Valentine’s Day will be here before you know it! While some anticipate the day with great excitement, others shy away from the day, or would even prefer to forget the whole thing.

I’ll never forget my biggest Valentine’s Day fail. It so happened that my wife was on a pretty strict diet that year—so chocolate was out. In addition, my wife likes flowers, but is not overly crazy with receiving them on Valentine’s Day. One thing that she has always told me is that it’s the thought that counts and she prefers when I actually put some thought into a gift.

So, this one year, I decided to create a “healthy basket of love.” I bought a decorative basket and filled it with all sorts of healthy treats like protein drinks, nutrition bars, and some other healthy snacks. But I needed to top it of with something special. Then, it caught my eye, an adorable stuffed animal with a heart that said, “kiss me”. I was ecstatic. I was actually feeling really good about the whole thing.

In retrospect, I probably should have thought it through a little more. You see, the stuffed animal I chose was a stuffed, pink pig! Not the best animal to serve as a crescendo for a basket full of healthy treats given on Valentine’s Day. FAIL! We still laugh about it now. And, the cute little piggy, from time to time, will have a prominent place on our decorated bed to serve as a vivid reminder of my Valentine’s Day fail.

Many of us take Valentine’s Day very seriously. According to a 2013 CNN study (1): sixty-four percent of men buy flowers while thirty-six percent of women buy flowers (some studies suggest that some women buy flowers for themselves). As Americans, we will spend 1.6 billion dollars on candy. And don’t forget about our love of pets. Pet owners will spend about 5 dollars on their pets.

But for many, Valentine’s Day can be a very emotional and even a depressing day. For example, there are many singles who would like to be in a serious relationship and long for love and companionship. In addition, there are many widows and widowers who will struggle on this day.

One thing that we can do is to reach out with God’s love during this time. Chances are, there is someone in our extended family, at work, at church, or in our neighborhood who could use a special touch this year. Here’s a few ideas:

  • As a family, invite someone over for a special Valentine’s Day meal
  • Have the kids draw homemade cards and allow them to help you make some special treats–like heart-shaped cookies. Deliver these to that person
  • Consider sending a flower bouquet or a special gift
  • Send a special card or make a simple phone call

There are many different ways that we can reach out with God’s love to those who are hurting. When we reach out with God’s love in tangible ways, we always make someone feel special and that’s always a win-win!

1. CNN Valentine’s Study

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