Updated: Feb 17, 2019
To the Single Girl on Valentines Day:
I get it. The explosion of red and pink at the grocery store. The elaborate gifts which you don't receive. The world telling us in some form or another that there must be something wrong with us because we don't have someone to share Valentines Day with.
In the past, Valentines Day was cute homemade mailboxes and cards from your classmates. Now, its a feeling that maybe everyone is right… there must be something wrong with you that makes you "unlovable." Satan's tactics play off of insecurities, our past before forgiveness, and the desires of our heart, just to name a few. He's very attractive, which is why we give in. The idea of a boyfriend is nice, but keeping Christ in the center of a relationship? Well, that's a bit daunting. Undoable? Not a chance. For the next few minutes, I want you to forget all the feelings you've experienced this week and your preconceived ideas about true love. With that set-aside, I want to show you some Biblical truth on what love really does look like, and your best way to thrive during this season of love.
A little bit about me before we begin; I'm super single. By that I mean I've never been on a date. I've never had a boyfriend. No guy has ever expressed interest in me. I'm saving myself for marriage. I'm dating intentionally. The world can and has called me out on my conservative mindset. Why? Because it looks different than what Hollywood promotes love to be.
The sweet fairytales we watched as children didn't tell us about the other side of romance. The heartbreak, the confusion, and the whole "follow your heart" business. Y'all, I gave into these kinds of lies! Maybe you have too. For the longest time, I believed that true love was having so much passion or strong feelings for someone. I thought that if you could be infatuated with someone long enough, things would just work themselves out.
But if we look at things realistically, things don't. The lies Hollywood has been whispering into our ears are flat out not true! So, you may be thinking…what does true love look like?
In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul talks about how without love, he is nothing. He can do many great things, but if he has no love, they are all empty. This familiar passage talks about all the things that love is.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it does not keep a record of wrongdoings. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 (NIV)
Hollywood's method of love really doesn't follow Biblical love. I remember some of the best advice I've ever received was to match up your significant other/crush to this verse. Are they always patient? Are they always kind? Be honest. If they don't make the list, its probably not best to keep them. Also, take some time to compare the list to yourself. Are you envious? Do you ever boast? Are you proud? I take this list to heart as some of the best qualities to look for in a future husband. This is what true love looks like.
Secondly, I want to bring up the kind of love we need to love each other with. Remember when I said that I always thought that love was based on feelings? Well, feelings can deceive us. In fact, they can deceive us quite often. Jeremiah 17:9 says that, "The heart is deceitful beyond all things" and Proverbs 31:30 tells us that, "Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord shall be praised." Feelings aren't an accurate source of truth when it comes to the Bible. In reality, feelings are just…well, feelings.
In Ephesians 5:25, husbands are told to love their wives. In the context of this verse, Paul wants husbands to love their wives with agape love. This is a love that is sacrificial. It puts the needs of others (specifically his wife) above his own. This was the kind of love Christ loved us with (more on this later). It says earlier in the passage (verse 22) for wives to submit to their husbands. Wives are commanded to love their husbands with brotherly love. This kind of love draws together. It looks for the commonalities so that they can grow closer together. I think it's pretty tough for couples to have disputes or arguments when both sides are living in this way.
So maybe you aren't married. Obviously, I'm not! I do have a promise that is really spectacular though. Christ loves just the same as husbands. He sacrificed himself and died so that I may have an eternity in Heaven with him. He will abide in me when I do the same with him. He has never left me, nor forsook me, he has never left me confused or guessing. Christ gives me satisfaction that I can't find in anyone else.
The moment we decide that something other than Christ will satisfy us, we set ourselves up for trouble. You see, no man can fulfill the perfect love Christ lived out for me. It would actually be very selfish of me to put that kind of pressure on someone. God created us with desires which he understands. Why not make those known to him? To lay it at his feet. It is way easier to see someone's relationship as "goals" than to content in yours. A lot of denominations market their love for God as a relationship. I don't find that in the scriptures. Jesus doesn't get into us. We get into him. Is it fair to wait for the Prince Charming to come into our lives and fix all our problems? Or have we been missing him all along?
Valentines Day can be tough for singles. However, have you ever thought about other people besides singles who could be having a hard day today? What about the young mom whose husband is off in the army? What about the widow or widower? What about your friend who just broke up with her longtime boyfriend? Though there are all sorts of people having to face this day alone with varying degrees of pain, I challenge you to be a light for someone. Pour into people. Be a blessing. Speak life and speak truth. Once we take the focus off of ourselves and place it on those who really need some kindness, I can almost promise you that your feelings and insecurities today will vanish.
I've noticed that there are two common kinds of singles on Valentine's day. One, those who are miserable, and two, those who act like they "don't care." If you've felt either way, talk to someone about it. Be honest with the way you feel, but be rational! Choose to be happy for someone today. Also, if you don't feel like spending it all alone, I encourage you to throw a girls get together party. Spend time in sisterhood, snacks, and soda. Have a good time with clean, Christian fun. I plan on doing something similar to this the day after Valentines Day (because hey, the candy is cheaper anyway)!
Valentines Day can totally be celebrated in a way that doesn't focus on romantic love. Whether married, dating, or single, today is a day which can be appreciated. Stop with the way too high expectations! Be content with where you are now, because God has put you in this unique circumstance with a reason. Find a way to fulfill it, then get out there and do it. Love y'all a lot!