Faith in Love

[ 9 ] Comments

by jendoop

Valentine’s Day is nearly here, in case you haven’t seen the aisle at the grocery store covered in pink and red like a Pepto Bismal factory and a candy factory both exploded.

This day can be difficult no matter what your life situation is: single, engaged, divorced, widowed, too young to date, or happily or unhappily married. It is a day that can throw our hopes and expectations back in our faces. So how do faithful people, who believe in love in all it’s wonderful forms and in eternal families but don’t see it in their lives now, approach this holiday and make it a good day?

About jendoop

Jen writes, reads, paints, walks, prays, eats and sleeps. Paul is her co-conspirator in teaching these skills to 4 children.

9 Responses to Faith in Love

  1. Lisa says:

    Focus on others and less on ourselves. That is all…

  2. Jendoop says:

    But that doesn’t make loneliness go away when you’re back home after serving and go to bed alone, or fight with your spouse. In the church we focus a lot on family ideals, personal ideals, but no one does it all or has it all. It can be discouraging when our righteous desires aren’t fulfilled. Service, as nice as it is, isn’t a panacea. Neither are people who are lonely necessarily lacking in service.

    • MSKeller says:

      No Jen it doesn’t, and if we choose to focus on the loneliness, we’ll always feel it keenly. If on the other hand we choose to focus on a beloved friend who sent a card, or a grandchild who hand-made one, or the love of the Savior or a dozen other manifestations of it, it helps. It can even heal. I know, I’ve been there.

      Does all the pain disappear? Certainly not, but does focusing on what is working make the day brighter and the sadness less? You bet it does.

  3. Bonnie says:

    My oldest and I were talking about this a bit ago while I helped her do some photography of her squirmy little ones for a Valentine’s surprise for her husband. She loves to do nice things for her family, little gifts, cookies, happy notes, etc. We talked about how it brings us joy to do those things when we do them gladly, and it brings such sadness when we hope for something that someone else doesn’t do. Unfulfilled expectations. One of Satan’s great tools to yank us around.

    I’ve been outside of a marriage for most of my adult life. I don’t have any expectations of Valentine’s Day and I’m not in the least sad about any of it. It’s a number on the calendar. Any day of the week I’m free to do something nice for people, and any day of the week someone might surprise me and do something nice for me. I’ve long felt that holidays are a trap to concentrate all of our feelings and efforts into one small square. Besides, they stress the flower child within out.

    • MSKeller says:

      While I think we are a lot a like in many ways Bonnie, I disagree on the trap part. I love holidays. I love Holy Days. I love that there are days set apart to concentrate focus and effort and thoughts on. Yes, expectations can be difficult. I’ve certainly fallen into that trap as well, but they can also be the most glorious, the most memorable and the most life-affirming days of our lives. Traditions and effort is demanding, but sometimes those are the very things that nudge me forward when I’d rather just sit and write another post. :: smiles ::

      Speaking of which, I need to get to that Seven Festivals of Judaism post. . .

  4. templegoer says:

    My husband tells me that Valentine’s day is for amateurs. Clever on so many levels.

  5. jendoop says:

    I’m so very glad that you’ve made peace with Valentines Day, many others are struggling to find it. I’m thinking of several friends I have that are often lonely, and today they feel like the world is mocking their loneliness. So share with them – How did you get to this place of peace? How do we change expectations when they seem to press in on us from many sides?

  6. MSKeller says:

    It has never been a difficult day for me. Not when I was single, or married, or young or old, or in a working relationship or a failing one. I can thank my father for that. Every year when we awoke on Valentines day there was a little card and a little treat for us. The card could have been mushy or funny or silly or hand-made or storebought, but it always said, that my daddy loved me. For me, Valentines day has always been about all the sorts of love in my life.

    If one sort wasn’t currently being stellar and meeting my expectations, another sort certainly was stepping up (or beyond). It is about Love. Sharing it, loving others, letting others love you, my mother just stopped by and brought me chocolate.

    I expect that the key to having any day successful (Mother’s day, Valentines day, Christmas. . . any day with expectations) is to decide that it is about what you want it to be about. What resonates for you this year. Looking inward to what and who I love, and sharing that, and looking outward to who loves me and shows that. . . has always made me overwhelmed with the wonder of the day.

    It is about allowing it to be about what I need it to be about THIS year.

  7. Mia says:

    I think it’s a little unfair to expect single adults to not feel lonely, at least to some degree, on Valentine’s Day or really on any day for that matter. I don’t think single adults should feel bad about feeling lonely or sad. Aren’t we supposed to feel that way? Don’t those feelings push us towards relationships? I was lucky that this year I had a valentine to share the holiday with, but I haven’t been so lucky in previous years. I’m grateful for the many years I had as a single adult and for the sadness (even depression) I felt during them. Those dark days make my married life now so much sweeter. As for what to do to help your single friends during such holidays? Just try to remember them. I remember one time my home teachers dropped off a single white rose for me on Valentine’s Day. I still felt the sting of lonliness, but that act of kindness gave me added strength to endure the trials I was facing as a single woman.

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