Friday, February 13, 2009
Celebrating the Heart Holiday
We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
It’s the heart holiday again this weekend. The retail world is replete with red decorations and the relationship world is ripe with expectations.
Why do we celebrate this day of love? Legend has it that we commemorate Valentine’s Day (or technically, St. Valentine’s Day) because of a long ago Christian martyr named Valentine, and somewhere around the Middle Ages a man name Chaucer began the association with romantic love. Today about a billion valentines are sent each year across the world, according to the U.S. Greeting Card Association. Who knew?
If you have a special someone, you may be in a quandary as to what to give or what you will get this year. Flowers? Candy? Jewelry? A trip to the Bahamas?
Those of us in the single world, at least the ones without a significant other on February 14, have a choice to make. You could shrug it off as a “Hallmark holiday” and coolly declare that it doesn’t matter and you don’t care. Or, you could bemoan your single status and cry over your favorite comfort food and watch chick flicks.
However, you could choose to celebrate Love in a different way.
How about soaking up love from the One who loves you the most? Seriously. God’s love is the most amazing and lasting love you will ever have. Over and over he demonstrates his care. God attributes are myriad; here are a few of them:
He is faithful (Deuteronomy 7:9)
He is good (Psalm 100:5)
He is gracious and merciful (Psalm 145:8-9)
He is reliable (1 John 4:16)
He is wise (Proverbs 3:19)
He guides us (Proverbs 3:5-6)
He protects (Psalm 91:14)
His presence brings joy! (Psalm 16:11)
God is love (John 3:16 and 1 John 4:8)
Wow. Think about that for a while. Unconditional love. Total Acceptance.
In addition to God’s love, how about celebrating the other kinds of love you have in your life? Like the love of friendship, the love of family, or the love of your pet? Some women I know hold an annual Valentine’s Day lunch for their single women friends. They celebrate friendship love and have a good time eating, laughing and enjoying each other.
Here’s a radical idea: how about choosing to love your self on the heart holiday? Think about making some “Valentine’s Day Resolutions.” They’re like New Year’s resolutions, but they may have a more I-can-do-this stickiness factor to carry them out because they are based on loving yourself.
For example, you could decide to love yourself enough to: realize your true worth and value comes from God, not what others say about you…finally lose weight…make that phone call you’ve been putting off…send a hello email or letter to your parents and get reconnected…take a much needed vacation or even a day off…go to bed earlier and get the rest you need…fill in the blank here for what you need the most.
No valentine this year? No worries. You’ve already got the Love you need. Let’s celebrate!
Jackie M. Johnson is an author and freelance writer in Colorado. Her hope-filled and encouraging books include "Power Prayers for Women," "When Love Ends and the Ice Cream Carton Is Empty" and "Powerful Prayers for Challenging Times." Jackie also writes the Living Single blog on Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk website.