Redeeming Valentine’s Day

Welcome! Valentine’s Day is this Wednesday. I know it’s supposed to be a happy day, but if celebrating romantic love depresses you, you’re not alone.

Many holidays can be stressful for those with wounded hearts. But most of the others point either to God or country, which alleviates some of the pain.

Christmas is, at least for followers of Jesus, a holy day celebrating his birth. Thanksgiving turns our hearts to God and is a reminder of his goodness and blessings. Easter reminds us of Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection. All patriotic holidays remind us of our great country’s military heroes and the gift of freedom God gave, and continues to give, Americans.

But Valentine’s Day is different. It’s all about romantic love. Businesses market cards, candy, flowers, jewelry, and other gifts. Their message? If you don’t give your valentine a gift, you don’t really love him or her. This is all well and good as long as you’re in a romantic relationship.

But, man alive is it a tough day for people who aren’t in love or have lost the one they loved. I’m sure Valentine’s Day is very depressing for widows and widowers. People who’ve suffered through a divorce must feel a stab of pain when they see Valentine’s Day ads. Think how hard it must be for military spouses who’ve lost their loved ones in battle.

Maybe Valentine’s Day would be better spent as a day of giving thanks for those you love in your life. They don’t have to be romantic love interests. You can praise God for your family, whether living on earth or in heaven. Thank God for your friends and church family. Memories of good coworkers and others who blessed your life in the past could lift your spirits.

Cards, candy, and flowers could still make people happy at Valentine’s Day, even if they don’t come from a love interest or spouse. Maybe you can write a thank you card to someone who has made you happy recently, no matter who it is. You could take a lonely friend out for lunch on Valentine’s Day or surprise your neighbor with a candy bar. Many women like flowers, so a bouquet, not necessarily of roses, could brighten someone’s day. Just to prove my point, the Valentine’s Day gift I cherish most was from my dad. He bought me a single red rose and a Hershey’s bar for Valentine’s Day when I was 16. It made me feel like a young lady, not a little girl. I’ll never forget that.

If someone’s face came to mind while you read this column, write down his or her name. Go buy her a small gift or take him out for lunch. A little kindness goes a long way. It just might be enough to redeem this holiday for both the giver and the recipient of kindness.

Fallowfield United Methodist Church bakers made 357 chicken pies on Saturday, February 4. We had a great crew of workers, so the work went fast. We’ll be making chicken pies on Saturday, February 18, too. All net profits will be divided among missionaries and charities.

Have a wonderful week. Blessings!