Tripping Over Valentine’s Day
Today is a day to celebrate love.
Love of spouse, children, parents, family, and friends. But do you ever find yourself wondering why you feel disappointed when the day is done?
Our expectations can set us up for disappointment.
If we expect a lovely dinner out, flowers, chocolate covered strawberries and a card, and our husband gives us a card, or forgets the date altogether, we may feel sad. Our expectations weren’t met.
And yet, are our expectations always realistic, or even possible?
I doubt, for example, that anyone going through a significant loss, anyone experiencing the heartache of a loved one in the hospital or prison, would even think about the day, unless to remember past celebrations and hope for the future.
So, how can we counter this?
Recognize where you’re at right now. My husband and I have had a very busy month. Right now it’s a pleasure just to sit together for an hour or two in the evenings. We plan to explore some local areas and take a picnic lunch to spend focused time together, the two of us and our dog, Paigey.
But a fancy dinner out will have to wait.
On the other hand, Don remembers my little needs and responds to them on a daily basis. He makes breakfast so I’m free to write. He brings in another pack of toilet paper when I tell him I’m almost out—and unloads it into the cupboard. He takes care of our laundry.
I could go on, but I know not every husband is like mine … some haven’t learned to serve in these ways; some are too busy providing for the family; some aren’t physically or emotionally capable of performing little acts of kindness.
But a kind word and a loving touch mean a great deal, whether it’s with your partner, a parent, or a friend!
And what am I doing to make Don’s day meaningful?
Or the lives of my single girlfriends? Do I think to send them a card, not only on Valentine’s Day but on other days as well? Do I listen when I’m with my husband or a friend, caring about their needs and desires?
Do I look for ways to express my love in ways that are meaningful to others? I took a balloon to a friend in a care facility Sunday—but she didn’t really want a balloon because it would clutter her room. I was disappointed in her reaction. But then she decided she really liked the balloon and wanted it to stay. But my response to her was predicated on my expectation that she would express delight in my small gift.
So what is Valentine’s Day?
While it is a special day to express love, we should be doing that every day, in large and small ways.
- Notes in a coat pocket
- Kisses when you pass in the hall
- Preparing dinner together
- Giving each other a backrub (who knows what might follow?)
- Finding things to laugh about together
- Sharing the qualities you love about each other – again, whether spouse, family member or friend
The apostle Paul said it best.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends.
I Corinthians 13:4-8a, ESV
I’d love to hear your ideas about what makes your Valentine’s Day special, or tripups you’ve had along the way.