A guest post from my 16-year-old daughter Christina:
A lot of people have been asking me how I’m SO content with not having a relationship on Valentine’s Day and how I can look forward to Valentine’s Day SO much when I’m single…….and be dancing around declaring that I’m single and looking forward to that. Someone asked me if I really had that bad of a relationship, that now I’m celebrating escaping it. (People have been pointing out that i’ve been a lot more excited for Valentine’s Day than I’ve ever been even when I was in a relationship!) It’s not that at all! At first I didn’t fully know why I was sooo happy!
But then I started thinking about what I was celebrating! And it hit me that my reason for celebrating has completely changed. Up until this year it’s always been about celebrating a romantic relationship – and those relationships are special and should be cherished and celebrated. But this year, I’m celebrating something even more than that. I’m celebrating a perfect love. I’m celebrating the fact that God loves us, that Jesus came to die for us all and that he is willing to love us without condition. He is the one person who will never hurt us, but we can still enter a deep relationship with him. It’s so encouraging in a world of people who feel absolutely useless and worthless, or who feel abandoned by the people who should have held them close: their parents, a close friend etc. to know that God will stand by them. That gives me hope. It means that everyone can encounter an amazing love that has the power to change them and heal them. That is worth celebrating! That’s not just me getting a very sweet guy and having a fairly good (but not flawless) relationship with him, that’s the world getting a chance to encounter a perfect love that has the power to change their lives! Wow!
St. Valentine was a martyr who was massacred. He died for his faith in God. When I realized this I danced around my room for five minutes. He loved God enough to lay down his life for him. Laying down your life for someone: that’s pretty deep love right there. The day signifies something so deep that I totally forgot to think about. Nowadays culture tells us that the most important love is romantic (some people base their purpose on it) and that red roses are the ultimate symbol of love. Both of those things are good things, but the ultimate symbol of love is not chocolates or roses – it’s sacrificing for the one you love. The ultimate symbol of love is dying for the one you love. The ultimate symbol of love is the cross. To me Valentine’s Day is a love day, but it’s no longer just about roses and chocolates. It’s about the sacrifice a martyr made because he knew that God’s love was so much bigger and more important than his own life. He knew that God’s love was enough to fill the empty voids in not just his heart, but the whole world’s . And if I’m ever marrying or seriously dating someone, i’ll celebrate the romantic stuff too. none of that is wrong, marriage is a gift from God himself and PLEASE CELEBRATE those relationships too!!
And the great thing about God’s love, is that if floods us…..when we get a taste of his love we overflow with it and cannot contain it. It has truly taught me how to love others in the truest sense of the word.
Valentine’s Day is often called “single’s awareness day” and makes single people feel like losers! You don’t have to feel that way! God loves you in unimaginable ways! The God who created the universe loves you! Think about that for a second and let it sink in. It is enough! It is more than enough! Instead of focusing on the crush you have that doesn’t like you, focus on the one who loves you more than you could ever imagine or dream of or know. That’s why St. Valentine died: he died because he knew that love was so important to the world. Somehow we skip that part because maybe I think our culture’s god (or idol) probably is romantic relationships in some ways. but remember at the end of the day, no matter how popular you are or who’s abandoned you, Jesus Christ left Heaven came down to an imperfect earth and died for you. St. Valentine knew that was a love worth dying for. And if that’s a love worth dying for, it’s certainly a love worth celebrating and living for.