My typical approach to commercialized things such as Valentine’s Day would be to critique the way culture has influenced our Christian walk and how we interact with these days and events.
I’m a deep thinker by nature and I enjoy being able to lead people into a similar thought process. Too often we look at things from a surface level and stop there. This creates frustration and a lack of growth.
But to remain balanced I will not do that today.
Lest we lose our joy and childlike wonder, sometimes we need to just take things at face value and enjoy what life offers.
I’m not going to give you a list of the “wrong” ways we celebrate Valentine’s Day or a lecture in all things Saint Valentine (though you know I considered it.) I’m not going to describe the different types of love listed in the Bible in Greek and dissect them.
I just want to remind you that life can be simple and enjoyable. And it needs to be.
Valentine’s Day is the perfect day for such simplicity. Let’s try not to overthink this. Instead. Let us dedicate our energy to creatively expressing the thing we Christians should understand best; love.
Here are three things you can do to simplify your Valentine’s Day and bring a little more love into this world:
1) Drop the expectations
Nobody owes you anything just because it’s a certain day on the calendar. Neither do you owe anyone else. All debt has been paid and we are free to love freely without strings.
When my husband was in high school, he broke up with his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day because he was embarrassed he didn’t have anything to give her. The world teaches us to have ridiculous expectations for ourselves and others. You can avoid becoming a victim of this worldview by making a list of your expectations (write them down) and then destroying it (physically and psychologically.)
2) Don’t be mean
When I was a child, my sisters and I would ask my mother what she wanted for Mother’s Day every year. Without fail she would reply “I want you to be nice to each other for a whole day.” Isn’t that what we all want? Peace? Translating this into Valentine’s Day means… you can go a day without nagging or insulting or neglecting your significant other.
Just. One. Day. (Maybe try it for a few more after V day is over 😉)
And finally, the mother of all Valentine’s Day gifts….
Accept forgiveness… because you can’t give what you don’t have. Then become a vessel of forgiveness, being willing to give what was so freely given to you. Let the grudges go. Be kind for no reason other than Jesus loves you, so you want to love others. It’s really that simple.
Try these on for size and see how they feel.
You might want to continue them throughout the other 364 days. Of course, it will take a lot more work than dropping $60-$200 on chocolates, flowers, and dinner. But these things mean more!
So, do ALL the fun stuff! Get the freshest flowers and go to that fancy restaurant (or Panera if you’re on a budget like us). But please, for the love of Jesus… love like Jesus!
Happy Valentine’s Day family! I pray yours is full of simple joys and beautiful expressions of love.