Today is Valentine's Day. It's not a national holiday; although for retailers selling flowers, cards and candy. it might as well be. I'm not a "pink" kind of person, and I truly get tired of pink by Feb. 15. But love is always a good idea. And what could be a better plan than to show love on Valentine's Day?!
I remember so well the years I spent as a single woman desperately wanting someone to show me that they cared, that I was No. 1 to them. Eventually I learned two things:
- I've always been No. 1 to God. Jesus can become my enough if I let Him.
- Giving love to others fills my heart more reliably than always looking to receive it.
Regardless of your relationship status, let's use this day to focus on giving love. And I promise your heart will be fuller than you ever thought it could be. (And don't worry; I'm not denying loneliness and disappointment. Watch for a follow-up on that later this week.)
Hopefully you will put a little more thought into showing love than just picking up a cheap box of chocolates on your way home. Now stop moping around, get over yourself already and prepare to show a little love. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
1. Show love to someone who's lonely.
Your world is full of people who need a little—or a lot of—love. Just look around. Have you thought about the single mother who probably hates the very idea of Valentine's Day right now? Or consider the widow or widower without their spouse this year, your single coworker, the teen you know is being bullied, your pastor, those in prison or in a homeless shelter, your colleague in an abusive marriage or your friend who is now divorced.
Picture yourself in their situation. What would show love to you? Make it personal with a handwritten note telling them you see them, care about them, and love them. Or leave an anonymous small gift. Or plan a short visit "just because."
2. Show love to those who expect it.
If you have children or a spouse, don't neglect showing them love on Valentine's Day, even though they may think it's the thing you should do. You may feel your expression of love won't mean as much because it's expected, but that's not true. Yes, ideally you will find unexpected ways to show them love throughout the year, but do so on this day too.
Disappointment is cruel. You can lessen the chance your loved one will feel that wound this year. Don't think your expression of love must be expensive or elaborate. Think about their love language and do some small thing that says, "I love you."
3. Show love–personally–to your spouse.
If you are married, make this Valentine's Day count. If your marriage is strained, be the bigger person and stretch yourself in saying "I love you" to your spouse. Put old bitterness or conflict aside—if necessary—just for today. Think back to what first drew you to your spouse or what you would miss if your spouse wasn't around now.
Write a personal note expressing to your spouse what you love about them. (Perhaps that's my first thought because words of affirmation are my biggest love language.) If you surprise your spouse with your loving words, you may even get bonus points. Give them a kiss, and make it last. Do it as a gift, not expecting anything in return.
And who knows what good things may come when you show love on Valentine's Day?
Question: What are you planning to do that will show love on Valentine's Day to someone who needs it? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
Dr. Carol Peters-Tanksley is both a board-certified OB-GYN physician and an ordained doctor of ministry. As an author and speaker, she loves helping people discover the Fully Alive kind of life Jesus came to bring us. Visit her website at drcarolministries.com.
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