Many retailers were happy yesterday, especially those selling cards, flowers, candy, or romantic dinners. And a few women were happy – those with romantically inclined men in their lives. Valentine’s Day can be fun.

But the majority of both men and women were probably NOT happy yesterday. Many men were frustrated, or irritated with the pressure of romantic expectations “on schedule.” Many women were unhappy, disappointed at being alone, or at the lack of romance their man provided.

I remember the many years I spent Valentine’s Day alone. For a while it was depressing! But it was one of those things that pushed me to learn how to let God meet my needs for intimacy, love, and care.

Just a few weeks before my husband Al and I came to know each other I was speaking at a women’s conference about this very thing. One woman there talked about how she would run from one relationship with a man to another, even though most of those relationships were clearly destructive. “I’ve never been alone since I was 14 years old,” she said. Being alone terrified her. But at the conference she experienced God reaching into her scared and lonely heart in a new way. “Now I actually look forward to the times I am alone with God,” she later shared.

That’s just one example of how the status of our human relationships reflects the quality of our relationship with God. Yes, we desperately need people in our lives. But there are needs that only God can meet, needs we too often try and meet with the fluff of candy and flowers instead of the substance of God’s presence.

A few thoughts for men and women specifically:

For men only: A core need men have is to feel competent, to be “enough,” to be part of an adventure bigger then you are – and to win. Looking to a woman to make you feel that way will always result in disappointment. (Check out, with Jon Eldridge for more on these thoughts.)

God sees you as enough! It’s HIS smile that will be the reliable fire you need in your soul. He will never misunderstand you, or ask something of you that you cannot fulfill.

For women only: A core need of women is to feel cared about, lovely, special, and important. Looking to a man to make you feel that way will only last so long. If you expect him to fill all those needs sooner or later he will let you down.

God sees you as lovely! You thrill Him. He truly did go to extreme lengths to win your heart. You are Number One to Him, and He will never leave you alone.

If Valentine’s Day brings up some difficult feelings for you, perhaps you can let that drive you to Him.

Your turn: Is Valentine’s Day happy or sad for you? How have you found God meeting the deepest needs in your soul? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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