5 Ways to Survive Love Season

5 Ways to Survive Love Season

February 11, 2016

“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 (NIV)


February 15th can be a really tough day. No, you aren’t reading that wrong. That’s the day after Valentine’s Day.

As long as it’s February 14th, there’s still hope for someone to bring you a flower … give you a chocolate something … sing you a song … write you a poem … say, “You complete me” … you get the picture.

But then the clock strikes midnight and disappointment takes you by the hand and wants to chat for a while. Today’s unmet expectations become tomorrow’s frustrations.

So, February 15th rolls around and suddenly the full impact of whatever was lacking on February 14th hits full force.

For my single friends it can feel like “Single Awareness Day.”

For my married friends it can feel like “the gaps in my marriage were so highlighted by yesterday’s lack.”

I’ve felt both of these.

But I’m challenged to check my heart on this. I mean really check my heart. Here are five ways I’m challenging myself to not just survive but really thrive this love season:

1. What am I doing that’s feeding my expectations?

Maybe right now isn’t the best time to read a romance novel or watch movies with lines in them like, “You had me at hello” or “You complete me.”

2. What am I doing that comforts me in the moment but makes me feel awful just hours later?

Hint … put down the ice cream and don’t mix up the cookie dough. Just because the cookies aren’t baked doesn’t mean the calories don’t exist. (This is just a totally hypothetical situation, of course.)

3. Who can I bless this Valentine’s Day?

Instead of waiting to be loved, I should make the decision to give love. I have so many friends who need to know someone is thinking about them right now. And there are wonderful ministry opportunities to reach out to those in need.

There is so much joy to be had when we seek to invest loving acts into others’ lives.

4. What can I put on my schedule with my friends or loved ones that will make me look forward to this season of love?

Instead of waiting to be asked, I can get proactive. If I have something to look forward to on my schedule, it gives my heart such a boost.

5. Am I believing the “if only” lie?

If only I had a boyfriend. If only I had a husband. If only I had a more romantic husband. “If only” can do quite a number on our hearts. Refuse to paint these pictures of Egypt.

Egypt — huh? Let me explain.

I got this thought from reading the Old Testament story about what happened to the Israelites when they were freed from captivity in Egypt. At first they were happy. And then when life got hard en route to the Promised Land, they started believing the “if only” lie … if only they’d never left Egypt they’d have pots of meat to eat.

How quickly they forgot the miracles God had performed to free them. How easily they dismissed the fact they were once mistreated slaves in Egypt!

And while part of me is tempted to judge them for their forgetfulness, I know I can be found doing the same thing. It’s so easy to forget the good we have and paint the picture that our lives would be better “if only.” That’s why I’m determined to replace my “If only I had … I could” scripts with “Because I am … I can.”

Because I am loved by God, I can boss lies around.

Because I am loved by God, I can be so thankful for the people I do have in my life.

Because I am loved by God, I can choose to make this love season wonderful.

I pray these questions and ideas help. And I pray we make 1 John 4:19 our declaration this year as we choose to give love instead of waiting for love to come our way: “We love because he first loved us.”

Father God, thank You for helping me to look at Valentine’s Day in a new and fresh way — not as a day where I strive to get love, but as the perfect opportunity for me to give love. Fill me to overflowing today with the knowledge of just how loved I am by You, and show me where I can spill that great love onto others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Ephesians 3:17b-18, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” (NIV)

Learn more about the unconditional love God has for you with Lysa TerKeurst’s book, Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl. Purchase your copy here.

Are there “if only” lies you have been rehearsing lately? Take some time to replace those scripts with “Because I am … I can.”

© 2016 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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  1. 感谢主,因他先爱了我,我才能去爱别人!

  2. Thank you truly! We quickly forget “it is better to give than to receive”. That is exactly what you are saying and so much more!
    God bless all and good day.

  3. If only my 2 year old would go back to sleep in her own bed, then I could sleep.

    Because she woke up at 5:30am, way too early for us, I can cuddle her in the dark for a few minutes and read today’s devotional.

    Today I aim to focus on the good, not the “if onlys” I so often say.

  4. This has really hit home. I am constantly say if only…I could. Not about love but in sooo many other areas of my life. But no more. I hear how I sound and see how I look. Because God has blessed me so in so many ways in my life…I am forever grateful! No more complaining. Period!!

  5. This was the perfect devotion to start my day!
    Feeling the Lack of Love does become an overwhelming emotion these days in my Life. Then I turn my eyes back to Jesus. Its like I can just run back to the comfort and safety of his loving arms,

  6. Lysa, thank you for this devotion and the Proverbs31 ministry. I can’t begin to express how much it has helped over the last few months.

