My husband and I have never recognized Valentines Day. Even when we dated we decided the holiday was an over-stimulated way to recognize what we celebrate everyday. The high expectations and pressure, and overall “cheesiness” of the holiday also kept us at bay.
This year, though, I think I am going to take all the giant hearts and chocolate obsessed grocery-aisles as reminders to celebrate my love for Jesus.
The Sunday-school class I teach for JH and High-school girls found a unique way to celebrate advent (in December). We made paper chains with 25 ways we can show love to Jesus during His Birthday month. Many of the ideas will work well for a Valentine’s advent as well!
Here is how we created our daily celebration of loving Jesus:
We started with the 5 Love Languages and applied them to ways we can love Jesus. For example
- Physical Touch can be offering a hug to someone, or holding hands while praying for someone, etc.
- Giving gifts could be giving a Bible away, or wrapping a present for an “Angel Tree” child.
- Words of Affirmation: writing a love letter to Jesus and putting it under the tree.
- Quality Time: spending time reading God’s Word, being still, or worshiping.
- An Act of Service could look like making your sister’s bed (for the young ladies who still live with their families; my sister did this for me all the time and it always touched me deeply.)
Though it isn’t possible to physically touch Jesus, or actually give Him gifts or service, but Jesus said, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40). Many of our tasks consisted of things we did for others, but always in the name of loving Jesus.
Next, we made paper chains as a reminder of each day’s love-task. We wrote one idea each on strips of paper. Each day, everyone completed their tasks and added a new chain till we had the perfect decoration by the holiday. You can have one chain for the family, or one chain per-person in the family.
You could fill a pretty vase with small notes of these suggestions, and take one out each day. Or fold each suggestion around a piece of chocolate in a chocolate box. You might not eat the entire box of chocolates when you focus on tangibly loving Jesus with each bite.
Or tie each suggestion to a rose. Keep 14 roses in the fridge or a back room; every day you complete the task, bring one rose out into a vase on the dining table; you can see the reminder of your growing relationship with God every day. Have fun and include your roommates or kids. Just remember to keep the focus on loving Jesus during Valentines.
Take some time over the next few days thinking about how God loves you. Get creative and write your ideas on how to “love because He first love us.” Share your ideas with us in a comment below. And don’t forget to get on the beckyrosty.wordpress.com email list, because I’ll be posting ideas soon!
Shane and I will still treat V-day as any ole’ day (which is such a sigh of relief), but I think this exercise in loving Jesus will set my heart aflame for the Lord even more.