Yes, yes, yes…

The sweet and in many ways (if you ask me) overly-commercialized holiday known as Valentine’s Day—or for those without a Valentine, Singles Awareness Day—is upon us. This time tomorrow, someone somewhere will be receiving a diamond, a dozen roses or at the very least an e-card every hour on the hour (or so some stats predict).

Now, if you fall under the Singles Awareness Day bracket, don’t feel bad. For the first time since I can remember, I am TOTALLY SINGLE this year. I use the word, “totally” because since I started being sexually active (which has basically been my entire adult life minus one year), I must admit that I have been consumed with a man on some level. Either I was going into a relationship, in a relationship or coming out of a relationship. So yes, it’s weird being on this side of the fence. But weird, at times, can be very good.

See, let me also put out there that while there was indeed some man that I was spending my money, time, energy and emotions on, I very rarely received what I gave in return, on any level, on February 14. Sadly, also my entire adult life (minus a holiday or two), I was the one doing more giving than receiving. I mean, I know the Word says that it’s more blessed to give (Acts 20:35), but do you know what I’ve just recently realized? That principle applies to when God leads you to do the giving.

I once read that there is one very revealing way of knowing when you are giving for the wrong reasons, even if you don’t realize it at the time: It’s when you are giving out of fear. I John 4:18 tells us that perfect love casts out all fear and yet how many of us spend money we don’t have for the fear of not meeting the expectations of someone else? Case in point: How many of you tomorrow will tap into your rent money or car note to get some flowers that will die in two days?

OK, but let’s take this just a wee bit further. A scripture that God has been keeping in the forefront of my mind lately is I Corinthians 7:23: “You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.”

Shoot, I’m wiping my brow right now as I reflect on how many years, blood, sweat and tears I spent “toiling in the fields of lust” (or romance, depending on the day) all to keep the “Flavor of the Month” (or year) around. As I look back over my little black book—that didn’t really hold a lot of names, but a ton of memories—if there’s one thing I was known for financially, emotionally, and physically, it was giving out of my lack rather than my surplus. In other words, what “he” desired always seem to come at the risk of my needs and at times, expense.

Listen up, family: GOD NEVER EXPECTED HIS CHILDREN TO LIVE THIS WAY. Don’t believe me? Just look at what Paul said about this very subject:

“For it is not [intended] that other people be eased and relieved [of their responsibility] and you be burdened and suffer [unfairly], but to have equality [share and share alike], your surplus over necessity at the present time going to meet their want and to equalize the difference created by it, so that [at some other time] their surplus in turn may be given to supply your want. Thus there may be equality, as it is written, He who gathered much had nothing over, and he who gathered little did not lack.”—2 Corinthians 8:13-15 (AMP)

God didn’t tell his children to confuse love with codependency. If anything, his mandate was just the opposite: “Love your neighbor as yourself…” (Matthew 19:19). Really, how can you love someone else in a way that’s healthy and productive when you can’t even do that for yourself? It’s my firm belief that if you want to see what a person truly thinks about themselves, look at how they treat others.

Now, I don’t want you to think that just because I am rolling solo on tomorrow or because I have these new “self-love revelations” that I am some Cupid Hater. I mean, he’s a pretty cool cat. While I personally think you should show love to those you love on a daily basis because who knows if either one of you will make it to see another Valentine’s Day (yes, it’s a morbid thought, but oh so true—Proverbs 27:1), in the kind of world that we live in, I’m glad that there is at least 24 hours set apart to focus on “caring and sharing”.

All I’m saying is that you shouldn’t fail to leave yourself out of the circle. I’m not going into debt, in any way, tomorrow because I am giving what has been purposed in my heart to give. Let me tell you what that doesn’t include: Bill money, time away from prior commitments (Valentine’s Day falls on the same day every year, ya’ll—PLAN AHEAD), bubble bath or cocoa time (that’s my self-love regiment) or, and especially, MY BODY.

Yeah, I know some of you single folks knew that was coming. I mean, Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about giving LOVE, right? Well, one of my favorite “love quotes” of all time is “Where there is love, there is no sin.” You wanna “make love” to your unmarried to significant other, take them to a movie, dinner, or have a winter wonderland picnic in the park. Don’t give them sex. Why? Because you are supposed to love your neighbor as you do yourself and being that you were bought by God, one, your body is not yours to give and two, I don’t know anyone who self-love while wanting to bring themselves pain—and sex in a non-committed setting ALWAYS BRINGS FORTH PAIN…eventually.

Yeah, I know that reminder sucks, but shoot, if ya’ll want it that bad, then maybe it will inspire you both to have some other plans in place NEXT YEAR! (Although you shouldn’t get married just to have sex, but we’ll get to that some other time.)

Bottom line, if you were finding yourself in a state of minor hyperventilation in anticipation of what’s to come tomorrow, DON’T. Another wise man once said that when you love who you’re with, even if that’s yourself, you are never alone.

Whether you’re married (and if you are, you need to be celebrating the “sex gift” God gave you) or single, love God, love you and everything (and everyone) else will fall into (or out of) place. Right where they belong. 🙂