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Engage exists to provide perspective on culture through the eyes of a Biblical worldview, showing how that worldview intersects with culture and engages it.

We are a team of 20-somethings brought together by a common faith in Jesus Christ and employment in our parent organization American Family Association.

The Uncommercial, Uncynical Valentine's Day

02/13/2017
Kendra White
Film Producer for American Family Studio

It’s okay to hate the commercialism. It’s okay to hate the false expectations, the pressure to be romantic, and the cheesy balloons and greeting cards. But it’s not okay to walk around grumpy and depressed. It’s not okay to let cynicism or unmet anticipations steal your joy.  Scripture says the world should “know we are Christians by our love” (John 13:35). This applies to every day, including Valentines Day.

Here are 5 reasons I believe Christians should be especially excited about Valentines’ Day.

God doesn’t make bad days.

Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” That’s a command, folks. God didn’t say to rejoice when you feel like it. He said “always.” That means that no matter where you are in life, where you thought you’d be, or who is by your side and how you wish they’d treat you, you should have joy. But where does that joy come from?

Later in same chapter Paul tells us. He had learned, “How to be content in every circumstance.” These words have even more of an impact if you consider some of the torment he went through before saying it. He was stoned and left for dead, beaten, shipwrecked and plotted against constantly. But yet even in prison, Paul was able to worship and praise God. What was his secret? “For I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).

This means we can endure all things because of the strength Christ gives us when we choose to live in Him. We can have joy because we know that no matter what happens, Christ is with us. His love for us is unconditional. What a great truth to reflect on this Valentine’s Day!

It is a fantastic chance to witness.

So you hate the commercialism of Valentine’s Day, the pressure, and all that superficial stuff. I get it. So does God! All that stuff is just fluff.

The truth, though, is that our world really craves love. There is a hole in every human’s heart for an authentic love that will not fade like the flowers in the vase.

Every day of the year, your life should reflect the love of God dwelling in your heart. But why not use this particular day as an opportunity. It may come up at work or maybe God will lead you to talk to someone who is depressed or has the wrong idea about true love. “Always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that is within you” (1 Peter 3:15).

If you are a genuine believer, you are loved deeply by God and you know it. This should give you the confidence to share this hope with others.

It has an awesome backstory.

There is a epic backstory about the real Saint Valentine, a 3rd Century Christian martyr who loved God enough to die for Him.  The story has drama, courage, and maybe even a little bit of romance. (Editor’s note: You can hear about it on the Engage podcast here.)It also explains the tradition of why we send cards at Valentine’s Day and sign them, “From your Valentine.” If someone wants to give me a few million dollars, I will make the movie right now. I’m telling you, the story is awesome.

It’s a reminder to love and express that love for the other 364 days.

I hear people (mostly guys) who say, “I love my spouse 365 days a year. Why do I have to do something on this one day?” Well…you should love your spouse everyday. 

But we are human. We get busy and often forget to say the things we mean. What’s wrong with taking a moment to remind those we love that they are treasured? That doesn’t mean you have to break the bank or even buy anything. Just take a moment to value the precious people God has put in your life.

And that goes for women too. I don’t know why women get off the hook on Valentine’s Day.  That just isn't fair. Women, let your husbands know you love and respect them. One way you can do that is by not pressuring them or holding such high expectations on this day. Give sacrificially.

Also, Valentine’s Day doesn’t just have to be for lovers. You can use this day to encourage parents, siblings, friends, children, and strangers. Be creative. But if you want some ideas to get you started, I can tell you about some things I have done on this cool day:

Growing up, my one of my friend’s moms always had a big Valentine’s Day party where she would invite all us kids. She would talk about God’s love for us and I always came away feeling incredibly special.

One of my best friends decided to invite all the single women in her church into her home to encourage them on Valentine’s Day. This reminded how they are a valuable part of the body of Christ.

I once hosted a dinner for single moms on Valentine’s Day because I cannot grasp the stress and hard work encompassing their lives. This gave them a chance to know they were not alone.

My parents, to this day, send me notes of encouragement, flowers, or candy to brighten my day. It might be cheesy, but it builds up my spirit and reminds me that I am loved.

There is chocolate.

This might be my strongest point. One of the most obvious reasons not to hate Valentine’s Day is because there is always an abundance of chocolate on this day. And all that chocolate will be on clearance tomorrow. That alone is reason to rejoice. Just sayin.’

 

 

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