    I am looking for a good book to introduce a young woman to Christ. She has had a very rough life and has been on her own since she was 15. Despite her circumstances she graduated high school and made the best of her circumstances. She has never been exposed to Gods love and does not believe in God. I feel like God brought her into my life for a reason and need the name of a good book to gently nudge her toward God’s love. I don’t think she would read a bible at this point in her life. All suggestions are appreciated.

    • @Peg, Lynn Cowell one of the P31.team, ministers to teen girls with many of her blog posts and has written several books for the age group the young lady you’re ministering to is in. I suggest checking out her books and blog and maybe you could email her for suggestions on what too choose. Just a few thoughts. By the way, it’s great you are trying too minister to this young lady, may God give you the words to speak when you are with her. ~Blessings~

  7. Sandy Tant says:

    I so needed this today. I am going to pray that I can have the attitude and mind frame “I loved therefore I can love! ” I dislike this pity party I am currently in.

  8. Thank you for this reminder, today is my 21st wedding anniversary. I’m blessed to have a wonderful husband and it has been quite a journey with him all these years full of love and laughs but my sweet husband is not really romantic and so many times between our anniversary and valentines day I get disappointed and frustrated with him instead of remembering all of the things he does all the rest of the time my focus is that day. Thank you again and however it turns out, I going to focus on the big picture of our marriage instead of one day. That’s actually the secret to being married 21 years.

    • Someone who cares says:

      Hi Diana. I had to respond to you, because today is my 21st anniversary too! Also blessed with a man who is not really romantic, and our 21 years have been full of laughs and tears. I am grateful for the love of God and for spiritual maturity, and I’m grateful I have finally gotten to the point where I can acknowledge how often I caused myself so much misery by choosing to be disappointed when my husband does not meet my wild expectations instead of simply being grateful for his loving loyalty all these years. When I focus on Jesus and His love for me, nothing else matters, and I am able to love my husband for who he is. This is what Jesus wants for me, to love others as I love myself. I pray you have a glorious anniversary.

  9. Karina D A says:

    I REALLY needed to hear this… specially to help start off a Brand new and better day after having a very bad day yesterday.
    The “what if” lies and feeling the Lack of Love in my life became such an overwhelming emotion that I lost sight of everything God has blessed me with. Now I turn my eyes back to Jesus. Its almost like I can just run back to the comfort and safety of his loving arms no matter what.
    I didn’t even know where or how to begin today; a brand new day after yesterday, but Coming across this… I feel like I no longer see blurry…I can see clear and feel confident. I know this has happened because Jesus loves me and no matter what He will continue to love me. I feel His love and comfort right now and its an amazing feeling.
    Today I aim to focus on the good, not the “if onlys” I so often say.
    And I will share His love with others.
    ~Because I am loved by God, I can be so thankful for the people I do have in my life and all of the things He has blessed me with.~

  10. Thank you for this message today. We are traveling and will be going into a new area. I am one that does not mingle well with new people. My husband just goes out and joins. The message to look and find someone who is really alone or uncomfortable to help me reach out to someone else. It gives me a new perspective on how to deal with what is coming.

  11. Thanks for this. My husband left me a year ago and is addicted to drugs. In this desert the Lord has done so much work in me but it’s still hard sometimes. I don’t want to wait for him anymore….I have no family. He was my family. But I guess I’m not alone. So thanks again.

  12. Patricia Mcknight says:

    Valentine’s Day is man made. It is about secret love. When you are married if you need that special expensive day you have a problem. I am 43years married, never had or needed a Valentine’s Day card or present. My husband loves me and I am confident in his love. Every day I am loved. We should be in this world but not of it.

  13. Thank you so much for this timely message. It made me stop and think about others; others that truly are unappreciated, neglected and not loved all year round. That’s absolutely awesome because now it won’t be another “poor me” day, but a day of opportunity to bless others, and celebrate and share God’s love.

  14. Thank you, Lysa, for a wonderful word. For me, it is confirmation of what God is teaching me at this time, to listen to Him and His word, not the “what-ifs” or “if-only’s” from the chatterbox in my head. Have a wonderful day.

  15. Brenda Manning says:

    The last time I honestly said ‘if only’ was January 25, 2016. When God set me free from the ‘if only’ I had been holding onto for years, literally 6yrs. Ohh how freeing it is now to know and receive and give God’s love, the only love that ‘had me at hello’ and ‘completes me.’ I receive God’s love for me now without hesitation, without thinking that I need to do something good for him or for anyone else- husband, children, friends etc. God loves me for me, not for the lie of what I do for Him. Thank You Father.

  16. This is something I really need to do since I just said a version of “if only” just this morning. Great new view of this “so-called day of love”.

  17. Dear M, You are indeed walking a hard wilderness journey but you have never walked alone! If you have Jesus in your heart, you have never walked one step alone. He is with you each moment of every day and He is faithful. Lean hard into Him. He can take your story and use it. As for family, we, your sisters in Jesus, and other believers, are your family. There is such a sweetness and comfort in belonging to God’s family and He is the absolute best Dad ever! I will be praying for you as I’m sure other sisters will who read your post. I encourage you to continue to be open to all God wants to do in your heart and life no matter your husband’s choices. God and His family always has a place for you.

