What is it about Valentine’s Day that can make it so awkward?! 

I remember in high school on Valentine’s Day the entire school lobby looked as if a flower shop blew up all over it.  Balloons, roses, and carnations everywhere and students would shift through the red, pink and white gifts secretly hoping that one bouquet would be theirs. At the same time, they were also hoping they had nothing, or if they did it was from Johnny-so-hunky and not from Grandma.  Either way, they would have to comment on the gift or lack of gift to other friends… oh, the high school drama!  

Some of that awkwardness follows us into adulthood, doesn’t it?  We see everything around us morphing into lovey-dovey hearts and roses and there is this strange feeling that what we get or do not get on the 14th determines how much we are or are not loved.  A single day can conjure up so many weird and disappointing emotions leaving us to ask ourselves, “Am I loved?” Is that the point of the day?

Valentine’s Day was originally created in honor of Saint Valentine of Rome. He was a priest in Rome who ministered to Christians who were persecuted by the Roman Government. On February 14th, 269 A.D,  Saint Valentine was killed for his beliefs and for loving on God’s people.

Somehow, over the centuries, we made celebrating a man who died for loving others into a day where we ask the question, “Do I feel loved?”  A day that was meant to be remembered for loving others turned out to be a reflection on “What will today bring me?” What if we started celebrating a little differently?  What if we go back to the roots of the holiday and ask ourselves, “Do I love others well?”

What if on this Valentine’s day I chose to not focus on the flowers that my husband does or does not send me. After all, does that negate or even prove the love he has for me the other 364 days of the year?  And if I’m single and there are no flowers at my work station, does that mean I am not loved by my dear friends and family?  

Let’s spend this February 14th dwelling on truth and not feelings of the social expectations of the moment.  Let’s instead go into the day thinking, “How can I love others well today?”  

If you think about a time where you felt loved by another, I’m betting it wasn’t a Valentine’s Day recollection.  I am guessing it was a small gesture on a random day that met you where you were, and at a time when you needed to know you were valued and loved.  We would love to hear those stories.  We would love to hear how you love others well! 

Melissa Cheatham

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