Valentine’s Day can be difficult for those of us who are single, but as children of the God who is love, it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few tips to help you have a good Valentine’s Day this year:
1. Reject feelings that are not true.
As we are confronted with our lack of romance on Valentine’s Day, the temptation to discontentment is strong. Desiring love and marriage is not wrong in and of itself. In fact, God created marriage—it’s a good thing. The problem comes when we begin to feel like we have to have romantic love or we can’t be happy. That’s discontentment. And it’s a sin— first, because it’s ungrateful and demanding in light of who we are compared to God, and, second, because we are told in Philippians 4 to rejoice in the Lord always (Keep in mind that Paul was in prison when he penned those words.).
Even though we may feel like there is no alternative to discontentment, we don’t have to be discontent. Christ has set us free from sin (Romans 6). We don’t have to wallow in self-pity over our relationship status. We are free to rejoice in the Lord.
2. Delight in God’s love.
We are small, sinful people. Yet the great Creator of the universe loves us. In the greatest mystery the world has ever known, God has given Himself for us and to us. It’s not just that He does good to us in spite of our sinful ugliness: He actually wants us. He wants to dwell with us, dreaming and working together, enjoying good things together, walking through hard times together, and, ultimately, living happily ever after together. His is a love that goes deeper and further than we can even begin to imagine. And if we are Christ’s, that love is ours. When we are tempted to be unhappy on Valentine’s Day, let’s take the opportunity to rejoice in God’s amazing love for us.
3. Choose love.
The world’s version of love is all about self: what/who will make me happy? For all of us single girls at Valentine’s Day, it might look like daydreaming about the cute guy with the flowers. Or maybe locking ourselves away from the world for a day to avoid the harsh confrontation of our lonely existence. Or maybe doing something fun to prove to ourselves that we don’t need anyone else. Or possibly a night with a chick flick and a box of chocolate and tissues to mourn our solitude. But real love is not about us. Jesus set the example: “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren,” (1 John 3:16). Instead of focusing on all the woes of singleness this Valentine’s Day, let’s think about others.
Rejoice with those who rejoice.
Be happy for your friend with the chocolate from the “most handsome, kind, amazing, loving husband in the world.” God has blessed her with that gift. She’s not attacking your relationship status. She’s just enjoying hers. You can be happy for her. 🙂
Be thoughtful and kind.
You don’t have to have a boyfriend to be thoughtful. (Surprise, surprise.) Everyone needs to be reminded that they are loved and appreciated sometimes. Use Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to do so. Consider people you know who may be having an especially difficult day because of circumstances–maybe they have lost their spouse or gone through a painful break-up. Write them a note or send them a text just to let them know you’re thinking about them. Think about the people you love. You can make Valentine cards or bake cookies for friends and family. Encourage other singles in the love of Christ. It’s hard to be unhappy when you’re trying to make other people happy.
4. Appreciate Romance.
You don’t have to have romance to be able to appreciate it just like you don’t have to have musical ability to appreciate good music. The very fact that God created romance and marriage makes it beautiful. When you see married people showing their love to each other, resist the temptation to feel depressed because you’ve been left out. Instead, be in awe of the God who designed something so beautiful to illustrate the glorious relationship of Christ and His church.
5. Thank God for your singleness.
Yes, I’m serious. 🙂 We can be thankful for our singleness because it is a gift. It might be a gift more like socks than the dollhouse that we asked for when we were kids, but it is still a gift from a good Father who knows what we need far better than we do. “The Lord is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His deeds,” (Ps. 145:17).
6. Show the world that God is awesome.
Everyone has to live life without something. It might be gluten. It might be an arm or a leg. It might be eyesight. It might be a spouse. How do we respond to what we can’t have? Do we let it destroy our happiness? There are many things in life that we can’t control, but we can control how we respond to those things. Our attitude about our singleness communicates something to the world. By God’s grace, let’s communicate that our God is amazing in His goodness and kindness to us and that we lack nothing in comparison to the riches that we have in Him.