I can’t believe it’s February! Of course, when I think of February, I think of Valentine’s Day (thanks, Hallmark!). It is a day of celebrating love, relationships, and all things red and pink. For some, it is a holiday filled with roses, chocolates, and romantic dates, but for others, it is a day full of anxiety and past hurts.
Many people go into a cave in February, only to crawl out again in March, when Spring in on the horizon. This dread and avoidance mentality is quite the opposite of the celebration of love that Valentine’s Day promotes.
So, how do we change that? How do we promote celebrating love in a healthy way, so it is not just one, single holiday but a daily life choice?
Disclaimer: I’m not promoting the commercialism of Valentine’s Day, by any means, but instead, looking at the holiday as an opportunity to find freedom from the past and move forward in positive affirmations and expressions of love.
1 John 3:18-20 says, “Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings and He knows everything.” NLT
This verse is full of action steps, so, here we go:
4 Ways to Love Again
1. More than words: We all know those 3 words “I love you” carry a ton of weight, so when we say those words, we’d better mean them.
Too often, those 3 words are tossed around without realizing the weight. Instead of only saying “I love you” continue the thought and include “I love you when you call me on the phone and actually talk to me instead of just texting” or “I love you because you are thoughtful and heartfelt in how you spend time with our baby” or “I love you even though we had a disagreement about taking out the trash.”
When we qualify the statement, it brings the weight and meaning to the surface and then the next time you say a quick “Love you!” to your husband, as you head off to work one morning, there is more attachment to it than only the words.
2. Truth in action: When we put weight into our words, this leads to action. Following up encouraging words with action is a lot more meaningful than the words themselves.
My love language is acts of service, so I am quick to show love to my husband by doing the dishes or going grocery shopping for the week. His love language is quality time, so while he loves to just talk and hang out together, I get antsy and want to be doing something. So we find our actionable truth in expressing love to one another by incorporating both things. We’ll go grocery shopping together and have meaningful conversation while sitting in LA traffic.
No matter what your love language is, the more you put it into action, the more truth you will find in expressing your love for one another.
3. Confidence in God: When we choose to follow Jesus and experience a loving relationship with Him, we can be confident that our past is over and we are forgiven and redeemed in the life He has for us. The more we study the truth of what God says about us – we are His children designed to honor and glorify Him – and put that truth in action, the more our love is evident in our everyday lives.
He forgives us when we mess up, so let’s be truly repentant and make daily choices to reflect His love back to Him and out towards others.
This means we can brighten someone’s day with a simple card that includes encouraging words, or give a smile to someone who needs a little cheering up. God will work in those moments, and He will get the glory.
4. God is love! He is bigger than our feelings and knows what is best for us at all times! So let’s relish in that! Instead of dreading February, let’s remember that Christ died for us because He loves us and it is only right to reciprocate that love to others, no matter how we feel.
Pray that God will give you a heavenly perspective that is full of His grace. Pray that when you hear “I love you” the next time, you receive its fullest intention and can return that same love in truth and confidence.
May you experience the love and peace of Christ in every area of your life.
ABOUT LORI ANN PISCIONERI
Born in Texas and raised in Louisiana, Lori Ann Piscioneri has the pleasure to serve as the Kids Pastor at Oasis Church in Los Angeles, located in the middle of the most populated part of the city – Koreatown. Oasis is a culturally diverse church with contemporary services and relevant teaching for people of all ages. Having grown up in church, Lori Ann was first drawn to serve in Kids ministry at Oasis in 2010, and became Kids Pastor in 2013. She is a professional opera singer and voice teacher and believes God placed her in Kids to help them build their faith and discover their gifts and talents. Lori Ann and her husband Mike “Pish” serve together, building up disciples for Christ not only in Kids but as Connect Group Leaders and mentors for young adults and couples in Los Angeles. They write, produce, and perform in exciting and creative curriculum for Kids ages 2 – 12.Follow Lori Ann