The first time I ever had a date on Valentine's Day was when I was dating my husband. Boys weren't exactly knocking down my door to date me. Needless to say, Valentine's Day is not a single-girl's favorite holiday... if you can even call it a holiday. More like a Hallmark excuse.
My high school years were the hardest to accept a date-less Valentine's. You remember the bouquets of balloons, and flowers, and chintzy white teddy bears with hearts on their paws that girls carried around school all day, flaunting their dating status to all. I can distinctly picture myself eating lunch with two of my best girlfriends, and their boyfriends, and a lot of p.d.a. one particularly grim Valentine's day. I was a definite 5th wheel with school-girl hopes that the boy I had a crush on might glance my way. Nope.
It was a Valentine's day like this one that I came home from school and went straight to my room, closing the door to hide from the world of teenage boys that had rejected me.
A few hours later came a knock on the door. In came my dad, recently home from work. He had a gift for me. A Valentine's gift to say he loved me. It was a cheesy stuffed animal - a bee with a "bee mine" heart. It isn't the gift that was important, but the fact that he gave it. In that moment, amidst all the feelings of insecurity about myself and what boys in high school thought of me, I felt loved.
My dad gave me a much greater gift than a simple stuffed animal. He gave me the gift of knowing what kind of love was important on Valentine's Day, and of knowing that I was loved by someone special. I did not need to settle for some dweeby guy in high school who didn't know how to treat women. Here I am, years later, actually thankful for the date-less Valentine's Days in my past. Despite the years of feeling somewhat lonely and forlorn, I never gave a Valentine to someone who didn't deserve it.
Having two daughters scares me because in our world women are expected to sell their virtue for love. In God's world, love protects our virtue. Dads have the unique responsibility of loving their daughters in a way that will protect their virtue... a healthy, kind way that teaches them to be discerning about the different kinds of "love" that come along in life.
The man I married is now dad to our two precious daughters. In our house, Valentine's Day is no longer simply a reason to bring out the romance. It is one more opportunity to teach our children about the way God intended them to be loved.