Welcome to February and Happy Valentine’s Day Ladies!
I know, this might sound like an odd greeting for an article devoted exclusively to single women. After all, it’s Valentine’s Day a day where we celebrate love, relationships, and all things romantic?
If there's none of that going on it our lives, it’s easy to take the attitude that Valentine’s Day stinks and we’ve got nothing to celebrate. All too often, single women fall into the traps of depression, jealousy, anger, and bitterness during this time of year because of what they don’t have in their lives rather than choosing to celebrate what they do.
I remember an example of this from back in my Bible college days. In an environment of young people who were all looking for a life partner, Valentine’s Day was a BIG DEAL. Every organization that needed funds was holding a flower sale, a candy sale, or even a dating auction. There was a Valentine’s Day Social and chapel services’ focusing on relationships. There was no escaping the fact that love and romance were on everyone’s mind whether they were in a relationship or not.
Every once in awhile, there would be a single woman that just couldn’t take it anymore. They chose to protest by dressing in black and letting the world know they were depressed.
Quite honestly, their approach always seemed a little ridiculous to me. Why would you want to advertise to the world that not only are you alone on Valentine’s Day but that you were morbidly unhappy about it? Even more, why would you want to spoil the celebration of those who were in love?
Why would you want to be a sulky, sullen, party pooper who spends their time raining on other people’s parades?
Even back then when I wasn’t completely happy with or secure in my status as a single woman, I knew this approach was just wrong. Instead, I was going to get up, wear my brightest red, and choose to have a positive day.
Over the years, I’ve come to believe that this is the best way for any Christian single woman to spend Valentine’s Day---celebrating the love that is in her life rather than pouting about the relationship that is missing.
Granted, I understand there is another way. You could choose to sit at home alone, crying over a romantic tragedy, watching heart-wrenching movies, listening to “Love Hurts” on the radio and eating several boxes of chocolate. But really, what good is that doing you or anyone else?
Better yet, is this approach really what God wants? Based on Romans 12:15 which says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn,” I’m thinking the answer is “No.”
That’s why this Valentine’s Day I’m issuing a challenge to all Christian single women to choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
By choosing to celebrate the all the love that is in your life and showing your love to all of the people God has placed in your circle of influence.
A great place to start is by choosing to celebrate the fact that You are Loved by God.
(I know, I know…if you hear one more person tell you to “date Jesus” you’re going to throw up, but that’s not what I’m saying.)
I understand that it’s hard being single on Valentine’s Day. It’s even easy to start blaming God and accusing Him of not providing us with what we think we need to be truly happy. (You know, “If You really loved me, you’d find me a husband!)
Been there, done that far too many times in life.
Where did it get me?
Nowhere. Like a child that gets angry, kicks, screams, and throws a temper tantrum only to have the parent say, “Are you done yet…now let’s get back to life”, I wasted plenty of time and energy selfishly demanding my own way and choosing to be miserable.
What a waste! After many years, I’ve learned that this is not a good decision.
Instead, I need to change my perspective and choose to focus on the love that is in my life, beginning with the love of my Heavenly Father Who patiently put up with all of my silliness and continued loving me, working with me, molding and shaping me into the image of His Son. No matter what this Valentine’s Day brings, I know that He loves me 365 days a year.
In Him I am chosen. I am treasured. I am wanted. I am valued.
This is what I choose to celebrate.
My first Valentine’s Day Challenge to you is to do the same.
Choose to celebrate the fact that you are loved by God.
Some practical ways to do this would be:
---Turn off the sappy romantic love songs that are making you sad and crank up some praise and worship tunes focusing on God’s love. Some of my favorites are: “Your Love Never Fails” by the Newsboys, “One Thing Remains” by Jesus Culture, and “Worth it All” by Meredith Andrews.
---Go to Biblegateway.com and put the word “love” in the search box. Then read all of the Scriptures in the Bible that tell you how much you are loved by God.
---Write a Valentine to Jesus telling Him how much you love Him.
---Make a list of all the blessings God has poured out on your life and choose to thank Him for them.
Don’t just blow these things off as cheesy religious ideas---actually give them a try and see if your perspective doesn’t begin to change. Then move onto challenge #2 as you continue your Valentine’s Day Celebration.
Challenge #2 Stop thinking about yourself and find a way to demonstrate love to the people in your life.
Theoretically, as a single woman, I’m not supposed to have much to celebrate this Valentine’s Day. However, nothing could be further from the truth because my life has been and still is filled with true love.
First, I have the passionate, perfect, life-changing love that comes from a healthy relationship with Jesus. As we walk together through each day of my life, I know that I am never alone. I am always loved, protected, and provided for. He has my best interests at heart and is leading my down the perfect path for my life. I am my Beloveds and He is mine, and above all else, my heart fully belongs to Him. He is the Love of my life.
I’ve also known the love of a Mom who loved my brother and I unconditionally, laying down her life for us. Throughout the 35 years that we spent together, we spent countless hours talking, laughing, sharing, crying, and working side-by-side. Until she went to Heaven, we did life together. She taught me what it feels like to receive love and how to give love to other people. Having her as a Mom is a love that I will always celebrate.
