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