Our funny Valentine

Valentine’s Day is actually quite a significant day when you look at the origins of Valentine’s day. While it is unclear exactly who St Valentine was- some say he was a priest, others say he was martyred for his Christian faith, whoever he was, St Valentine was obviously devoted to his faith and his church. This is not mind blowing or anything. Certainly not as significant as Christmas. However, There is something to be said of those who devote themselves to their church. Their home. Their family. They may be a stay at home mum. They may be a single dad. They may be a single person. Or a student. But we are all called to love. And to serve. These are the main two themes that spring from my research of St Valentine. He loved. He Served. 

So even if we don’t have a husband or boyfriend. We can still love and still serve. We can embrace love and service the way Jesus did. And we can let that spill over to the people we associate with. Of course it doesn’t need to just be on Valentine’s day, we should practice love and service everyday. But it is a good place to start. a good day to get the conversations about love happening. 

It’s our first valentine’s day as a married couple. The first one where we are in the same state together. We don’t really care all that much about the commercialism of Valentine’s day, and we have kept it fairly low key. Last night, Andy gave me a single red rose. He has never given me flowers before. So it is very special. He greeted me this morning with my toast and card in bed. 🙂 I made valentines for my students last night, and got the joy of watching their excitement and their faces light up. and watch their thoughtfulness as I watched them read the verse I had attached to them. Tonight we are having takeaway food and watching movies together, it might be lame but we are excited. 

While you might be feeling down because you are alone, or it’s a painful reminder of what you have lost, You can still enjoy Valentine’s day. Get into the Word. Look up every verse about love. Ask the father to really make his love known to you today. And you will have joy. 

I pray it is so, and that you feel His love today. 

 

Singleness and Grace part 3

I used to dread Valentine’s day. Not because I was a ‘down with love’ kind of girl, I wasn’t. There were usually 2 reasons: I found it really superficial, and it would always remind me I was single. I hate superficial things and I hate being reminded of things I can’t change.

Yet, deep down I wanted someone to share the day with. Funny how we can try to ignore something, yet secretly it’s what we really want.

This year, I have someone to share it with. And yet I am reminded of those years I didn’t have anyone. When I would sit alone on my couch and cry with a block of chocolate and a box of tissues. When I started dating a young man (who would later break my heart) I became confronted by a couple of things. The dilemma I mentioned in my last post.

I had spent years searching, waiting, hoping. I was so used to it and used to taking care of me, that I began to see how selfish I had become, when I finally had to share my life with someone else. Prolonged singleness can do that. You get so used to looking after yourself, having things organised the way you want them, making all the decisions that  it can be hard to give it over to someone else. In fact at times, it scared me to tears. I wanted nothing more than to find the man of my dreams. But then I had to SHARE me.

I remember attending a conference on marriage and dating (perhaps more to check out the young men than listen to the talk LOL) and hearing the speaker say “When you are in an intimate relationship with someone, your life is not your own.” I couldn’t think of anything else that scared me more. The fact that if I got married I would no longer be my own, but belong to another. Could I let someone in like that? I wasn’t sure if I could.

Yet, I felt God had paced the desire for marriage in my heart. So to pursue marriage meant confronting my selfishness. It meant getting ready to Share myself. It meant taking the time now, as a single person, to practice sharing (not giving ourselves away prematurely, but serving and loving others in a Godly way). It occurred to me that Singleness was preparation. Not just for marriage. but for all of life. Perhaps you never married, your singleness has prepared you for service to God with all of yourself. Perhaps you were headed to missions. Your singleness has prepared you for service to a world that is also broken and scarred and empty. Perhaps you have gotten married (or are about to) then your singleness is preparation for marriage. And ultimately it prepares us to trust and believe in God and his Word, come what may.

When I realised this, I started to live my singleness with purpose. Not to win a guy, or focus on marriage. but to focus on my growth. To trust God when it was just Me and God. Because I knew, if I couldn’t trust God without a husband, how could I trust him with one?

 

May you be blessed in your preparation. whether for God or a Husband. May you know his hand on your and his grace is sufficient for all those times you feel alone. 🙂