Valentine’s Day is coming up, ladies! With all the pressure and expectations that come along with it for all of us – whether we are in a relationship or not.
Our Worth Is Not Wrapped up in This One Day
Sometimes, we may be tempted to judge our worth and lovability as women on whether anyone gives us special, costly gifts on this day. Or whether we have a boyfriend. Or if we have a boyfriend, we may try to measure the totality of his love for us and the strength of our relationship based on if we get just the “right gift.” Expensive gifts our men give us can be fun. But let’s remember that there are many things that are far more important than exactly how we celebrate on one day.
- Our relationship with the Lord.
- Our family relationships.
- Our friendships.
- If we have a boyfriend – our love for each other.
- Our attitude.
- How we treat others.
- Our peace and joy in Christ.
- Walking in the power of the Spirit and in holiness.
Our worth comes from Jesus and His incredible love and sacrifice for us. Anything else is icing on the cake!
If We Have a Guy – Let’s Appreciate Him for Who He Is
Our guys show love in many ways that advertisers never portray. Everyday kinds of ways. And sometimes, heroic kinds of ways. These gestures of love are important! Probably more important, in the light of eternity, than whether they pick just the right card that we would like or whether they give us a new diamond necklace. Each man has his own strengths, talents, and ways of showing love that are precious.
Thankfully, we can learn to receive love in the ways they give love.
It is amazing how much more loved we feel when we learn to see and appreciate what our men do to try to show us love. Even if it is not our favorite way of receiving love. We might discover, their ways are pretty amazing, too. They do things for us all throughout the year. Think about the kind things your particular man does for you – and write them down.
Consciously choose to be thankful for the man you have – if you have one in your life.
In Christ, we don’t have to measure our man’s love by whether he meets all of the standards of advertisers on TV and billboards for this day. We can be free from worldly expectations and dictates. We can choose to love, appreciate, respect, and honor our men for the ways they show love to us every day of the year. We don’t have to compare them to anyone else – real or fictional.
We get to decide whether we will set the emotional thermostat in our relationships to warm and inviting
or cold and resentful
. We can also learn to give love to our men in the ways that are meaningful to them.
The Most Important Thing – Whether We Have a Guy or Not – Is Our Attitude
We can approach this day with a grateful heart and contentment.
Instead of focusing on ourselves or on our culture’s very rigid expectations for this day, I’d love to see us take some pressure off of our men – and ourselves. Sure, we can sweetly ask for things we would enjoy. (With a pleasant tone of voice and a smile):
- Babe, I would really love to do X.
- Honey, I would like a box of X chocolates for Valentine’s Day.
Let’s also ask our men what would be special to them. If we choose to celebrate this day, (and it is a choice, we don’t have to celebrate it if we don’t want to), let’s make it about appreciating our unique relationship in our own unique way as a couple. Why let some strangers we don’t even know – who will financially benefit if we do what they want us to do – put demands on us or our men? And why allow some marketing executives to get us to resent our guys if they find their marketing plan unpalatable?
If we don’t have a guy at the time, we can get together with friends or family, or look for people around us who may be feeling lonely and do something really sweet for them. It’s impossible to be sad and depressed when we are bringing joy and delight to others.
We can remember Jesus’ words:
“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35
We could also choose to spend some amazing time with the Lord receiving all of His love and reading His love letter, the Bible, and absorbing His goodness. Jesus has the most perfect love for us of anyone in the universe. If we have Him, we have Real Love and Real Life!
The Most Important Ability Is Flexibility
This is my Sunday School teacher’s favorite saying. And it is so true! So if someone gets sick with the flu or finances are tight and doing something elaborate is not possible, we can be flexible. This is life sometimes. We can roll with it. God can give us the power! We don’t have to freak out or get upset. We can enjoy:
- A homemade meal or take out at home together on the couch.
- Snuggling on the couch together.
- Thanking our men for all they do for us.
- Doing something fun with friends, neighbors, or family members.
- Making homemade decorations for the supper table.
- Taking cookies to a single mom, a pregnancy crisis center, or an elderly widow/widower.
- A walk through the neighborhood together.
- Some time together another day if schedules don’t work out on the 14th.
Avoid Contentment Killers
There will be plenty of potential triggers in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day and on the day itself that may tempt us to feel upset, depressed, discouraged, and unloved. Let’s try to get rid of as many of those things as possible so we can focus on all of the blessings and good things in our lives:
- If social media posts about Valentine’s Day upset us, we can skip social media for the next two weeks.
- If walking past all of the Valentine’s Day stuff at the grocery store or Wal-Mart upsets us, perhaps we can purposely not walk past that aisle or not allow ourselves to look at all of the merchandise. Or we can remind ourselves that this is about marketing and profits, it is not about our worth as women.
- If family members/friends pressure us about our plans, we can have an answer ready about some fun plans we have for ourselves and we can respond without a spirit of offense.
- Maybe romantic songs, books, or movies upset us or cause us to feel resentful or deprived. Let’s replace them with things that inspire us to grow in our love for and faith in Christ.
We can choose to think about good things. Things that will bless and lift us up and increase our faith in the Lord:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Phil. 4:8
Contentment IS Possible!
Paul is such an incredible example of contentment for us to follow. He was able to be content in Christ in the midst of violent persecution for his faith, imprisonment, suffering, illness, injuries, and all kinds of trials (Phil. 4:12-13
). Surely, because we have the same power of Jesus in us, we can be content no matter what may happen on Valentine’s Day.
Check out the measure of contentment God has for us:
Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 1 Tim. 6:6-8
God calls us to be content with godliness, food for the day, and clothing for the day. Wow. That is very different from the messages we receive in our culture. But it is extremely freeing!
We can respond graciously and with respect and self-control even if things don’t go the way we would really like on Valentine’s Day. We can bring joy and delight to other people by being understanding, patient, peaceful, joyful, considerate, and thankful for them.
With an attitude like this, we are bound to savor Valentine’s Day, and every day.
What secrets have you found to approaching Valentine’s Day in a way that are a blessing? We’d love to hear about it!