I have to admit, I haven’t always loved Valentine’s Day. I certainly don’t hate it (don’t worry, I’m not in the “let’s boycott love and the materialistic, consumerist culture that it produces” mindset). I feel like Valentine’s Day can go two ways-you are either into it or you’re not.
In my late teens and early college (yes, it starts that young!), Valentine’s Day was a stark reminder of what I didn’t have. No guy doting on me and bringing chocolate to my door. No bouquet of a dozen overpriced red roses. I felt that for a long time, singleness was a cake, and Valentine’s Day (and basically the whole month of February in the Target aisle) was the icing.
Now fast forward to the other side. I’m now married, and not a newlywed anymore at that, PLUS I teach preschool where I have to be in to Valentine’s Day mode the whole month of February until we get to our Easter/spring unit. Basically, if you are an early elementary educator, your work days are dedicated to the seasons and holidays which are included therein. You never forget the season or the dates of upcoming holidays because we have a party for everything! (Don’t you wish that happened in other workplaces, too??)
I’ve recently learned a very difficult lesson, and that is simply to respect and love my husband when he doesn’t deserve it. Especially when he doesn’t deserve it. Because let’s face it, NOBODY is perfect and it is a waste of time to try to expect everyone else around to be so. Marriage is the ultimate celebration of love because it is daily sacrifice giving up yourself and your needs to focus on the needs of your spouse (this means being my husband’s cheerleader no matter his mood). When two spouses come together to lift, encourage, and support each other, that marriage will not only survive, it will thrive. We’ve lost this idea in our culture, yes? How many marriages do you know that would be brightened if we kept to this?
I realize most of you readers are probably already married (because most of the traffic to my blog is through my Instagram page), this works perfectly because you will understand my fresh perspective on the controversial, lovey-dovey holiday too.
Here it is: Valentine’s Day is just another day that we get to experience. It just so happens that on the same day, stores sell a massive amount of candy (that we get to buy on clearance the day after!) and sentimental cards that express what we wish we could say every other day of the year. It is just another day. BUT what makes Valentine’s Day so important is that it is a direct reminder of how we should and need to be honoring our spouses (or your significant other) EVERY SINGLE DAY. On February 14. On February 15. On February 16. On February 17. And so on.
My husband and I don’t really have plans for Valentine’s Day. To us, it’s just another day to be married. We’ll probably order out and watch a chick-flick, but I still have to wake up on Thursday and remember to love my spouse over myself. I may not specifically think that I need to celebrate Valentine’s Day every day of the year, but the purpose behind Valentine’s Day needs to always be behind my actions toward my husband.
And if you’re not married, then it’s ok! Valentine’s Day is still a day to remember those around us. Just because you do not have a spouse, doesn’t mean you don’t have to put someone above yourself. We should always be putting someone above ourselves (place in girlfriend/boyfriend, our teachers, our mentors, our bosses, our employees, our coworkers, our kids, our students). Valentine’s Day is a reminder to ALL no matter your marital status to treat other people kindly and respectfully, ESPECIALLY when they don’t deserve it. Because in the end, you would want to be treated that way too.
Life is short. Like, really really really short. Let’s go back to seeing love the way children do. Don’t leave anyone out. Always use kind words and your manners. Put others above yourself. Forgive even when no one apologizes to you.
And maybe, let’s throw in some candy hearts while we’re are at it.