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I’ve read too many posts of people protesting or being angry about Valentine’s Day or pulling guns out on cupid this week. What is the real issue behind this backlash against V-Day? Are people mad they are single? Do they think it’s a commercialized and manufactured day to get them to spend money? Do they want to say something snarky or clever or “deep” to make themselves look like the only people that have things in perspective? I don’t know, but I think it’s silly.

I’ve spent a LOT of valentine’s days alone. This never bothered me. I still loved Valentine’s Day. I went all out for myself. I was rushing and running and always had something better to do than to focus on myself every other day, but Valentine’s was for me. I made mixtapes, bought myself gifts of candy and bears, had pizza, bought new bath gels and tried them out–whatever I wanted to do that I didn’t have time to do any other day.

I remember when the first years where we didn’t have to get everyone a Valentine. I was in the sixth grade. We could buy little paper hearts for ten cents apiece. The girls would give them to the guys one day, and the guys would give them to the girls the next day. For three years, I gave out up to fifty hearts, and I only ever received one–from a female friend who felt bad for me. You would think that it would be brought home to me that I put so much effort into this Valentine’s Day for others and no one thought enough to get me one when they weren’t obligated. You would think it would really bother me to the point I would be one of cupid’s biggest haters. But I knew that if no one got me anything, I had something for myself. Besides, the love I wanted and would get was bigger than a middle school valentine’s day.

The college Valentine’s Days were unique unto themselves. Now, it was even more selective. Guys and girls were partnered off and only cared about each other on V-Day. The gifts went from ten cent paper hearts on a string to fancy dinners and engagement rings or tickets to The Lion King on Broadway. Since I was miles away from home, I spent a few Valentine’s celebrating Single Awareness Day with the Christian Student Center (that’s how I ended up with Ten Valentines that one time). We went to dinner and a movie and had a great time appreciating the people who were in our lives, even if none of them were romantic interests.

I love the idea of taking time out to show people that you love them, whether it’s a romantic love, a familial love, or the love of a great friendship. Perhaps it’s God you haven’t been very loving towards. Whoever it is, you have today to change that. If the commercialism bothers you, don’t buy a flower or a chocolate; make a phone call, send a note, or make the journey to see someone you want to know that you care about them. And then do it next week, and the week after. If you’d forgotten to say and do things that reveal your love towards them until now, consider Valentine’s day a great reminder to do that.

Life gets busy, and sometimes we need a little reminder to focus on what truly matters. Sometimes that reminder is subtle, and sometimes it takes a little more to get our attention, like a store emblazened with reds and pinks.

Our minister spoke on Sunday morning about letting things slip. Sometimes, we don’t mean to neglect people or things, but we are so busy living day to day that they just slip. The Bible says in Hebrews 2:1 to give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip (KJV) Other translations say to “pay the most careful attention” “so that we do not drift away.” Maybe you are drifting apart in your relationship because you haven’t been paying the most careful attention to it.  Perhaps you need to use this little reminder to communicate more, to get your head back in the game, to get back on course. It’s not Valentine’s Day that is your problem; it’s that you haven’t been doing this any other day, and making the special effort today is like going back to the gym after years away.

Last year, I received a dozen red roses at work for Valentine’s Day. I was taken completely by surprise. Mr. Perfect said he didn’t need a day to do what he does all the time, and I took that to mean no gift for me. The card attached to the flowers read: Everyday with you is special and today is no different! Thank you for 3 years of your love and support. Love You, “Mr. P.”

The fact is Valentine’s Day isn’t any different from any other day in your relationship; it just brings your attention back to it. So, with a great amount of love, I am saying to you “Don’t kill the messenger.”