We’re only three days into February, but Valentine’s decorations have been on the shelves for a few weeks now. On December 26th I went to my local Walmart and I saw Valentine’s decorations on the same shelves where the Christmas decorations had been not even 48 hrs earlier. Amazon has suggestions for the perfect gift for my significant other every time I go to their webpage, and my inbox is full of promotional emails advertising for Valentine’s specials. This time of year there is intense focus on the physical aspects of love or what we might more easily define as “eros” love. There are also other types of love, but unfortunately there is not as much focus on the other types of love during the month of February. Valentine’s Day lasts for 24 hrs, but yet we change our focus and spend our time and money as if this holiday is a season of life.
This year I want to challenge you to stop for a second. I want to ask you turn on your television, or radio. Look at your social media and see what’s going on with your friends, and your extended family, and in the community. Take time to focus on the other types of love- like “phileo” or brotherly love and “agape” or sacrificial love. Take time to focus on the other people in your life, or in the community. Instead of thinking of the perfect gift think of ways to serve those who are hurting or in need of support. Is there shelter that needs volunteers? What about a soup kitchen? What about your sister or brother in law? Do they need a babysitter so they can go out for Valentine’s Day? How can you refocus this Valentine’s and think of the other ways to love and focus on the other types of love?