(Disclaimer: Off the bat, you may not want to read this if you’re single because you know that I am happily married to my high school sweet heart. Please know that my reason for posting this today is for my friends who have been called down the path of singleness for now or forever. I admit that I don’t know the true emotions of what you feel nor do I share your experiences in this, but I want to honor you in some way today as you ponder Sunday. With a heart for God that loves you because we are “freaks” together for Him, I dedicate this to my single siblings in Christ.)
“But let all who take refuge in You be glad,
Let them ever sing for joy;
And may You shelter them,
That those who love Your name may exult in You.”
– Psalm 5:11 (NASB)
Cupid. Red. Pink. Doilies. Cards. Flowers. Date with someone. Chocolate. Jewelry.
If you and I were playing a game like Password or Pictionary, these words spoken or drawn would conjure up the ultimate answer, given already in today’s post title – Valentine’s Day! Aaah. Sigh.
Some of you reading this right now want to groan and gag. Others are in the midst of preparations for making this the most special V-day ever for your siggy-o (significant other) if you’re not married, but dating.
After all, you’ve been reminded of this date on the calendar ever since December 24 when the cards were already seductively working their way into the grocery store card section and the red heart boxes of chocolates were hugging the Super Bowl pennants for goodness’ sake! You may have set a goal that day that said in a Scarlett O’Hara-esque kind of way, “as God is my witness, I will never, ever, ever, go single any Valentine’s Day again!”
If that hasn’t been enough of a reminder, there’s a movie released just this week by the same title. I do not plan to see it. Being the “freak” that I am, I can tell I would be disgusted by something in it that would not be pleasing to God. It seems to smack of trash, emptiness, and all the wrong messages about love. However, it goes hand in hand with what so many long for, believe, and embrace about love today. Sad.
This day has become more morbid (for so many) than Halloween. I want to talk about the one thing that makes V-day a horror for so many. The spider-web of expectations. Remember that Scarlet O’Hara vow you read a couple of paragraphs ago? That’s the bar by which you may measure the success/failure of Valentine’s Day.
You buy into the world’s expectations of what this day should involve. You expect that if you don’t have what the world says you should have this day, that you are losers and hopeless. Without someone to “complete” you, you are nothing. Isn’t that the message, honestly? If you had “someone” you’d have flowers, a romantic dinner for two, dancing cheek to cheek, and chocolate-flavored smooches at the end of the day. According to Verizon, you might even end up with better cell-phone coverage. Have you seen the Verizon commercial that makes you think it’s a Zales diamond commercial? I felt like I needed to interject a bit of humor at this point.
So, as the day approaches, you “string up” your web of expectations only to find that at the end of the day, you caught nothing you wanted yet have a web full of self-disgust, feelings of unworthiness, and unloveableness. (My computer is questioning if that’s even a word. For the sake of the post, it is today.)
Bnnnkkkkkkk! That’s a buzzer signifying those expectations are wrong, by the way.
So, how will you approach the day for human love from a godly perspective and not go to bed mad at the end of the day?
- First of all, tear down the web. It’s going to snare something alright, and it’s going to be you.
- Focus on the ultimate lover of your soul, God. Pray to Him about this day, your expectations, your disappointment, your hopes down the road…all of it. Pour it out to Him. He cares.
- Jot down a list of how you see that He loves you. What does His Word say about His love for you? No other person can love you like He does. So, don’t buy into the lie that without a person to love you in marriage or otherwise, you are nothing. God does not agree with that.
- Give your love away (in the right kind of way). Find some way to minister to someone else this weekend so you don’t get bogged down in your expectation web.
- Invite friends over for a covered dish recipe swap. Watch a funny movie (that is clean…I have to throw that in). Vow that “woe is me because I am single” will not be words to utter that night.
- Offer to babysit for a young couple who can’t afford a sitter, much less a date. If the child is of helping age, bake cookies together. If they are tiny and sleep a lot, put together a compilation cd of songs for the parents to have when they return. Or, take pictures of the baby and put them in a little photo book to give that night or another depending on your time, money, and computer’s photo equipment.
I guess the bottom line is this summary: remind yourself of your worth in Christ, give of yourself to others in a way that ministers to them, and recognize God’s sovereignty in your life/calling of singleness.
Find the blessing within it. It may be temporary. It may be permanent. It’s not a scourge.
You are loved!