A Different Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day has always been one of my favorite holidays. This might seem strange considering the fact that I have yet to find a “significant other” to send me flowers or chocolate or other such typical Valentine’s Day gifts. The holiday means so much more to me, though, than just a romantic time of the year.

Part of this is probably due to the fact that my dad often made Valentine’s special in my family. He frequently got a sweet store-bought card for my mom along with some Turtles or other candy. I remember several occasions when he gave handmade cards to my siblings and I. He would write the reasons why he loved us and why he was proud of us. Sometimes he would get pizza and Mambas and other goodies for us kids to have while he and my mom went out to dinner. I think this is part of why I love to give cards to people on Valentine’s day and other occasions. I think we should tell our friends and family that we love them on more than just February 14th, but Valentine’s day does provide a special time to show how much we love those around us.

Valentine’s day for me is also a time to dwell in the great love that my God has for me. Not just any God would send His son to take the punishment that I deserve. Sometimes we get so caught up in other things that we gloss over the awesomeness of God’s love. 1 John 3:1 says, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (NIV). I love that word- lavished. God’s love for us is so abundant and amazing.

Because of God’s great love, we are able to love each other. What better day than Valentine’s day to share Christ’s love with someone who might not feel like they are loved. One of my favorite Valentine’s verses comes from the Message, in Ephesians 5:1-2: “Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that”.

This Valentine’s day instead of buying your obligatory chocolates, pray for a person who you know is struggling and might need an extra dose of God’s love. Send someone a secret Valentine’s card sharing with them how much the Heavenly Father loves them. Send flowers to someone who might be alone this Valentine’s day. Take someone out to eat or perform a “random act of kindness” for someone who needs to see the light of Christ. I encourage you to make this Valentine’s day different, a day to show those around you how much you care about them and also dwell in the richness of God’s love for you, and pass that on to others.

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