I love loving the people who are special to me.
I love all things sweet and sappy and sentimental. I love red puffy hearts and pink shiny bows and glittery Valentine cards. I love heart-shaped pancakes in the morning, heart-shaped sandwiches at lunch and heart-shaped pizzas for dinner. I love presents covered in heart wrapping paper and red heart-shaped chocolates.
I love all the tangible and intangible ways I can show my kids and my husband my unending and unconditional love for them.
Valentine’s Day is a holiday created with me in mind.
It can be so easy to get wrapped up in the sweet celebration of love for each other that we forget where all this love really came from.
We love each other because He first loved us. — 1 John 4:19
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be just about us. If we are as intentional about loving Him as we are about loving each other, the whole day can still bring glory to the Creator.
Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. — James 1:17
4 Ways to Honor God On Valentine’s Day
1. Make a list of the ways He has shown His love for you. The book An “I Love You” Prayer is a perfect starter for this activity, whether you do it by yourself or with your kids. Go broad – see God’s love for you through the bird singing outside your window or the kitty purring in your bed. See His love through the little arms hugging your neck and the heat in your home on a cold morning. Doing this with your kids would be especially sweet (at least it would be for me) because you could learn the good and perfect things they see in the world. You could simply make lists on notebook paper. Or you could make hearts and hang them on a piece of poster board. Or each member of your family could write their list on a separate piece of colored paper or on a large paper or poster with a different color marker (think pinks, purples, reds, and silver).
2. Do good in the world. One year I shared in a blog a list of 13 ways that kids can do good. Every single one would be perfect for Valentine’s Day because you’re sharing God’s love with those in need. This is my very favorite Bible verse:
Never walk away from someone who needs help; for you may be the hand of God to that person. — Proverbs 3:27 (from The Message)
Be His hands and share His love with someone else.
3. Read God’s Love for You Storybook together. Better yet, copy passages from it and tuck them into places where strangers will find them. In my church, the youth group goes on ATLs. That’s short for Ask the Lord. They begin by praying together. Then they get into a car and drive wherever they feel led. They stop wherever they feel led to stop, and they do something. Sometimes, they knock on a door and ask to pray with someone. Sometimes, they help people the do a task. I’ve even heard of them stopping strangers on the street and asking if they can pray with them. Do your own mini ATL by asking the Lord where you should leave your little love notes. Maybe one should go in between two boxes on a grocery store shelf, in the cover of a magazine in a waiting room, or on a public bulletin board. Let Him lead you to leave blessings for someone to find by divine appointment. (Can’t get the book in time? Copy Bible verses on notecards and do the same thing.)
4. Love each other. Love is a verb. Love your loved ones. Call your parents and in-laws. Go out of your way to serve your children and celebrate them today. Do something special for your spouse. You don’t have to go all out like I do, but let your family see the love of Jesus reflected through you.
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you should love one another. — John 13:34
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God’s love is always all around us, but it’s especially important to share it on Valentine’s Day. What tangible ways do you share God’s love with others around you?