Backwards Valentine's Day

Posted by Naomi Vacaro on

Who Am I Loving, Anyway?
By Erica Hunt
My first Valentine’s Day as a married woman was far from what I expected. After many years of lonely, dateless Valentine’s Days, I had finally been blessed with a forever valentine. All my future Valentine’s would be the best days ever! After an argument, tears, and a late flower delivery, I was disheartened to realize though my circumstances changed, I still spent the day wallowing in self-pity. I had a ring on my finger and a handsome, kind husband but my heart was focused not on loving my spouse or others—but on loving me.
It doesn’t matter if you are single, in a relationship, engaged, or have been married for years, it is possible to feel the pain of loneliness, unmet expectations, heartaches and disappointments on this day that’s supposed to be about romance.
Relationships, from marriages to friendships, are special gifts from God and should be celebrated. But interestingly enough, our culture has taken this beautiful idea of celebrating love and convinced us it has to be displayed in a very specific way—shifting the focus from others to ourselves.

Comparison and discontentment creep into our hearts on Valentine’s Day if we don’t get chocolate, cards, flowers, etc. Focusing on what we think we’re missing makes us feel isolated and excluded. Envy can damage even the most contented relationships.

In Christian circles, 1 Corinthians 13 is referred to almost flippantly and God’s definition of love can really get lost. These verses are so important because they remind us of what love actually is:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes always perseveres. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV)

When it comes to the holiday celebrating love, Paul’s words are not the kind of love I’m inclined to think about. Instead, I am self-seeking and keep track of what I received from whom. Or I tend to be untrusting of love, scoff at innocence and become irritated and angered by displays of affection around me.

How desperately our hearts want to be known and loved! But we will not find the love which satisfies our souls in gifts of food or romantic relationships. Our longing for love can only be met in the person of Jesus Christ. He demonstrated His great love for us by obeying His Father and dying for us. In gratitude, I receive His love and share it with others.

Despite the disappointments or joys of Valentine’s Day, Christ’s love will be there to hold us in our loneliness or rejoice with us in our celebration of His good gifts.

Application Points:

  • Remember you are dearly and deeply loved by God.
  • Look for ways to take the focus off of feeling loved, and instead look to love others.
  • Choose an attribute of love from 1 Corinthians 13 to write out and cling to for encouragement throughout February.


About Erica: Lives with her husband, Justin, in South Dakota. She teaches middle school and loves traveling, collecting quotes, learning fun facts and historical information, drinking coffee, eating ice cream and enjoying good conversation with friends.

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