I have an issue with Valentine’s Day.
As I grew up my parents gave my siblings and I candy and told us they loved us.
At school I got candy and those little cards that get thrown away almost as soon as you get home. I gave them too.
As I got older, I secretly wished a certain boy would send me a card that shared secret feelings. I hoped and wished, always to be disappointed. Even if I received a card from a certain boy that said something like “Be Mine” I could never be sure if he really wanted me or if he gave that same card to everyone.
Then middle school came around and high school. Every Valentine’s day I knew I didn’t have anyone “special,” but I wanted someone. So I quietly tried to squash the hope that rose in me each year, a hope that was repeatedly disappointed.
Valentine’s Day. Now as a married woman, I celebrate and enjoy Valentine’s Day. I have my true Valentine. The one who asked me for forever and offered his forever to me.
Still I look at my kids and groan. Valentine’s Day celebrated at school. Inevitably someone ends up with hurt feelings. Little hearts filled with hope that another little heart will give them approval. I see it on Facebook statuses, like this one:
Copy this to your status and see what you get INBOXED!(:
GOLD : Be my valentine this year?
RED: I used to like you..
ORANGE: You will be mine
GREEN: I wanna date you!
BLUE: I love you
PURPLE: I wanna chill
PINK: I like you
YELLOW: Your sweet
WHITE: You’re funny
BROWN: You’re amazing
SILVER: You’re cute(:
Approval, love, acceptance…We all want it. We want to know others love us, like us, think we are good-looking. Yet we have all the acceptance we need in God. He loves us despite knowing all about us (Psalm 139) – not just the part we play or want others to see.
God knows you and loves you. God sent His Son to die for YOU!
So how do I teach my kids to “guard your heart” (Proverbs 4:23) when culture dictates we are place our hearts on the altar of Valentine’s Day to be filled by anyone? I am not perfect, but this is what I try to teach my kids.
- I want them to know everyday, but especially the day the world celebrates love, that God loves them and that mommy and daddy love them. I want their hearts filled with God’s love and the love of their parents so they don’t need to offer their hearts to others until it is time. As Song of Solomon suggests (at least three times), “Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.”
- My goal is to use this day to teach my kids real love. The 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love that can only be lived out through the Holy Spirit working it out in us. I pray my husband and I live it out in front of our kids. I pray we pour Godly love into them. I seek to make this day about His kind of love, not our sinful messed up kind.
- I also want to teach my children not to expect a dozen roses or some huge token of affection. It isn’t about how much it is about genuine love whether it be a dozen roses or a dozen poems.
In case you are wondering, yes my sweet husband will be giving me a token of his affection on Thursday as I will for him.
What do you think about Valentine’s Day? What are you teaching your kids, friends, family about love?
This post is edited and reposted. For the original post click here.
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