Celebrate Valentine's Day without Being Miserable
by Ryan Duncan, Crosswalk.com Culture Editor
“I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil--this is the gift of God.” – Ecclesiastes 3:12-13
I won’t lie -- I was a little peeved when I discovered I’d be writing Crosswalk’s Valentine’s Day devotional. After all, I’m a single twenty-something in an office full of married co-workers, and for me Valentine’s Day is less about the joy of love and more the glaring reminder of what I’m missing. You can probably relate if you’re like me. Every wedding invitation, every perky TV rom-com, makes a small voice in your head ask, “What’s wrong with me? It’s not like I’m asking for some smoking hot individual to pull up at my door in a Mercedes; I just want to be happy.”
I wish I had the answers to these questions. If I did, I wouldn’t be single. What I can share with you however, is a lesson I learned from the book of Ecclesiastes.
“I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired men and women singers, and a harem as well -- the delights of the heart of man. I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me. I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.” – Ecclesiastes 2:8-11
I think one of the biggest challenges people struggle with (or at least one of the biggest ones I struggle with) is keeping “love” from becoming an idol. We keep telling ourselves that once we’re in a relationship we’ll be happy -- that it’s only after we get married that life is truly fulfilling. Hate to tell you this, but that’s not true. Just look at Solomon; he had everything a person could ever want.
Money? He had more than he knew what to do with. Success? He was King of Israel. Romance? Completely covered, and he wrote an entire book of love poetry! Yet despite all these things, when he wrote the book of Ecclesiastes, his message was, “I am unfulfilled.” There is a God-shaped hole in all our hearts, and nothing in this world can fill that void.
So, what does that mean for us? Well, my advice if you’re single is to keep your chin up and keep looking. You never know who God is going to send your way. More importantly though, don’t let the joy God gives you be defined by your relationship status. God blesses us in a lot of different ways, but as long as we keep “love” on a pedestal, we will never be able to enjoy any of it. This Valentine’s Day, whether you’re married or single, take a moment to acknowledge and enjoy all that God has given you.
Intersecting Faith and Life: Have a happy Valentine’s Day!