Two years in a row my husband has been out of town over Valentine’s Day, and that’s actually okay with me. We try to make a point to make special time for each other throughout the year, so going out on Valentine’s Day doesn’t have a ton of weight for us. But, what am I going to do on this overly Hallmarked love holiday?
Well, first it will start with my kids. My three wonderful and funny and crazy kids who are 5, 4, and 2. We might do a cutesy heart craft or art project (because they love doing stuff like that already) and we will cook our heart shaped pasta I found the other day at Aldi. We’ll probably make cookies too to enjoy after lunch or dinner.
Valentine’s Day, however, is more than just a day to do fun themed crafts and projects. It’s also not all about romance. I will certainly not have a romantic day, but just because it isn’t romantic doesn’t mean it will be without love!
I figured this was the perfect time to teach my children about the different love languages. I’m sure many of you have heard of them through Gary Chapman’s successful book The 5 Love Languages*. There is even this super cute book just for kids to help them understand these concepts! *
I got to thinking about this the other night, when my son started to get sad and told me he really wanted to hug daddy. I then told my 70 pound 5 year old to climb into my lap and hug me tight. We then had this beautiful conversation about how he and his daddy show each other love through hugs! My son feels loved through physical touch. Since his daddy is out of town and he isn’t getting the daddy hugs he usually gets, I made sure to give him more mommy hugs. In this simple act and our conversation I was validating his desire and doing my best to meet a need.
This got me thinking about all my kids and how they might have a different love language than myself or each other. After talking with my 4 year old daughter I am guessing her primary love language is quality time. I believe this is why she demands that I be the one to put her to bed every night. It may not be obstinance, it may be a legitimate need for that special one on one mommy-daughter time. That quality time happens with her and I at bedtime because it is just her and I. We talk, we sing, we pray, and she knows that mom loves her.
So I don’t know what your plans are for Valentine’s day, but I encourage you to think outside the box! Maybe you don’t have a boyfriend or a spouse to do something romantic with and that is OKAY! Please don’t buy into the lie that Valentine’s day is just for lovers because it’s not. Love is SO much more than a little romance. Love is sacrifice, love is putting others before yourself, and love is sometimes one-way. Right now in this season of my life for example the love I give my kids (like meeting their basic everyday needs!) is quite a bit greater than the love they might intentionally give me…because they are young and they are learning…and they can’t do dishes for me yet without making more of a mess. 😛
Tell your friends what their friendship means to you. Tell your parents how you appreciate them. Let your co-workers know that you care about them as people and not just how they function in your work setting. Tell the little children in your life that they are valuable. Celebrate the fact that you are loved most by God and His love is vastly greater than the love of any child, or parent, or spouse, or friend. Let that love spill over to the people around you as you find ways to verbally express your love, or give a gift or a hug, or perform an act of kindness or service, or spend special time with someone.
Happy Valentine’s Day friends.
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