A Letter to the Lonely Teenager on Valentine’s Day
Dear Lonely Teenager,
Roses are red, violets are blue, I’m kind of sad, how about you?
Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to display and receive love through gifts, cards, candy, flowers, and fluffy animals. But sometimes this day of love can leave us feeling lonely, sad, forgotten, or rejected. It is a day that fuels the fire of comparison, especially in high school. Who gets the gifts, flowers, notes, and candy? Who has a secret admirer? Who has a Valentine? Who is going on a date? Those who receive this type of attention seem to be lovely and lovable in the eyes of others.
This Valentine’s Day, I pray you will know your heart, long for heaven, gaze upon Jesus, and read His love letter.
Understand Your Heart
The cheerleader, jock, theater kid, prepster, and valedictorian all can feel left out, isolated, or even unlovable at times. The reality is that our relationship status can never truly make us feel we belong.
God has given human beings an innate desire to belong, and this desire to love and be loved reveals that we were made for relationship. Sadly, sin has tainted even our good desires. When sin entered the world and Adam and Eve disobeyed God, our desire for love became about self and personal pleasures. Due to our heart condition, we tend to look for love and validation in the wrong places. Sin has corrupted our hearts; they have become idol factories.
We see our tendency to turn love into an idol whenever we experience heartache: When your crush starts dating your best friend and your heart feels dejected, sad, and broken—and seeing their photos on social media makes you want to run from the friendship. When your friend chooses yet again to hang out with her boyfriend instead of you. When the girl you went on a date with ghosts you without explanation. Hurt and frustration are valid in each of these scenarios; however, we aren’t meant to find our whole identity in the love we receive from other people.
Long for Heaven
The attention others receive on Valentine’s Day can cause us to feel despondent and lonely. As C.S. Lewis said, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
We were not made for lonely Valentine’s Days – we were made for nothing less than union with Christ, our intimate connection with him on the basis of what he has done on the cross for us. For those who have this relationship with Jesus, our current home is a temporary residence here on earth but our future home in heaven is for eternity. On days that we mourn and cry over our lonely circumstances we are ever more reminded of what we truly long for —our eternal home with Christ. The apostle Paul writes, “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20).
Gaze Upon Jesus
True Love came down from heaven, became man, and died for you and me. The love we find in our earthly relationships cannot ultimately satisfy our longings; we need the love we find in the perfect person – Jesus Christ. True Love rescues us from ourselves, our sin, and ultimately from destruction. Jesus not only rescues, but he redeems and gives you new identity and purpose. He is the perfect love that will never disappoint.
You and I might not receive a dozen roses from someone this Valentine’s Day, but we can be on the look out for other types of “roses.” Daily our heavenly Father seeks to show us his love for us through gifts—like sunrises, glistening reflections on water, encouraging words from a friend, the smiling face of the coffee-shop barista, a delectable muffin, a hymn, an exquisite painting, a favorite plant, or a fantastic parking spot.
Even more than these gifts, we need to look to the cross to remind us how much our God pursues us, loves us, and delights in us. The primary way he showed His love for us is while we were sinners, Christ died for us on the cross. He wore a crown of thorns to prove his love for us. He gives us “roses” of purpose, love, belonging, and identity in His word.
Our Savior chooses you, He calls your name! My darling, will you accept this rose?
Remember these love letters from God:
The Bible is the greatest love story ever told. Remember that the King of the universe died for you. He came to seek and save you. He calls you his own. He delights in you. He rejoices over you with singing. He calls you his beloved.
You are altogether beautiful, my darling, there is no flaw in you. (Song of Solomon 4:7)
The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.(Psalm 139:14)
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love (Psalm 103:8)
Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters I will be with you; and the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. (Isaiah 43:1-3)
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. (Psalm 84:11)
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed I have a beautiful inheritance. (Psalm 16:5-6)
If February 14 is the loneliest day of your year, tell your Savior how you feel. He knows your heart better than you know yourself. Come to God like a child – weak, broken, needy, teary, whiny, and full of raw emotion. Jesus can fully empathize. He was rejected, misunderstood, abandoned, left out, isolated, forsaken and alone. He knows you. He sees you. He hears you. He loves you. He delights in you.
This Valentine’s Day remember God’s promises. Reflect on His love letter to you. Rejoice in Him. Remember that there is a day coming that will be better than the most dreamy Valentine’s Day.
Your empathetic and sometimes lonely friend – Rachel