Of Groundhogs and Valentines

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head, 
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, 
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, 
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end. 
~1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (The Message)

Q. What do groundhogs and Valentines have in common?
A. Not much. . .

At least on the surface. But if you take a closer look you’ll see both are laden with heavy expectation.

Punxsutawney Phil carries the weight of winter on his shoulders simply by whether or not he sees his shadow. Quite a bit of responsibility for a rodent. Yet don’t we sometimes put a similar expectation on the one we love at Valentine’s Day? Cards, flowers, candy, expensive dinners, etc. All are well and good on their own. But when they become our litmus of how much the person we care for cares for us, problems arise.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Valentine’s Day. And I’m always up for a nice gift from hubby or dinner out. But regardless of what gift I’m given or where we go, things of this world should never carry the weight of love in my relationship.

Hebrews 13:5 literally tells us, Be without covetousness [greedy] behavior, be content with the things present, for He has said, ‘No, I will not leave, no, nor forsake you…’ YLB

So before you put too much burden on any one person to come through for you on that “special day,” make sure you’re first content and secure in the LORD. Then, and only then, will you finally be able to lay aside man’s great expectation of groundhogs and Valentines.

LORD, help me find contentment in You, and keep me from placing undue expectation on the one I love. This is a hard time of year, especially for those who are alone or who have broken relationships. Be their all-in-all, Father, and mend that which has been broken. Make them whole again as you are making me whole. Thank You for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’s name. Amen.


About J. N. Hups

I am the author of a 9-part young adult speculative fiction book series called THE CHRONICLES OF SPECTOR. The first book is due to release February 29, 2016, with Mt. Cydesh Publishing Co. Between 2006 - 2014, I served as president, vice president, and secretary of ACFW North Denver, a local chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), and in 2008 was part of a team that implemented social networking and web presence for the ACFW chapters in Colorado. A native Coloradoan, I live in Westminster with my husband of 36 years. I have four grown children, and three "perfect" grandchildren with another on the way.
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