I love Valentine’s Day! Sweet words, the smell of fresh roses, chocolates, old school jazz, and time treasuring each other. A day when stores and restaurants are decked in pink hearts, newsfeeds brim with bouquets. Most of all, I love who I am blessed to get to spend my Valentine’s Day with.
A day of love. But, do we really practice love on Valentine’s Day?
Is it only a day for gift giving and sappy sentiments or do we actually strive to intentionally show love to our special someone, on heart day and every day? And what about the other people God has placed in our lives? How do we show them love today and always?
For many, Valentine’s Day may not seem so lovely. The pink palette and bouquets of blooms might only serve as bitter reminders. Others may be spending the day far removed from bouquets, conversation hearts, and the place they called home. How are we loving our neighbors, near or far? How are we loving strangers, immigrants, and refugees?
I admit, I am not very good at the art of friendship. I’m the one who sends thank you cards much too late for etiquette and is terrible at responding to text messages or initiating calls but I’ve been feeling pressed to be more intentional about loving the people God has graced my life with. Jesus is an amazing Friend, now and always. During His ministry on earth, He showed up for people; He dined with them and stayed with them and the commandment He gave in John is that we love as He loved (John 13:34).
So, one Valentine’s Day, I sat down and started the love list. I typed a title in pretty font and began listing people – spouse, parents, friends, neighbors far, neighbors near, siblings, etc. Then I wrote out fill in the blanks to help me brainstorm intentional ways to love them well.