Valentine’s Day seems to come around again every year. You may or may not care, but someone in your life probably does. So let me offer you four Valentine Lies that might be hurting your most important relationships. At least one of these will be relevant to you. 

Lie # 1 – I can ignore it.

You can’t ignore Valentine’s Day. 

Even if you are lucky enough to have a partner who doesn’t buy into the consumer-driven-Hallmark-holiday-hype, why miss an opportunity to tell your person they are special? If you don’t, it’s lazy.

You don’t have to celebrate on the day. You don’t have to fight for reservations. You just have to think of something. Bruschetta board at home. Heartfelt note. Plan a trip. Remember a small gift idea. Wake up first and make breakfast. But don’t completely ignore it. 

If you’re in a relationship, get clear with your significant other. 

  • What are expectations for Valentine’s Day? Do you expect a gift. A card?
  • What are expectations beneath what they say are expectations? She said she doesn’t care, but I last time when I didn’t get a card, I could tell she was still sad. “Oh…you really didn’t get a card.” Sigh. 
  • Do we want to celebrate our relationship on a different day or in a different way? Why miss an opportunity to celebrate?

If you don’t have a date, be honest with yourself and plan ahead.

  • If it hurts, don’t pretend it doesn’t. Talk with a trusted friend who you know will encourage you.
  • If you’re still grieving a death, use Valentine’s Day as a memorial. Honor, remember. And, with gratitude,  keep living your life.
  • If there was a recent break up, get out in front of your feelings. Plan ahead, before you’re in pain. Before you see the other person post a picture on a date and spin out into anger or depression. Think ahead…

    • Make plans with people who are going to support you, and not just get you sloppy.
    • Make plans with people who are going to pump you up, and not just pimp you out.
    • Make plans with yourself—if there’s no one available—and do something fun and out of the ordinary.

The point is, make plans. 

Lie # 2 – I’m not lovable. 

That’s a hell-shaped lie you can never, ever allow residence in your mind.

Maybe you’re in a dry spell… recently broken up… divorced… Maybe you hate Valentine’s Day because it’s never made sense or mattered. Whatever the situation, stay focused on what’s true. 

You know in the core of your being that you are loved and unique and special. But I want you to feel it right now.

Maybe the man/men in your life have disappointed you. Maybe the woman in your life has made you feel less than or alone.

You are not alone.

Be still for a moment and sense your Creator whispering that to you…

  • through me
  • through that person who was just kind
  • through that circumstance that went your way
  • through the gentle breeze
  • through the beauty in creation
  • through the whisper in your soul

Don’t let the culture bring you down. Tap into your eternal soul. Reject the lies. Believe the truth: 

You are loved, and you are never alone. 

Lie # 3 – Love is sexy. 

Love can include sex, but most of the time, love isn’t sexy. The perfume and ED commercials aren’t helping.

In real life, love ages. But even as your body gets old and wears out, love can grow stronger and more fulfilling. Because, in real life…

  • Love is patient—even when the other is slow to change.
  • Love is kind—even when the other is harsh.
  • Love does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
  • Love does not dishonor others—even when you’ve been disrespected.
  • Love is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs—and there have been a lot of wrongs.
  • Love protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

That might not sound sexy, but it’s good. The nature of the created universe is LOVE. And it is good.

God is love. (1 John 4:8)

By the way, sex is not bad. God invented sex. Sex is cool. I’m a fan. But choose LOVE and let sex come with it. It might surprise you, but sex might actually get better with time, as we commit to figuring out this love thing. 

Lie # 4 – This is as good as it gets.

Don’t settle if it’s bad.

Don’t quit if it could be good.

You know if it’s wrong, not a fit, fake, or bad for you. Get out of the relationship. 

You also know that if you’re committed, or married, it’s going to be difficult. It’s going to be painful at times. If at all possible—not compromising your safety or your kids safety—work on the relationship. If you don’t, and could have, the next one will be hard, too. 

Relationships can change, just like people can change. But change rarely happens quickly. And the person that needs to be first to change is YOU.  

We can’t change someone else. They have to choose. But you can choose to change. To grow. To overwhelm the other with love and grace. 

My wife, Hilary, has done that for me. And when I feel loved, forgiven, accepted, and that I belong—even when I have a bad attitude, or did/said something hurtful—it moves me. Love helps me get out of my head and into my heart. It helps me see with different, perhaps “spiritual” eyes. Then, change is possible. 

Kindness, grace, compassion, unconditional love… These are the things that inspire people to want to be different.

Of course, with unconditional love and belonging, we also need boundaries. 

This morning my 4-year-old, Henry, was at the breakfast table, but not really. He kept getting down, running around, shouting at Alexa to change the song, and definitely NOT finishing the shake I made him and asked him to finish. I found myself getting frustrated. Raising my voice, I told him to get in his chair and finish the shake or he’d get a consequence. He gave me a glance to see how serious I was. I realized my face was aggressive and upset. 

Now, there are many days were I let the frustration linger until I get out of the situation or get the outcome I want. But this morning, I made a good decision, and maybe I grew—if just a tiny bit. 

Sitting down in the chair next to Henry, I said, “Henry, come here. Please come here right now.” He did. “Henry, you know I love you, no matter what. You always belong here, in this family. No matter what. And, I’m your dad. I’m responsible for helping you grow up and learn to make good, healthy and responsible choices. That’s why it’s important to me that you listen and drink your shake. Then you can go and play.”

“How much do you want me to drink, dad?” 

“How about just two more big sips.”

Henry drank the whole thing. 

It doesn’t always work that way. Sometime the person takes advantage of our kindness. And the closer that person is to us, the more painful that will be. And boundaries will be necessary. 

But, don’t be confused. Your relationship can get better. And it probably starts with with a heart-to-heart and a healthy out-pouring of grace and love. 

Conclusion

Don’t listen to the lies that linger around Valentine’s Day. Embrace what’s true, plan ahead, and pour out (not-so-sexy) love.