Temptations for Valentines
Updated: Feb 15
We Americans, in our pursuit of life, liberty, and the Next Big Thing, often neglect to relay our knowledge and skills to our children.
This February 14, you have a chance to fight this trend and to establish new family traditions.
First, please seriously consider making an old Motown playlist for Valentine’s Day. Why? Because Motown music is a national treasure. If your streaming service hasn’t been spinning these hits, you should break it down:
The Temptations, Can’t Get Next to You
Stevie Wonder, Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Smokey Robinson, I Second That Emotion
The Supremes, Can’t Hurry Love
The Four Tops, Bernadette
Gladys Knight, Midnight Train to Georgia
Sam Cook, You Send Me
Aretha Franklin, Respect*
The Temptations, Ain’t Too Proud to Beg
Jackson 5, I Want You Back
Tammi Terrell & Marvin Gaye, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
Second, take time to tell the love stories of your family - kids should know how their grandparents met and how their dad proposed to their mom. What a beautiful annual tradition this could be.
Note: When I read the Bible, I am often struck by how much dirty laundry was handed down from generation to generation: “Hey, remember that time when Reuben went in to Bilhah?” The redemption stories in Scripture were inspired for our salvation. The follies of our uncanonized relatives (and ourselves) do not require such transparency. I think it is generally wiser to share the Hallmark-movie version unless you have older children who would benefit from knowing a particular story.
Third, this is a great chance to tell our children what love really is. Love is being so invested in the true good of another person that we are willing to do hard work, make sacrifices, and be vulnerable. Love is about self-gift, modeled and powered by Jesus Christ. Love is being caught up in the joyful life of the Holy Trinity.
Love the feeling must always bow to the love of God and His will. If we love Him, we trust that He knows and wills our deepest happiness, and so we keep His commandments even when we understand their purposes but imperfectly.
Hear, O Israel, the LORD is our God, the LORD alone. You shall love the LORD your God with your whole heart, and with your whole being, and with your whole strength. Deuteronomy 6:5
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
*Note: The Queen of Soul never signed with Motown Records, but her style, her Detroit origins, her close friendship with Smokey Robinson, and her incredible talent qualify for for the list.
*Photo Credit: James Sutton on Unsplash