Sunday, February 14, is Valentine's day and this is traditionally a day for couples (married, engaged, committed, or engaged) to express their love for one another. In some ways it is sad that we need a specific day to remind us to share our love with those who are special to us. Still it is helpful to have a specific day when we can stop and focus our affection on the people we value most. This year, perhaps more than any other, is a year when we need to share our love...
This past year has been a difficult one for many couples. The effects of covid-19 has resulted in tremendous stress on many relationships. Further, this past year of political hostility and tension has brought a deep sense divide between close friends and some couples. Recently a friend of mine wrote a blog article titled, "Surviving a Bi-Partisan Marriage." In some ways the article was funny, but in other ways it was very sad. Political differences, coupled with the changes brought about by covid-19 have been more than many relationships can handle. At the heart of this stress is a tremendous sense of loss: loss of jobs, loss of income, loss of fellowship, loss of health, loss of loved ones. It is no wonder that the rates for divorce, family violence, depression, and suicide are all significantly on the rise.
So I would encourage you to take Valentine's day very seriously this year. Identify the special people in your life and make sure you say to each of them, "I love you!" Say it in words. Say it with actions. Say it with gifts. Say it with cards and letters. Just make sure you say it. We've had all of the grief, stress, and loss we can handle over these past twelve months. Now is the time for each of us to focus on love!
Dr. Allen Schneider is a United Methodist pastor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist presently serving the Sapulpa and greater Tulsa communities.