Photo courtesy of Ashley Kilmer Photography
I really dislike Valentine’s Day.
Let’s be honest, most singles don’t enjoy the holiday, and neither did I as a single woman, but believe it or not, I still dislike it now that I’m married.
My theory? Valentine’s Day is breeding ground for discontentment, whether we have a sweetheart or not.
For a single woman, this day is usually a reminder of how alone she is. Everyone else has someone, and she has no one – or at least that’s how it feels. She might deny it and say she doesn’t care, but somewhere in her secret heart, she’s wishing someone would send her flowers, bring her chocolates, take her on a date, and kiss her tonight. How nice it would feel to be treasured and treated like a princess for once! But here she is, spending yet another Valentine’s Day just wishing, telling herself, maybe next year.
For a woman who is married (or dating or engaged), this holiday often brings high expectations, and with that, disappointment. Her husband forgets to buy flowers. Her fiance isn’t as spontaneous and romantic as she wants him to be. She doesn’t get a mushy Facebook post like all the other girls do. And somehow, Valentine’s Day brings frustration and jealousy over unmet, unrealistic expectations set by media and movies.
Girls, it’s easy for all of us to slip into one of these mindsets today, whatever our relationship status may be. It’s just the nature of this holiday – and the nature of our souls.
Can I just encourage you today?
Single friend, I understand where you are. At 29 years old, this is only my 2nd Valentine’s Day having a man to share it with. I get how it feels to see February after February come and go, and wonder if you’ll ever have someone. Let me share a few things I’ve learned on the journey:
- Enjoy your friends. As a single woman, God blessed me with a few wonderful girlfriends who were in the same boat as me. We made it a point to get together on Valentine’s Day each year, whether it was for dinner, coffee, or a sleepover, and we also made sure to remind each other that God had a plan and had not forgotten us.
- Write a love letter. Have you ever written a letter to your future husband? It can be an awkward task, writing to someone you don’t know, but for me, it was an exercise of faith. For about 10 or 12 years, I periodically wrote “Dear Future Husband” letters, saved them all in a box, and finally, last year, was able to give that box to my hubby. If you’re struggling with the wait, writing a love letter to the man you’ll someday marry could be encouraging.
- Celebrate love. Trust me, I know you’re longing for a man to love you, but I encourage you to look around and see the love God has filled your life with. Your family. Your friends. People you work with or minister to. And most of all… the incredible, life-changing, passionate love of Jesus for you. What a great day this is to celebrate that!
Married ladies, let’s remember how much our hubbies love us. Really, are we so dependent on this commercialized, over-hyped, emotional holiday to prove that our spouses love us? The expectations are so high on Valentine’s Day, and if it’s causing discontentment or bitterness in us, it’s not healthy for our hearts or our marriages.
Let me urge you to remember the little ways your husband shows his love for you every day. Maybe he’s not the ultra-romantic type on Valentine’s Day, but what are the unique-to-him ways that he has expressed his affection lately? This week, I reminded myself, my hubby has danced with me in the kitchen, brought me flowers for no reason, thanked me for cooking dinner, and patiently taught me how to play Frisbee Golf 😉 I know that he loves me. He doesn’t need to prove that in some showy way, just because it’s February 14th. Your husband loves you, too, so don’t put on him the pressure of unrealistic Valentine’s Day expectations.
The culture and media can take something so pure and good – love, the essence of who God is – and taint it with over commercialization and ridiculous expectations. Ladies, let’s not give in to this. Let’s not give way to discontentment. Wherever you are and whatever your relationship status today, you are loved. Let’s make the most of today by rejoicing in love and reaching out in love.