As Valentine’s Day approaches, I also celebrate the fact that God has given me a very wonderful man as a brother. Since the day he was born, we’ve been close. Even though I’ll always be the Big Sis, he is a source of constant love and support, and our love as brother and sister gives me reason to celebrate.
Then there are my friends---women that I know I can count on whenever, wherever, however they are needed. I’ve learned something different from all of them, each one adding her own special gift to my life. From these ladies I am always learning new ways to live, new ways to give, and new ways to love.
Honestly, I could go on and on….mentioning mentors, church family, friends near and far. However, the point is this….
There is so much more to Love than the romantic love we see portrayed on t.v.
It’s our choice whether or not we choose to let love into our lives and celebrate it or reject it’s many facets while we wait for the fantasy. This Valentine’s Day, I’m encouraging you to celebrate it.
Again, here are some practical ideas for how to get started:
---Send a Valentine to your Mom, Dad, Grandma, or any other relative who made a significant impact on your life telling them how much they are loved and appreciated.
---Connect with a sibling for a meal or a cup of coffee.
---Send your nieces or nephews a box of chocolates.
---Throw a party to celebrate your friends. Play games, eat pizza and have a good time.
Basically, find a way to show the people in your life that you love them. Give yourself the gift of giving and join the celebration!
While we’re on the topic of giving, let’s move onto Challenge #3: Look outside of your immediate circle, and find a way to make someone else feel special this Valentine’s Day.
Even if you’re not in a relationship this February, trust me when I say that you are not alone. There are loads of women in the same boat who could use a word of encouragement to help them get through this difficult season. Perhaps you could:
---Send a flower and a Valentine to an older widow in your church reminding her that she’s still a loved and vital part of the body of Christ.
---Send a note to a young girl that’s trying her best to serve Jesus in an anti-Christian culture telling her that you think she’s awesome, keep up the good work, stay on track with Jesus, and trust that someday she’ll do amazing things in her life. (You might want to give her parents a heads up ahead of time just so they understand your intentions, but what parent doesn’t want their daughter to be encouraged?)
---Send a box of chocolates to a single Mom with a note encouraging her not to grow weary in well doing.
---Donate some items to a women’s shelter that will brighten the day of someone truly less fortunate.
Rather than throwing yourself a pity party, look outside your own four walls and see how you can make a difference in someone else’s life. What a great way to celebrate love while sharing the love of Jesus with someone in need.
Finally, we’ll end with Challenge #4: Choose to Celebrate Valentine’s Day by Being Pro-Love and Pro-Marriage.
One of the topics I hear a lot about as a single women ministering to single women is the divide that exists between married and single women within the church. Many Christian singles feel that the church targets families and they are left out or excluded from the women’s ministry.
I have to admit, I agree that a problem exists. My question to you as a Christian single woman is, “What are you doing to help solve it?”
The truth is that as much as married women need to put aside any prejudices, fear, or insecurities that are keeping them from embracing the single women in the church; we, as single women need to do the same.
Valentine’s Day is a great way to show the married ladies in our church that we are not the enemy. We are not against love or marriage, and we don’t want to steal their husbands. Rather, as godly women, we want our married friend’s marriages to thrive and grow stronger, knowing this is what’s best for our friends, their families, and ultimately the body of Christ.
That’s why I’m issuing the challenge for Christian Single Women to help Christian Married Women enjoy Valentine’s Day in 2015.
How can you do that?
----Don’t pout and make them feel guilty because you are alone. Instead, encourage them to enjoy the day and all that God has provided in their lives.
---Make yourself available to babysit so that the married women with children can spend an evening alone with their husbands. Better yet, do it for free and really let the women relax.
---If your church has a Valentine’s dinner or celebration for the married couples, offer to provide babysitting or help serve.
---If you have clearance from your church, volunteer to take your married friend’s place on nursery duty the Sunday after Valentine’s Day so that they can relax and enjoy the whole weekend without having to worry about getting up early to keep church commitments.
Granted, I know that doing one or any of these things will take a lot of sacrifice on your part. It will probably even involve killing your selfishness side that wants to say, “Why should I help her? She already has everything---I’m the one going without.”
Still, let me give you two reasons why this is a good idea.
First, it will promote unity within the body of Christ.
Secondly, the odds are that you will not spend every Valentine’s Day for the rest of your life alone. Most women are only single for a season and then they move on to have husbands and families of their own. When this happens to you, you will understand that the grass isn’t always as perfectly green on the other side of the fence as you thought it would be. In that moment, you may be praying for someone to watch your kids, give you a break, or be supportive of your marriage. Isn’t now a good time to start sowing the good seeds that you want to reap tomorrow?
Instead of living in the moment and wondering why THIS Valentine’s Day isn’t all you imagined, why not look ahead in faith and treat another women the way you’d like someone to someday treat you?
If you can help mend some of the fences that have become barriers within the body of Christ along the way, that would be even better.
Perhaps this challenge more than any other is the ultimate celebration of love this Valentine’s Day: Following in Christ’s example, putting another’s needs before our own, and serving one another in love.
When this happens it’s truly something to celebrate.
So these are my challenges to you---Go out and Celebrate Valentine’s Day!
Have a Happy Valentine’s Day, Ladies!