (or not-even-focused) to Jesus-focused. And isn’t that what we want every day—not just on Valentine’s Day?
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