They say (who is they, anyway) hindsight is 20/20. But, often in the waiting, vision isn’t so clear, tears cloud the clarity of life, and sometimes loneliness just hurts.
I remember so many Valentine’s Days would come and go, and I wouldn’t get any date offers, no roses, no candy (except from sweet friends who made the month of February unbelievable for us single girls). The no candy part definitely helped me get rid of the sugar cravings from the Christmas candy overload — but still, sometimes I felt like Charlie Brown who never got a Valentine in his mailbox. Oh, and those Valentine’s Day school parties were awful. I have a feeling that’s kinda what started the feminist movement — us asking all the boys to “be mine.” I’m just kidding of course, but suffice it to say, Valentine’s Day is hard.
I had to wait for 34 years to have a Valentine. And a week before Valentine’s Day is when I finally met my (future) husband face to face. It was at a Super Bowl Party. When I left that night, without being asked for a phone number or anything, I was so disappointed. So, I was still single on Valentine’s Day in 2011, but at least I had the hope of someone (are you singing The Music Man songs yet?). At the time when all the Valentine’s Day candy and decorations go clearance is when I got an email asking me out for dinner. We talked for 4 hours. My lasting Valentine had come true.
But, for those many years before 2011 — from 16-34 (which is more than half my life) — I dreaded Valentine’s Day. As God would allow friends of mine to get married, have babies, go on honeymoons, get flowers and candy and sappy cards, I got jaded. I got bitter. I was lonely. But then God softened my heart. He allowed me to love people.
There are so many ways you can pour into people during the “love month” and you can do it whether you are single, in a relationship, or married.
1. Love on the widows in your area.
Your church should have a list of those who have been widowed. I guarantee Valentine’s Day is full of memories and very lonely. They may remember how wonderful they had it for so long, but now they weap with distant memories. Go, sit with them, bake them cookies, listen to their love story. Or just go weep with them. Go laugh with them. Love on them.
2. Have some single girls over.
Maybe you have other friends who are still single — older or younger than you, no matter. And when you get together, don’t bash marriage, tear down those who are dating, etc. Celebrate love. Eat a meal together. Enjoy friendship. I’ve had a night like this where we watched movies and another night when we wrote letters to other women who have had a great influence on us. In fact, I still have one of those cards that someone wrote to me. It is one of the sweetest memories of the last 4 years of my life.
3. Babysit for couples.
Do you know how hard it is to find a babysitter for Valentine’s night? And here’s another tip: do it for free. Meals on Valentine’s Day are expensive, and I guarantee it would be a blessing to the couple you are sitting for.
4. Hang out with other couples.
Don’t isolate yourself. If you desire to get married, hang out with couples who you think much of and wish to have a marriage like theirs. You will find out that no marriage is perfect, marriage is hard, and marriage is an amazing blessing.
5. Rejoice with your friends who enter into relationships.
Friends, this may be the toughest one. Every time I got another wedding invitation, saw an engaged couple on social media, it hurt. The loneliness is so real. But, I ask you, to pray that the Lord would grant you grace to show true happiness for those friends.
And whether or not marriage ever finds you, ultimately that’s not what this life is about. God is love. God gave Jesus to love us. We can love — whether we have our MRS degree or not.
Happy Valentine’s Day.