Parents: 4 Practices to Try When Valentine’s Day Hurts

by | Feb 13, 2023 | what you can do

Photo cred. Jesse Goll on unsplash

Holidays hurt when you don’t receive the love you long for from someone you care about–especially your own child. Valentine’s Day is tomorrown and it is one more holiday parents in pain have to get through. For the mom or dad of rebellious, wayward children, any holiday is a dreaded occasion. You feel like your child died. Overwhelmed by a deep sense of loss, the pain cuts deep. Invisible wounds have crushed your spirit. Maybe you have even lost your ability to find pleasure in anything. You wonder if you’ll ever laugh again.

If not addressed, these feelings can worsen to the point of losing your will to live. Withdrawing, every significant relationship is effected – your marriage, your relationship with your other children (if you have them) and your friendships. Dear parent, if you’re not careful, you can become obsessed with trying to control or fix your child. Life can become miserable. Has yours?

On Valentine’s Day everything you’ve already been feeling intensifies. This day shines a spotlight on your loss. Like Thanksgiving or Christmas, you want the holiday to go away — to hurry up and be over.

Does the coming of this love holiday only remind you of your lost hopes and dreams? I’ve been where you are. I discovered 4 practices that helped lessen my pain.

4 Practices that Lessened My Pain:

If you are willing to try these, even one of them, your pain could lessen. As you read my four practices, see if one stands out to you.

Photo cred. Daniel Lerman on unsplash

1. Shift your focus from what you’ve lost to what you still have. Be thankful for every little thing, instead of only looking at what you don’t have. Make a list. Reading over what you wrote will encourage you. Don’t forget to live your own life. You do still have one.

2. Guard your heart by lowering your expectations. If you don’t expect a card, flowers, a visit, or phone call, you won’t feel as hurt, angry or disappointed if you don’t get them. Expect nothing. If anything occurs you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

3. Let go of the need to have your child love you back the way you want them to. God never intended for another human being to fully meet our need for love. Only He can fill this void. Sometimes we put too much emphasis on getting love and fulfillment from a person, especially our children, instead of from our Heavenly Father. Yes, we need love – we were created that way – but God intended for us to look more to Him for the deepest need of our hearts to be met. The best place is in His unconditional love. (John 3:16)

4. Go do something for someone else — a random act of kindness. Doing it anonymously is extra fun. Don’t brag on yourself to anyone. Expect nothing in return. As a result, you won’t feel as sorry for yourself. You’ll be amazed how your spirit will be uplifted and how good you will feel. Joy might even be a word you’d use to describe what the experience was like.

No matter how you feel, remember this:  You. Are. Loved.

“The favorite place of God is in the hearts of His people.”  

– anonymous

Photo cred. Elissa Garcia on unsplash

Powerful Words From the Bible

These are powerful words from the Bible that have comforted me, reminding me of His love:

God so loved the world that he gave his one and only  Son…  (John 3:16 NIV)

…You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures …  (Psalm 16:11 NIV)

I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.  (Jeremiah 31:3 NIV)

Recommended Books:

When God Whispers Your Name by Max Lucado (also available in audio version)

My Cup Overflows with the Comfort of God’s Love by Emilies Barnes