Today is Valentines' Day. For some people it is filled with expectations of flowers, chocolates, and dinner dates. For others it's a lonely holiday, a painful reminder of the fact that they are single or alone. For me it's a reminder of how God has loved me through the special people He has sent in my life.
I don't view it as just a holiday for sweethearts. I view it as a day to be thankful for anyone in my life who was kind enough and generous enough to show me love. That is what I celebrate. I celebrate my grandparents, my parents who continue to love and support me ,my brother and sister-in-law, my husbands family that has become my own, my husband, my children, my friends,and my church family.
I find that viewing it this way removes expectations because it no longer is about whether my husband got me flowers. (This let's him off the hook! Let's face it Valentines' Day is a tough day for guys, so many expectations! ) It's about how can I show my appreciation and love all these people back well.
Love is a gift. God showed us what it looked like to truly love through Jesus. So today I see God in the challenge to use this day as an opportunity to practice loving others well and to be grateful for anyone who has loved me well.
So how about you? Will you stop and be thankful today for everyone who has loved you? Will you take the opportunity to tell them how thankful you are for them, and how much you love them? Will you allow the hallmark version of Valentines' Day that says its all about romance, cheat you out of the joy of basking in the love of God and those in your life who love you? Will you maybe seek out someone who normally spends this day alone and invite them to spend it with you so that they can feel loved and cared for too?