“I hate Valentine’s Day,” the middle-aged woman sadly shared with me.

“Why?” I responded.

“At my office, I have to spend the entire day watching the other women receive flowers and candy, or they talk about their nice dinner plans,” she continued. “My husband doesn’t even buy me a card or show me any affection. My marriage is very difficult, and I often feel lonely. But on Valentine’s Day, I really feel unloved.”

As I looked into this woman’s forlorn blue eyes, my heart ached for her. She felt abandoned by the man who, many years before, had vowed to “love and cherish” her forever.

I’ve had a number of single people tell me how hard Valentine’s Day is for them, but this woman helped me to realize that the holiday might be difficult for married people, too.

Since that experience, when February 14th approaches, I ask God to bring to my mind someone who needs affirmation and to hear “you are loved.”

How about you? Is there someone who needs your loving touch on the “day of love?” Here are a few people to consider:

  • Single Parent — a card or flower might make his or her day.
  • Widow taking her for lunch might ease her grief.
  • Elderly Neighborthe kids could make heart-shaped cookies to share.
  • Someone who lost his or her joba restaurant gift card might allow the couple to rekindle the flame during the stress of job loss.
  • Separated or DivorcedIt will be a lonely, hard day for this person. Any act of kindness that shows “I see your pain” will be appreciated.
  • Someone who has experienced a loss or deathduring grief, almost every holiday is traumatic; a box of candy will communicate you remembered.
  • SinglesInvite her out to eat, go to a movie, or calligraphy/print an encouraging Bible verse to share (e.g., Deuteronomy 31:6, Philippians 4:6–8, 1 Peter 5:7)

I pray these suggestions help to make Valentine’s Day brighter. After all, any day with chocolate as the focus is something to smile about!