Navigating Valentine’s Day: Teen Stuff

on February 14, 2012 in Gal Stuff with 8 comments by

Your teen girl is living Valentine’s Day today. I was a teen for seven Valentine’s Days [so were you] and I know it can be tumultuous and joyful and everything in between.

As leaders for teens, teachers, parents, and mentors, how can we speak into today for our girls?

I’m no expert, but as I’ve been thinking about today, I’ve thought of a few things that I know you and I can’t do, and a few things I know we can do, to help make Valentine’s Day a blessing for your girl.

. . . . .

What you can’t do:

1. You can’t fix what goes wrong. You can’t. Thank you for wanting to, but accept that you can’t. Trying to say the thing to make it feel better may not work. You can go for it, just tread lightly.

2. You can’t convince a teenage girl that God is her valentine. It is a sweet sentiment and will be meaningful to her when God speaks that language to her heart, but for most teens, you say that and they hear, “no biggie that you don’t have a boyfriend- the Invisible Guy thinks you are cute even if no one else does.”

The part that sticks out? NO ONE ELSE DOES.

[God does. But sometimes that hurts more than helps when you have a raging set of hormones. Doesn’t make it untrue, just means that it will mean more on a different holiday.]

3. You probably can’t know everything that is going on in her head today. But you’re welcome to ask.

4. You can’t pretend like today isn’t Valentine’s Day. That would be weird. Don’t hope to relieve any aches by acting like it is February 13 or February 15.

5. If she’s in a relationship, you can’t tell her all the things you know to be true about teen relationships. (ie- it won’t last, this is just a phase, you are going to spend too much money on each other for Valentine’s Day, these kinds of things) Remember that even in their immaturity, God can use high school relationships to teach girls so many things about communication and boundaries and even Himself. [Also, if you do decide to tell her that stuff, please wait until tomorrow. Thanks.]

6. Don’t say it’s a holiday made up by card companies. Because whether that is true or not, our culture has attached worth to the kind of experience you have today. And to say that it is a made up holiday is to say that you don’t get it. [You do get it. You’re very cool. Even more of a reason not to push this holiday aside.]

. . . . .

What you can do:

1. Celebrate. It can be a very fun day.

2. Make her feel loved. My Dad always gave us a tiny piece of jewelry and it meant the world. But a handwritten note or a card will do just that. Remind her of all the reasons YOU love her and why you love that she is in your family. Remember that while she may be wishing for a romantic relationship, if the day ends and she feels really loved, she won’t soon forget that.

3. Pray. Pray that God’s heart and love are louder in her ears than anything else that would try to steal her joy today.

4. Ask questions and listen to the answers. Today is a great day to talk about dating relationships – whether she is in one or not. You can never over-discuss how to handle relationships well. And you should ask her what kind of crazy stuff people did today at school. [I love middle/high schoolers and holidays where they get to express emotions.]

5. Model Valentine’s Day. She is watching you. How do you give and receive love today? THIS. IS. HUGE.

6. Have chocolate. Sit and chat over the heart-shaped box or just toss her a piece when she least expects it.

. . . . .

I have twelve college girls headed over tonight for chicken pot pie and red velvet cake balls. Pray for me as I live Valentine’s Day with them and know that I am praying for you today too.

What are some other suggestions for helping teen girls navigate this holiday of love?

8 comments

  1. posted on Feb 14, 2012 at 6:08 AM  |  reply

    You’ve covered it well. Praying for your meet up tonight with those girls.

  2. Gwen
    posted on Feb 14, 2012 at 7:00 AM  |  reply

    Pretty sure this could be titled: Navigating Valentine’s Day: For Girls of Any Age. Good luck tonight!

  3. posted on Feb 14, 2012 at 7:20 AM  |  reply

    Love this, Annie! You have such a gift for understanding and guiding young women, and you’re using it well. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  4. posted on Feb 14, 2012 at 8:40 AM  |  reply

    This is so spot on! Girls just need to know that they are loved and celebrated. I’m going to call my nieces today 🙂

  5. posted on Feb 14, 2012 at 9:09 AM  |  reply

    Annie, I’ll definitely be praying for your time with the girls tonight! I spent a year volunteering in teen ministry and had a fantastic small group of high school girls, but I never knew what to say about Valentine’s Day. This post is such a gift and you hit the nail on the head. I’ll keep it in mind for the future. Thank you, thank you!

  6. merideth
    posted on Feb 14, 2012 at 9:53 AM  |  reply

    I love this post Annie,and it’s applicable for all of us on Valentine’s Day. I love how honest you are. Especially with the comment about God loves you even if no one else does. I think I still struggle with that “even if no one else does” part. All the single ladies out there know how that feels. Single guys, too, I imagine. I wonder what the teen boy’s take is on Valentine’s Day. Considering the fact that Valentine’s Day is connected to St. Valentine, I don’t think of it as a made up holiday that the card companies created(as some would say). It’s a great opportunity to share some love with anyone in your life. Friends, family, significant other, and of course the Lord. I wish I could come over for your Valentine’s night. It sounds like it’s going to be awesome! Praying for your night with those ladies, and that you feel loved and treasured today. Love ya girl.

  7. posted on Feb 14, 2012 at 10:48 AM  |  reply

    My 13 year old daughter’s school is selling “valentine grams” – littel bags of candy – that the students can send to each other. Last year my daughter and her friends bought one for each other. This year, she bought one for herself. I told her “good for you!” I then shared one of my favorite poems that says ” plant your own garden instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.”
    I still have a little something for her and her brothers tonight, but it’s nice to see her going after what she wants in life – even if it’s just candy. 🙂

  8. posted on Feb 14, 2012 at 1:39 PM  |  reply

    I wrote a post along these lines of what I wish someone would have told me back in high school when I was torn up about not dating: http://www.leighkramer.com/blog/2012/02/to-the-girl-who-has-never-dated.html

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