Michelle writes at RevGals: There it is right in front of us: Valentine’s Day. No matter what our marital status, who we’re dating, how our hearts have been broken or how we’ve been loved in the past, we can not escape this yearly observance. Hearts, pink packages of candy and commercial after commercial for flowers and engagement rings continuously surround us in the week or two or three before Valentine’s Day.
This doesn’t sit well with many hearts – especially ones that have been broken or who may be freshly grieving. As a leader in the church, I’ve been wondering how communities of faith can come together to support those with broken hearts (and created a Facebook group for unmarried progressive Christians and friends to discuss topics which concern them).
Whether we are married, single, divorced, separated, widowed, in a relationship or any other marital status, we’ve all gone through some highs and lows when it comes to the state of our hearts.
As we head into Valentine’s Day weekend, here are five questions on which to reflect. Feel free to post in the comments below or as a prompt on your own blog (and post the link in the comments).
(1.) What is one challenging thing about your current marital status? Hmm. We'll have been married 17 years in May. I think we are in a pretty good place right now...but the most challenging thing is that he is VERY, VERY conservative and I am VERY, VERY liberal. We were married in 1999 and somehow that did not really come up at the time...unbelievable to me today, but our country was not polarized the way it is now. Sometimes this is exceptionally difficult to manage. Sometimes less so. :)
(2.) What is your best memory of love? My husband is not a romantic, hearts and flowers type. But there are days when I come home very upset, very discouraged, very sad...and he immediately knows something is wrong. Often I can't talk about it right away, but he waits until I can, and he does what I ask him to (hold me, take me out for Mexican food, leave me alone...) it is very comforting to be known and understood that way.
(3.) What has been your best antidote in healing a broken heart? (Movies, hobbies, etc.) Reading. Walking. Talking to friends.
(4.) What has been the most meaningful gift from a significant other, family member or friend? Of course, it doesn’t need to be a material object. My husband converted one of his motorcycles into a trike for me, so we could ride together. Riding behind him is uncomfortable for me after about 30 minutes and I wanted to be able to keep riding. I'm on the left in the photo below, on a trip to Dogpatch USA in Arkansas.
(5.) Name something the church could do to support someone with a broken heart. Help them to find ministries or fellowship groups for support and belonging.
May God seal all of the cracks in your heart as you step into new life and new paths. Amen.