This week includes Valentine’s Day, and as I have been for every other Valentine’s Day in my life, I am single. Most days I’m okay with it.
But I’d be lying if I said I don’t have times of wishing my life had gone differently, and around a holiday devoted to love and romance it becomes more poignant.
“Valentine’s Day is just a commercial racket to get people to pay exorbitant amounts of money for roses and chocolate. It’s not about real love.”
“Singleness is a gift. Be content and appreciate it.”
“Let Jesus be your boyfriend–he’s all you need.”
There are bits of truth in these statements (and bits of fallacy too).
But here is my truth, the one I live in right now:
I get a little jealous when I see people buying giant bouquets and stuffed animals proclaiming, “I love you beary much.”
It would be nice to have a special someone to share those “2 for 1” Valentine’s Day specials with.
I’d gladly get over the embarrassment of an obnoxious singing card.
I wish I had that one person I could count on to be on my side, who would give me a hug when I am sad and tell me things will be okay.
I wish for adventures in learning what it looks like to live in such a way that we serve God more fully together than we could apart.
I know the kind of love I want is not all teddy bears and flowery scents and candlelit dinners, but that doesn’t change my desire for it. I don’t think desiring to get married is wrong.
There have been, and will continue to be, times when I’ll get this all wrong.
When my desire to get married may cloud my view of the goodness of today.
When my loneliness may skew my perception of the ultimate purpose of Christian marriage.
When my plan for my life is not going as I had hoped, and in bitterness I shake my fist at the sky and defiantly ask God “Why?”
That day is not today.
Today, I don’t need reminders that God has a plan for every part of my life.
Today, I don’t need reminders that marriage is really, really hard sometimes.
Today, I don’t need reminders that the view of love I’ve read about and seen in movies is not an accurate portrayal.
Today, I feel a little sad.
Today, I feel a little lonely.
Today, I feel a little jealous.
And I ask of you, the world at large, please don’t tell me how to feel.
Not just me, but everyone around you.
Please don’t tell them to turn their frown upside down.
Please don’t negate their feelings of sadness or loneliness.
Please don’t remind them of things they have heard over and and over again with sayings that minimize honest feelings.
Feelings can go astray. I can become misguided, disillusioned, and make unwise choices when it comes to romantic relationships or a lack thereof. There may be a time I need someone to step in if my actions are out of line with what I believe and who I am supposed to be.
But please don’t tell me how to feel.
And I will try to do the same for you.
Til next time…
p.s. Has anyone tried to tell you how to feel about your relationship status?