As Valentine’s Day approaches, I know the opinions are vast. Some look forward with high expectations, while others despise it. There’s no command in Scripture to celebrate Valentine’s Day, so I’m definitely not here to command something the Lord doesn’t. However, Scripture does command us to rejoice always, including Valentine’s Day (1 Thess. 5:16). Today, I want to encourage us in all seasons of life to use February 14 as an opportunity to follow this command and be intentional. Here are some ideas on ways to be intentional this holiday, for various seasons/stages of life:
Take your children on a date. One of my favorite Valentine’s Days was when my daddy surprised me with a daddy/daughter date. I was around 10, and he took me to a nice restaurant and then shopping at my favorite store (Limited Too for all my 90s girls!). My dad continued to make Valentines special for me, even as I got older. In college, we’d meet for lunch on Valentines. Parents, we have a wonderful opportunity to model what our children should look for in spouses. I had high expectations for my husband and I what I wanted my marriage to be like, and I attribute much of that to the way my dad treated me and the example my parents set for me in their marriage.
Have a night out with your friends. When I was single, Valentines were opportunities for girls’ nights. I know this holiday could be dreadful for single people, because it can feel like it magnifies what you don’t have. Follow Scripture’s command to rejoice by surrounding yourself with brothers and sisters in Christ to fellowship with! Even after you’re in a dating relationship/married, Christian community will still be vitally important, so always invest in these relationships.
Cook a “things we love” meal. We started this with our boys last year. I cook exactly what this says- things they love. We made heart-shaped pizzas and macaroni and cheese. It’s definitely not healthy or what I’d typically combine together for dinner, but it was a fun way to show them love and spend time with them. This could be done with any age and any group of people. It could even be an opportunity to invite another family, single friend, young couple, etc. over for dinner.
Serve others. If this holiday truly is discouraging, one of the best ways we can overcome this is to serve others. It’s amazing what happens when we take our eyes off ourselves and look to others. There’s a million ideas, but we could serve teen girls by treating them to a night out, parents with children so they can date, those who are missing a spouse, and more. For those of us celebrating with a significant other, we can focus on how we can serve them! Our focus is so often how we can be served, but Christ flipped this idea on its head when he served us with his life, death, and resurrection. We can image Christ on this holiday (and all days) as we serve others.
Date your spouse. This one is obvious, but don’t miss this opportunity. We have two young kids, so I know it’s hard to find time to date. We don’t always do gifts for Valentine’s, but we definitely always use it as a reason to get a babysitter and go out. Parents, you were “Mr. and Mrs.” before you became “Mom and Dad,” and one day, those children will move out. I don’t want to look at Jack after all those years and realize we hadn’t invested in our own relationship. Jack and I try to be intentional with keeping our relationships Christ first, each other second, and then our children. We truly believe this order is actually best for our children. Children are happier when they know mommy and daddy have a strong relationship.
Christians, no matter our earthly relationship status on Valentine’s Day, we can rejoice always because we have a relationship with Christ. Only Christ can love us perfectly and fully satisfy us. When we experience bitterness because our Valentine’s expectations weren’t met or because we’re “alone,” maybe it’s because Christ isn’t where he should be in our lives. We’ll be disappointed every time we look to any earthly person (including spouses) to fulfill us and love us in the way only Christ can.
Friends, I hope you have a wonderful and fun Valentine’s Day! I hope you’re reminded of the unconditional love the Father bestows on us, and you use this day as an intentional opportunity to show that love to those around you. Let’s rejoice in Christ, on February 14 and every day!