Let’s celebrate love the way God intended! Join AMBrewster as he explains how Christians can approach Valentine’s Day in a more Christ-honoring way.
The Year Long Celebration of God is a family resource from Truth.Love.Parent., a ministry dedicated to rooting families in God and maturing families for God so they can harvest blessings from God.
Discover the following episodes by clicking the titles or navigating to the episode in your app:
“TLP 29: Valentines, Communism, and Communicating Biblically”
“TLP 134: What Is Romantic Love?”
“TLP 338: Should Your Kids Celebrate Valentine’s Day?”
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Click "Read More" for today’s Episode Notes and Transcript.
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Welcome back friends, the Celebration of God is a discipleship resource of Truth.Love.Parent.
If you are a mom or dad, you should check out TruthLoveParent.com where we’re tackling all the parenting questions and answering them from the Bible.
We have over 400 episodes dedicated to knowing, understanding, and applying the Scriptures to our daily parenting.
You can also join the TLP Family for free and get access to even more free parenting resources. Check it out as soon as possible . . . you’ll be glad you did.
Okay, so we got through Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas, and the New Year . . . and we have to wait until February 14th for our next major holiday?
This year on The Year Long Celebration of God, we’re focusing primarily on the Feast Days, the High Moments. Of course we need to worship God in the famines and low moments. But — on this inaugural year — we’re laying a solid foundation with the holidays.
So, yeah, the next major holiday is Valentine’s Day. But don’t forget that every week we get to worship God at church. So, if you haven’t heard the first two parts of our “Celebrating God at Church” series, you need to check that out too.
Don’t forget that episode notes, transcripts, and tons of awesome holiday resources are waiting for you at CelebrationOfGod.com.
So, yes, we’re going to talk about the fact that we definitely need to celebrate God on February 14th. We’re also going to look at how we can prepare our hearts as well as disciple each other on that day.
But — in addition to that — I’m going to take the next two episodes making sure we really understand what love is.
One of the biggest problems with Valentine’s Day — and, really, the world’s entire notion concerning love, romance, affection, and the like — is that it completely ignores love as God created it and tries to recreate love in its own fallen image.
As my mom always said when I would incorrectly copy a math problem, “You will never come to the right answer if you start with the wrong numbers.”
And I’m going to say that you will never glorify God by celebrating Valentine’s Day if you start with the wrong view of love.
So, on our next episode we’re going to discuss the first and second loves, and on the episode after that we plan to discuss the third love.
If that confuses you, don’t worry . . . it will be awesome.
But today we’re going to stick with our format for this year by discussing how we can prepare for, celebrate, and disciple during Valentine’s.
For those of you who are new to The Celebration of God, I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to listen to our introductory episodes. We worked hard to lay a solid foundation so anyone who engages with The Celebration of God discipleship experience can be successful.
In a way, starting your journey with us right here is like jumping into the middle of a book without the benefit of the excessively important beginning chapters.
We praise God that our audience is growing by leaps and bounds, but we want this resource to benefit you, so make sure you listen to the sixteen introductory episodes. After that, you can skip the rest and jump right in to our current topic.
Now, assuming we all understand how important Preparation is to our ability to worship God well, I want to give us a plan.
If you’re listening to this episode the day it was published, then you have about three weeks before Valentines. Since it can take as few as 18 days to create a new habit, there is plenty of time for you to solidify your Preparation mindset.
If you’re listening to this episode after Valentines 2021, then you have as much time as you need to create this new habit.
I suggest the following:
Week One: Set a reminder on your phone or around your house, office, classroom, or church to spend time every day meditating on specific passages of God’s Word from our Valentine Bible Reading.
You can find those at CelebrationOfGod.com. Simply click “Holidays” and select Valentine’s Day from the list.
You’ll find familiar passages like John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”
But you will also discover less well-known, but equally powerful passages like Isaiah 63:9, “In all their affliction He was afflicted, And the angel of His presence saved them; In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them, And He lifted them and carried them all the days of old.”
All in all, we have provided 4 weeks of Bible readings concerning biblical love.
Week Two: Use those reminders to add a new level to your meditation. Now, don’t just read and study the passage from the Valentine Bible Reading, also dedicate time to prayer.
Use the time to praise God for the love described in the verses. Ask God to forgive you for not embracing that love or living in that love. Confess the times you didn’t show that love to others. Ask God to give you the strength and wisdom to pour that love on the people you encounter.
The Bible describes God as holy and righteous and good and gracious, but those are all adjectives. But I John says that God is love . . . not “loving,” His is actually love.
This topic is extremely important for us to understand, so use these weeks of Preparation to start a conversation with Love Himself in order to truly know, understand, and live that love as He does.
Weeks Three and Four: Now it’s time to add another layer to our Preparation. For this one, we must remember that Preparation itself, when done correctly for God’s glory, is worship. So even though we’re preparing for Valentine’s Day, we’re still celebrating God’s love every other day.
This week you should be reading the passages from the Valentine Bible Reading, you should be talking to God about the love you’re encountering in the Word, but you should also be actively looking for ways to live that love out in the lives of others.
