It never fails.
Every year on Valentine’s Day I feel the enemy’s whispers sling at me like arrows aimed for my heart.
They try to tell me I’m not loved. I’m not good enough. I’m not loved enough to be noticed or to be shown love on this day. I’m not lovable. I don’t matter.
It doesn’t matter that I’m married to a man who loves me and that this year we’ve been married for a decade or that we’ve known each other for half our lives.
It doesn’t matter whether my husband is home with me and loving me well, speaking my love language, pouring his love into me or whether I’m completely alone while he’s overseas and there’s no evidence of Valentine’s Day in my world.
The whispers still come.
I’ll wake up Valentine’s Day morning and scroll through my newsfeeds and flip through social media. I’ll see the images of gorgeous bouquets of red roses, surprise handwritten love notes. I’ll see the beauty of love showing up in the lives around me.
And instead of rejoicing for them and with them like I should, my first inclination will be a temptation to compare and feel jealousy rise up, which just seeks to feed those whispers.
(Maybe this happens to you too?)
I’ve learned my greatest hindrance in living with a full heart on Valentine’s Day is setting expectations and desires in my heart for how I want others to show their love to me.
But I’ve learned I need to flip the switch on my perspective.
If I don’t, I fall victim to those whispers seeking to engage me in spiritual warfare, seeking to rob me of love and life and joy on Valentine’s Day, seeking to destroy my heart.
I need to let go of my expectations on Valentine’s Day.
I need to focus on finding ways to pour God’s love into those around me, into my husband, into my children, our family, friends, neighbors.
I need to seek to give and not receive. It is better (Acts 20:35).
When we give our love, we give God’s love, we fulfill His call for us, and His love fills us.
You see this isn’t to ignore my desire to be loved.
Because to be loved, to be seen, to matter, these are our greatest desires, even needs, as human beings.
But instead of looking for others to fill me with their love, I’m going to focus on allowing God’s love to fill me.
I’m expecting God’s love this Valentine’s Day.
And that’s how you win against the whispers that want to engage you in spiritual warfare.
People will disappoint you. People will love you imperfectly. And even if they show up, the enemy will still try to find sneaky ways to steal the love from you.
God loves you perfectly and fully and faithfully.
God’s love does not disappoint.
Wrap yourself in God’s love and guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23).
Here’s my idea for us this Valentine’s Day. Let’s tape a scripture, a love note from God, to our bathroom mirrors so that when we wake up Valentine’s Day morning, those words, His loving words to us, are the first to greet us and fill us.
Here are two of my favorite scriptures about God’s love for us:
“Understand, therefore, that the LORD your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands.” Deuteronomy 7:9
“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3
Maybe print out this scripture image I made and and tape it to your mirror or carry it in your pocket so you fill your mind and your soul with this reminder of God’s love for you. (Click here to download.)
Then, let’s say a prayer asking God to show us ways and give us opportunities to love those we come into contact with in our day.
And then, let’s walk through our day giving love and expecting to find evidence of God’s love for us.
Maybe we will see evidence of God’s love in the daffodils you see blooming along the side of the road as you drive your kids to school. Maybe it’s in a co-worker’s invitation to lunch. Maybe it’s a friend’s text. Maybe it’s turning the radio on and hearing your favorite song. Maybe it’s in the sunset bursting forth radiant colors. Maybe it’s a stranger’s warm smile. Maybe you had wanted roses, but you let go of your expectations and instead of making up stories or listening to the enemy’s lies or feeling disappointed when you don’t receive any, you choose to see your husband’s love for you when he wakes up at zero dark thirty to serve and provide for you and your family, and then offers to put the kids to bed that night so you can rest even though he’s had an even longer day and he needs the rest himself.
When we find love notes from God in our day, let us be glad and give thanks and continue through our day with grateful hearts, thankful for His love.
And let us not forget the greatest evidence of God’s love for us, His greatest act of love, His Son’s blood poured out on the cross for us (John 3:16).
When we fill ourselves with God’s love and pour our love out into others, we have found the secret to living loved on Happy Valentine’s Day.
I actually wrote about How to Have a Happy Valentine’s Day last year, which you can read here.
God’s beloved, I don’t know where you are on this Valentine’s Day.
I don’t know if you’re single longing for someone to love and be loved by. I don’t know if you’re suffering from betrayal or hurt in your marriage or maybe have experienced the heart break of divorce. I don’t know if you’ve lost your spouse and your broken heart aches and yearns for them. Or maybe you’re in a sweet season of enjoying the love of a spouse or you’re completely content where God has you.
What I do know, is we all have a need to be loved and we all have hearts that break.
And I know the enemy will try to engage each of us on Valentine’s Day, aiming his whispers and lies at our broken places and our need for love.
Let us be on guard, let us allow God to fill our needs and broken places, let us seek Him, let us open our hearts to Him, let us live as His beloved.
Let’s expect God’s love and invite Him in this Valentine’s Day.
I shared a little bit more about some of these topics in my monthly newsletter for February (make sure you’re an email subscriber so you don’t miss out to future newsletters where we dig in deeper and I share special extras!). You can sign up here.