With Valentine's being next week, I can't help but think about how I really feel about the American holiday it has become. I have to admit that prior to Ken, Valentine's Day wasn't a fun day for me. I always thought it was so stupid to have a day of love and the fact that there even was a need for a day where husbands and boyfriends were expected to step up and express their love OR ELSE. I remember rolling my eyes every time I passed the red and pink aisles at CVS or Target. Here's the truth, I was single so I wasn't feeling loved by chocolate or flowers or a boy's Valentine card. I am pretty sure I have a journal entry on it somewhere, but I am already running late getting this post out so I didn't go dig it up.
My point is, even though I am married, Valentine's Day can still be disappointing. I somehow thought that because I now have love, it'd be the greatest day ever, but that's not true. If you are single, the day can feel lonely. I don't downplay that. My problem was that I was focused so inward. I couldn't be happy for those who did have the gift of love to celebrate and should have asked The Lord for patience in meeting my mister.
None of this is to say that Valentine's Day is a total bust. The year Ken and I started dating, it was such a fun day! He sent me flowers with no note. I truly didn't know who it was because we hadn't even been on a date yet. Whether you are single, dating, married, or divorced, Valentine's Day is about expectations. If you are single, you're hoping that boy you have liked for 4 months is going to come out the wood work and ask you on a date in the most romantic way possible. If you are married, you're imagining this amazing date that takes you back to your wedding day when all you can think about is how absolutely perfect and handsome your husband is. You're hoping that you feel more loved than ever. The reality is, your kid may puke on you right before you walk out the door and that boy may not call. Expectations get us in so much trouble instead of relying on God's love to fill us and then pouring onto other people. We approach this day like this, "What is someone going to do today to show me their immeasurable love and acceptance of me instead of, how can I show someone love today?"
Expectations get me in trouble. I know this and yet it still sneaks up and bites me. I literally had this thought this week, "I am not going to remind my husband that he will be out of town on V-day and that we had decided to celebrate early because I know he's forgotten." HOW CRAPPY IS THAT? This basically says, I am going to stick my foot out so he will trip. I then heard this little voice saying, "see you aren't that loved." LIES! I am deeply loved. My husband adores me. He is my gift! Better than that, I am God's masterpiece. First Once i denied the lie Satan was feeding me, I began to feel much guilt. I immediately prayed and tuned my heart to Jesus which led to repentance. I asked God what I should do with my disappointment. He said, "You should love." I decided I should kindly ask Ken about our Valentine's plans (with NO tone, ladies). That sounded like a much better plan. Although I am generally a logical thinker, my emotions can still get me. Women who think with their emotions have to work harder to find reason. I've learned over the last 6-8 months to chose love. Not most of the time or when I am not hurt, but to chose love especially when I am hurt or disappointed. Choosing to love my husband is serving and submitting which is honoring The Father. Sometimes, it goes unnoticed and other times Ken sees is. Either way, it is knowing you are doing as you were called and that gives peace.
If you are single, I encourage you to celebrate Valentine's in a new way this year! Love someone who needs love or someone you have been withholding love from. If you like flowers, get some for you and someone else! If you're a chocolate lover, have a treat with a friend. Valentine's is not just a day for the those IN love, it's a day OF love.