Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is about marriage love. St. Valentine lived at a time when marriage was forbidden by the Roman Emperor (who wanted his soldiers to be mobile, not tied down to a wife and children), yet he chose to officiate at weddings in secret because he believed that marriage is ordained and blessed by God. Yet although I think the day itself should be celebrated primarily by married couples, the reality of the world we live in is quite different. The stores are filled with sentimental cards for all ages, romantic ads fill websites sidebars, classrooms often host parties, children to adults exchange gifts. There is something in girls that responds to this with longing to be held special in someone's eyes. Something in the romance tugs at our hearts and urges us to have a special Valentine to share the day with. And so, as much as I would like to emphasize the beauty of marriage as honored by the original St. Valentine, our daughters need to know that they are special too, even without a boyfriend to celebrate the day with.
And so, our Valentine's Day celebration is about our love within our family for each other; about the unique special beauty of each person; about love as a gift from God for us to share with those around us.
My husband does an excellent job of expressing to each of his girls that we're special to him. He buys a card for each of us and writes a personal note in each. He buys chocolates and/or flowers for all. When we get up in the morning, we're welcomed to the breakfast table with that gift from the man in our lives. While I do things to celebrate the day, this loving touch from Daddy is THE most important element of the day in our daughters' lives. They need to know that they are special in someone's eyes, that there is a place for romance that doesn't require them to find a boyfriend before the proper time. They need to know that a man, not just their own mom or grandma, thinks they are beautiful and precious. One prayer I have for each of my daughters is that they will continue to receive the special love their Daddy has for them as the years go by. May they hold onto that gift and know their beauty even through the difficult adolescent and college years when the world around them is barraging them with the lie that love means something quite different. May they always know that they are special in someone's eyes, and may that knowledge support them when society tells them something different.

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