Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Different Kind of Valentine

Hearts.  Candy.  Flowers.  Cards.  Dinner reservations.  Stuffed animals.  I {heart} you.  Disappointment.  Comparison.  Reminders that you're alone.  Or with a crummy 'valentine'.  Or that you're just not special enough for anyone to bother noticing, let alone sending you a valentine.

Yeah, isn't Valentine's Day awesome for the majority of the world?  Like most other holidays, it's a perfect opportunity to either spend more money than you should and/or feel incredibly bad about your current relationship status.  I'm very blessed to married to a great guy, but contrary to popular belief, having a significant other doesn't always mean a perfect holiday.   Once there is a valentine, in walks expectations and comparisons and pressure.  All ingredients of an ugly, hurtful fight.  Trust me - a warm body isn't a solution.

Whether cynical or dreamy-eyed about the upcoming Love holiday, I think we all could use a different approach.  Love is much more than candy and flowers.  And showering a significant other is only a small part of what love means in the world.

Honor the INsignificant.  Love the UNimportant.  Put your heart loving energy into brightening anyone and everyone's day.  Show love to strangers.  Buy somebody's Starbucks.  Show up early or stay late to help - especially if it isn't your job.  Use whatever you have - extra time, money, kind words - to love others.  And by all means, show those important people in your life love.  But make it meaningful to them - think love language.  Since most of us are going to be surrounded by this holiday anyway, make it really about love.  Not things.  Not appearances.  Not obligations.  

"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 keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails."  I Corinthians 13:4-8

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.  And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters."  I John 3:16

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