Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Lessons from the Valentines Day Blues (part 1)

Red hearts.  Chocolate.  Flowers.  Balloons. 

They are everywhere!

Have you noticed them?  I mean, how could you not see them?  They started appearing just slightly after Christmas (if not before) and their numbers have increased exponentially since then.

I do have to ask myself, as a single woman, what I'm supposed to do with this unconventional, seemly contrived "holiday"?  It's a valid question seeing as how I have no one with which to shower ridiculous gifts upon and no one to receive them from. 

I think a few things become clear when I start to think of this "holiday" (and yes, I refuse to allow it to be a real one without quotations).   I have decided to explore these things in a three part mini series called "Lessons from the Valentines Day Blues".  I don't want the name to fool you though, for I have no intention of wallowing in my singleness or focusing on a negative aspect of Valentines Day either ;)

Love
#1...LOVE

I've hear it said L is for the way you look....blah blah blah, but I think that's hardly the case!  Reflecting upon Valentines Day without hearing the word love is just not a do-able thing.  Of course, love is going to make its way on the scene.  I mean really, with all those cut-out paper hearts hanging around how could the L-word not be mentioned? So, to bring it back around to what I'm supposed to do with this "holiday", I feel compelled to reflect on love first.

You probably saw this coming...
"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us." 1 John 4:7-12 (emphasis mine)
This is one of my favorite passages about love in the Bible and I think it creates the perfect response to a day supposedly focused on love.  I may be single, but that doesn't mean I can't love!  In fact, if I'm reading this correctly, I'm called to love just like God loves us.  That is such a HUGE responsibility but also a HUGE blessing.

In this Valentines Day Blues lesson, my first takeaway is to remember that February 14 can be a day that I choose to love others.  When I see those candy hearts, when I watch other girls walking around with beautiful flowers, or even when I remember that I may not have someone here on earth to give me those things, my heavenly Father has already loved me more than any guy could.  He "sent his Son to be the propitiation for [my] sins" and I've got to say, I can't ask for more (or better) than that!

I challenge you single ladies (I hope you started singing the song in your head...) to not let yourselves get burned down with this day but instead take it as an opportunity to remember what true love is! 

For the rest of you - married or not - you can participate in this too!  We have an opportunity to be reminded all day (and on into the future) to love one another, to serve one another, and to remember the overwhelming love God has shown us in the sacrifice of His Son for us.  Now that is a definite reason to celebrate!