Take cues from the passages you’ve read, apply what you’re going to learn from our next two episodes, take the whole week to truly love others as God loves you.
It may be one of the best weeks of your life.
And if that’s already your habit . . . amazing! Keep it up!
But don’t forget about your Celebration Walls. If you don’t know what a Celebration Wall is, please listen to our final Introductory Episode all about “Your Celebration Wall.”
Be sure to fill it with Bible, and have as much fun as you want decorating it. The nice thing about the amount of time between the 12th Day of Christmas and Valentine’s Day is you can spend a lot of time deliberately meditating on and glorying in God’s love.
For you artsy types, enjoy decorating your wall with hearts, just don’t forget that God’s Word should be the focus.
You can also keep a running list of ways to show love. Depending on where your Celebration Wall is, I recommend you format this list for your audience.
In a classroom or home, your list should be directly applicable to the age of the children present.
A Celebration Wall in a church should provide ways your church members can actively love their local body.
If you have a mini Celebration Wall at work, post ideas about how you can show true love to your coworkers.
Remember, Preparation isn’t just about us. We should be helping our fellow disciples prepare as well.
And now you’re ready to observe Valentine’s Day in a whole new way.
There’s been a theme in our Celebration episodes this year. We’re not trying to throw out the old traditions, but we’re willing to do so if we find they keep us from truly worshipping God.
But we are trying to throw out any of the old motivations for our celebration.
Let’s be honest, children are looking forward to three things this Valentine’s Day: Candy, Valentines from their friends, and more candy.
Are those things bad? No. Does looking forward to them automatically mean you’re sinning? No.
But we need to honestly understand our motivation so that we can be sure our motions of worship are actually Christ-honoring. True obedience — doing the right thing in the right way for the right reason in the right power — is better than superficial shows of worship like sacrifices.
This will take conversations with our fellow disciples. This will take introspection. This will take intentionality.
So, yes, we must be prepared to uproot some old selfish motivations if we’re truly going to celebrate God this Valentines. From there, we will need to discover if we and our disciplees can actually participate in certain traditions without falling into old habits.
But let’s start with the Valentine’s traditions that we know are Christ-honoring.
If you’re doing those things, you’ll have an amazing Valentine’s Day.
Now, what about the candy, the hearts, the Valentine’s Shoe Boxes, the decorations?
Again, none of those are inherently wrong, but you will need to be extra-intentional as you participate and guide your disciplees through the experiences.
We never should take our experiences or possessions and consume them for our own pleasure. Therefore, we need to give careful thought how we can eat and drink and give and receive Valentines all to the glory of God.
I have a Truth.Love.Parent. episode called “Valentines, Communism, and Communicating Biblically.” It should give you some helpful insight into the idea of children giving and receiving Valentine’s Cards.
We also have an episode about whether or not your kids should even celebrate Valentine’s.
And that leads to . . .
None of our holidays are designed to be solely for us. They’re for God. They’re given to us to worship Him, be conformed to His image, and help others do the same.
That means that we need to be intentional with out involvement of other people.
Pastors, take the opportunities to preach and teach on love. Give practical examples of how your people can truly love each other and their community. Be specific.
Biblical Counselors, make sure God’s love is a major theme in your discipling. If people have come to you for biblical counseling, then you know they have a love problem.
Teachers, help your students see the threads of God’s love throughout every subject. Help them understand how they need to take what they’re learning and use it in love for God and others. This may be as simple as reminding them to do their best out of love for their Creator and their parents.
Parents, if you have done a good job helping your kids Prepare for Valentine’s Day, then it will be an easy step to leading them in love on Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re edifying them for the love they’ve shown, encouraging them to be loving, admonishing them when you see that they’re starting to be selfish, or reproving them when they’ve acted hatefully, all of the Preparation from before will help reinforce your discipleship in the moment.
I pray this episode is helpful for you. Check out CelebrationOfGod.com or click the link in the description of this episode to get your free episode notes and access your free Valentine’s Day Bible Reading schedule.
And I hope you’ll join us over the next two weeks as we study what the Bible has to say about love.
Also, social media is becoming a darker and darker place as big tech tries to silence biblical voices. So share this episode on your favorite social media outlets so other Christians can rejoice in God’s love, give Him the worship that’s due Him, and make the internet a brighter place for all of us.
Lastly, if you’re enjoying The Celebration of God, please take a moment to rate and review us on iTunes, your favorite podcast directory, and even Facebook. Every review helps us reach more people with God’s glorious Truth.
I’ll see you next time.
The Year Long Celebration of God is a dynamic, holistic resource that utilizes the Bible, our holiday calendars, and even the most average moments of the most normal days to equip Christians to worship God all year long
and disciple others to do the same.
AMBrewster is the creator and host of the Celebration of God. He originally designed the COG to be a discipleship tool for Christian parents to train their children to know and love God, but he quickly realized how valuable it is for all Christians. Whether it's a small group, church, classroom, one-on-one, or community relationship, this resource is guaranteed to draw people closer together as they draw closer to God.
Aaron is the President of Truth.Love.Parent. and host of its podcast.