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How do you show love to others?

Walking in just about any store in February leads me to be a bit nostalgic. Seeing the various cartoon
character based valentines sold in shiny red boxes will always bring to mind Valentine Day parties in
elementary school, and now, as a mom, I get to witness my own son addressing the little cards and sealing
them with tiny red hearts.

Valentine’s Day evolves as you grow older. From passing out little paper valentines to small stuffed
animals to candy and flowers and beyond. I’m now at an age where Valentine’s day to my peers and I
usually means a romantic dinner date with our spouses. While I look forward to dinner dates with my
spouse, I always make sure to set aside time with our son for a special mommy-son date, or pick up
something special for him and let him know he’s also my Valentine. I also encourage him to craft
something for his dad and grandma and anyone else he feels like giving to that year. He gets to see me do
these things as well.

Romantic love is all well and good, and, while it is the focal point of Valentine’s day for most people, I
want to show him that there are all kinds of love that you can feel. The love you feel for a child, or a
sibling, or your best friend. More than that, I want him to be intentional about showing those around him
that he cares about them, and know that it can look differently for everyone. My best friend’s love
language is gifts. Knowing this, I always keep my eyes open for things that I know she would like. For
several of my friends, their love language is quality time, so I make an effort to meet up with them to
connect.

It’s easy to get swept up in the romance and emotions of Valentine’s day, particularly when you’re
surrounded by reminders like little hearts with sweet messages and big stuffed bears asking someone to be
yours. But don’t forget that after the shelves have been cleared and the candy has been consumed, those
around you still need you to make an effort to show them you care. Send a thoughtful, encouraging text to
a sibling. Surprise your friend at work with their favorite lunch. Fold your spouse’s laundry because you
know they’ve had a long day and they hate that chore even more than you do. And love yourself enough
to go out of your way for you as well. Take a nap because you deserve it, tell your spouse how they can
make you feel special, tell your friends how much their coffee dates mean to you. When you
communicate these things, the people who love and care about you will take notice, and do their best to
reciprocate. Don’t think that you need a day set aside for love, rather, set aside time each day to show
love. Your Father does the same for you. Let His example be your guide.

“but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 ESV

You are loved.

Brianna Richardson