Giving Love

By Shelby Dee

St. Valentine’s Day is one holiday that people love to hate. I have friends who wear black each February 14. Others, single and married, refuse to celebrate a holiday that purely commercial. I don’t point out that commercialism doesn’t stop them from buying gifts at Christmas. I agree with my friends who say that we should be treating people kindly and with love all 365 days of the year. But that doesn’t stop me from wearing red and hanging a giant pink wreath on my front door. I’m on a mission to change the way we think about Valentine’s Day. Instead of asking, “How loved am I,” this day should be one on which we ask ourselves, “How can I show love to others?”

In the past I’ve gotten manicures with girlfriends and baked pies for neighbors. This year, I’ve made a choice to give a gift that goes beyond February 14. I’ve made a decision to sponsor a survivor of sex trafficking through Project Every Girl. I’ve been to Cambodia. I’ve seen the work of Transitions and the way they are transforming lives.

Millions are being exploited by sex trafficking around the world. No life should ever be sold. The girls of Transitions had their lives stolen from them. But through the love and care they receive from Transitions their hope is being restored and they are beginning to dream big dreams. Through Project Every Girl you can sponsor a survivor. Your gift will help provide shelter, medical care, counseling, education, career training and more. Through sponsorship lives are changed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Valentine’s Day feel free to wear black and refuse to eat chocolates, but stop a minute and ask yourself how you can show love this year. Consider sponsoring a girl through Project Every Girl and have a Happy Valentine’s Day.

 

About Karen Spears Zacharias

Author. Speaker. Journalism Instructor. Four kids. Three dogs. One grandson.

  • Samantha A Clough

    I’m one of those who dislikes the 14th. I love the idea of reframing it this way! Thank you so much for helping me to see it in a new way! Happy Valentine’s Day!

    • Shelby Dee

      Thanks, Samantha! A number of years ago, I knew I was either going to end up bitter every Valentine’s Day or I was going to need to find a way to embrace the day. It started out with me just doing something for myself each year. But a few years ago while riding in my car (one of those moments when I know exactly where I was), it dawned on me that I still had it wrong. I needed to focus on loving others, not myself. Re-imagining Valentine’s Day has made the day something to look forward to with anticipation rather than dread.

  • Sherwood MacRae

    Why get upset with the commercial aspects of any of our holidays. That is the way that the “world” works and – as Christians, we are not supposed to be “of the world” any longer…. or, perhaps, we may be kidding ourselves about our identity if we rail against commercialism.

    • Shelby Dee

      I don’t know why people focus on the commercial aspects of holidays. I don’t think it’s purely a “Christian” response though. I know plenty of nonbelievers who fuss about it too.

      • Sherwood MacRae

        I wasn’t trying to suggest it was exclusively Christians who complain; I just wondered why we don’t recognize there is nothing Christian in such activities and we ought to be – as we used to say, …”about our Father’s business”.

        • Shelby Dee

          I guess the question is then, can we be “about our Father’s business” while celebrating certain holidays or are the two exclusive of one another? Personally, I don’t think they are exclusive, but maybe I have it wrong.

          • Sherwood MacRae

            I have no problem with celebrating holidays as long as they are kept within the context of our faith. Excessive advertising and promotion does not seem to meet that test. Nor, do our complaints. As we are loved, we ought to be in the practice of loving one another; thereby, authenticating our roles as disciples of our Lord

          • Shelby Dee

            As someone who doesn’t even own a television, I also do my best to avoid the excess advertising and promotions. During a period of unemployment, I gave only handmade gifts. It was a great lesson to learn that heartfelt gifts don’t have to cost a lot of money, and you can celebrate holidays without buying into the commercialism.


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