This is a wonderful day of joy and affirmation for some, and yet can be a very lonely day for others… Its a day the single person could squander by thinking of what he/she does not have, pining for the clock to strike midnight to indicate that Valentine’s Day has come and gone. It can be a brutal emotional day. But it does not have to be. Not be a long shot! Instead, it can be a day to be thankful for all one does have, and to once again affirm that God is our refuge and strength. It is a day to trust the hand of Providence, even as the heart longs for His intervention.
Feelings follow Thoughts
If we are sad, it is because we are choosing to think sad thoughts. Sadness is a choice. It is impossible to be sad if we think about “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise…” (Philippians 4:8) God tells us “think on these things.” That is a command to be obeyed.
How long O Lord… yet I will go to God, my exceeding joy.
We do not have to read very far in the book of Psalms to see a writer express the frustration tearing his heart apart, and yet, after doing so, within just a few short verses, observe the dramatic change as he finds joy and rest in the comfort God brings to him. How precious the Lord is. Valentine’s Day for the single person, is a day to mimic the Psalmist and do the same. Pour out your raw frustrations and even your questioning thoughts and sadness to God. Tell Him all that concerns you. Don’t leave anything unsaid. But don’t stop there. Leave yourself time, as you read His word, for the Divine Comforter to bring new strength and courage to you as you sit in His presence.
Psalm 42:5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.
Martyn Lloyd Jones wrote, “Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them but they are talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you? Your self is talking to you. Now this man’s treatment [in this psalm] was this: instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself. “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?” he asks. His soul had been depressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says: “Self, listen for moment, I will speak to you.”
… This self of ours has got to be handled. Do not listen to him; turn on him; speak to him; condemn him; upbraid him; exhort him; encourage him; remind him of what you know, instead of listening placidly to him and allowing him to drag you down and depress you. For that is what he will always do if you allow him to be in control. The devil takes hold of self and uses it in order to depress us. We must stand up as this man did and say, Why art thou cast down? Why are thou disquieted within me? Stop being so! Hope though in God, for I shall yet praise Him.” – Spiritual Depression p. 20, 21
Valentine’s Day, like any other day certainly is not the time to settle for something less than God’s best. His sheep will find no spiritual companionship with goats. “Be not unequally yoked with an unbeliever” the Scripture says. It is better to wait for the sheep of His choice than to settle for the affection of a goat, just because NOT to do so would mean loneliness on Valentine’s Day. May Christ be our all in all.
Justin Taylor quotes something written by a 30-year-old single pastor who writes to other singles with some counsel. An excerpt:
Valentine’s Day doesn’t help. Images of candy and flowers get old pretty quick. And time spent in the presence of other couples makes you wonder if a Relationship is just the sort of fresh coat of paint that might make you finally visible to the world. And let’s face it, this isn’t the sort of issue over which the Christian subculture is getting any less obsessive or condescending.
But the one thing that’s not ok is to get all mopey about it. The apostle Paul talks about “being content in all circumstances.” Still, the great theologian named Tom Petty tells us that “the waiting is the hardest part.” So as a young, single pastor, I write this advice to all my fellow singles out there.
Here’s an outline:
•You probably don’t have the gift of singleness.
•Pray for love. All of it.
•You are not damaged goods.
•Take advice sparingly.
•Learn to accept the gift of singleness.
•Be the change you want to see in your spouse.