12-point bucks. Festive kitchens or decorations. Caribbean vacations. Professional photos of big rocks on fingers and newly engaged couples making out in front of a barn somewhere.
Yep. Holiday social media is here.
Sometimes it seems like it’s got something to push everyone’s envy buttons. Somehow, even seeing a Pinterest-worthy Christmas lights extravaganze that outdoes yours can feel like a putdown. Not for me, but for some it can, and hey, I’m not gonna judge. We all have our quirks.
It’s not hard to understand why some dread this month.
But this season doesn’t have to be a train of helpless coveting delivered right to your phone. There is a huge opportunity here for us Christians, to let this month actually strengthen us.
Like country music, Facebook, or prom night, it’s one of those institutions that celebrates romantic love for those who have it, and acts as kryptonite to the contentment of everyone else. It threatens to bring to the surface all the self-pity and frustration that besets the honest single who doesn’t enjoy being single.
But this Valentine’s Day…I’m cool.
That’s been a choice.
We are all in a season we didn’t choose. Some of us are in hard financial straits. Others have been hit by injustice. Perhaps you’re just dying to be finished with high school. Some of you don’t need to be in high school to be fighting tooth and nail for your self-worth.
For others, the frustration is their singleness. Especially around this time of year. I know – it sounds silly to compare that frustration to the true suffering others face. But the longing is real, and it’s too readily sniffed at by those who are a different kind of person and value different things in their lives. So you won’t hear me dismissing any longings, even if it does overflow its banks. Some people simply don’t enjoy being single, and weren’t designed to. (That’s why this isn’t another tired treatise on why Jesus is your valentine. “That’s just weird,” as a single female friend once said.)
Unchosen seasons can seem overwhelming. Our emotions are a bully, dictating that we must be laid low, that we have no way to find peace or joy in these moments (or that we’re not being “honest with ourselves” if we do).
But we have a choice.