  18. Just a thought:
    buy flowers for yourself (our local grocery store has real beauties, and as long as it is not Feb. 12-14, they are truly reasonable)
    make yourself a nice meal, with real plates and spoons! bake a dessert if you eat sweets
    say grace and also ask for a nudge in the right direction, some girls overlook really great guys just because…fill in the blank. My hubby & I know some terrific single guys and I can not believe they have not been “snapped up”!
    Look up St. Valentine, read his story. Will help you look at the day in a different light.
    That is my two cents worth ; )

    • CarolAnne,
      Post your single guy’s names/pictures/email addresses on here! LOL! I know NO terrific single guys!!!!

      Thank you everyone for the posts-I am trying to not concentrate on the what if’s and to not feel incomplete because I don’t have a “significant other”.

  19. Last year I texted my siblings, nieces, nephews, and a few friends to wish them a happy Valentines Day and to say
    I loved them. The responses really made my day. Try it!

  20. Wendy Thomas says:

    Dear Lysa,
    Valentines Day is a commercial holiday created to promote consumerism in order to keep people spending and the economy going. It’s sad to think that you put so much emphasis on one day. My husband and I have been together almost 20 years and we have never NEEDED Valentines Day to define or remind us of the love we have for each other, ourselves or our Heavenly Father. I hope one day you will come to realize that this is a man-made holiday that shouldn’t determine the state of your happiness or love.

  21. Thank you for the perfect message for the “Love Season.” Blessings as you spread Christ’s love.

  22. “Because I am loved by God, I can boss lies around.” Priceless reminder that we don’t have to believe, listen to, or ponder the lies of the enemy. We can take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). Praise God!

  23. Glynnis Whitwer says:

    Such a great reminder for this month, and every month of the year: We are chosen and loved with an unshakable love!

  24. Because I am dearly and eternally loved by God, today I can love my husband well.

    Thank you Lysa!

  25. God is so good! I think of the song lyrics, “Oh how I love Jesus, because he first loved me.” Praise his precious name.

  26. Susana Rucker says:

    Thank you for this post. It is true that we can be so overcome with “if-only” lies that we fail to see the good things before us.

    And for those who, for some reason, fail to acknowledge Valentine’s day due to commercialism and “worldly origin”, you may want to actually do some research on St. Valentine! Secret love? He rightfully married men to their brides when it was banned in the military at the time. He also happened to be a martyr for Christ, and healed and brought others to salvation in his lifetime.

    Love. God IS love. We are loved by Him. Shouldn’t we take every opportunity to show and share that love?? I’m excited to use Valentine’s day to spread His love as well as celebrate the love between my husband and I that God has blessed us with! The more reasons to celebrate love, the better.

  27. Hi Someone who cares, I hope you had a great anniversary too. Thanks for the encouragement. It really was a great day for us even though it end at a hospital for my sister and nephew. My husband was amazing yesterday. When I got to work I had beautiful roses on my desk with my favorite tea, after work we went to a very fancy restaurant and then about 20 minutes into dinner he gets a call from my mom and my sister and nephew were in a really bad accident. We left immediately and the staff was so nice they said don’t even worry about the tab, hetold them we would be back tonight. But for the rest of the night he was a perfect man, strong and caring as we sat at the hospitals. My sister and nephew are sore but ok, the man that pulled out in front of them needs prayers. But turning over to God yesterday made a roller coaster day amazing because I got to see the man I love be everything I dreamed of and more, a romantic, and then himself as he was there for the people he loves. GOD IS GOOD! Thank you again and happy anniversary!

    • Someone who cares says:

      Wow, that is an amazing testimony, Diana! God works in amazing ways. I’m so relieved to hear your sister and nephew are OK. I’m blessed to hear you experienced deep, enduring love. And FYI… my red roses smell lovely too….God is good…… 🙂

  28. What a good message for this time of year. I love that you pointed out making a point to give love instead of waiting for it to come.

    And I love some of the comments about how we need to be careful not to be upset if our husbands are not the most romantic on this one day when they are so wonderful every other day. So true.

  29. This is a read I need to read everyday. Not because I don’t give. That I love. I have found being single for years for many reasons that we can easily fall into they “why” question. Doing the becoming more online bible study and going through the first 5 app has opened the door for me to grow my faith. Thank you. I know I don’t need to worry about valentines or other days because I am more than enough because God loves us.

  30. We have to remember that God is love! If we abide in Him, we abide in His love! If we believe ourselves to ministers of His love, then we can give love freely and receive it too! Thank you, Lysa for sharing this message of love!

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