Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to showcase your love for your family. If you are struggling to find a fun and new way to do that this year, consider throwing a Love Party.
Don’t worry – it’s not some hippie throw-back. It’s simply a celebration – a time to demonstrate your love for one another in a way that it can be “heard” by each recipient. How do you do that, you ask? This step-by-step guide will show you how.
One Week Before . . .
The first step for planning your love party is to identify each family member’s love language. Gary Chapman has a great website where you can take an online assessment to determine if you feel most loved through words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, or physical touch. (During the assessment, you will be asked for your email address; you don’t need to provide this to view your results.)
This assessment can be used by adults and kids. * The assessment for very young children is no longer available. You can implement some of the site’s suggestions or read the questions for older kids to them. * Consider making one night this week “Love Language Night” and take the assessments together. For some quality couple-time, watch your spouse take the assessment. You may be surprised as to what he or she prefers when given a choice.
Print out your results and collect them in a folder. Circle each family member’s dominant love language. (If there was no clear winner, let the person pick their primary love language.)
Five Days Before . . .
On this day, you will create a list of concrete ways that you can show love based on the dominant love language of each family member. Here are some examples:
- A rose for Mom who loves to receive gifts
- Taking out the trash for Dad who feels loved when offered acts of service
- A foot massage for Sally, whose love language is touch
- Watching baby videos of Jimmy as a family
- Creating a “we love you because” jar full of encouraging words for Billy who feels loved when verbally affirmed
Three Days Before . . .
Sit down with your family and plan your Love Party. You may not be able to have your celebration on Valentine’s Day due to family commitments but don’t let that stop you from having one anyway. Maybe Saturday night is a better option. Or maybe Sunday afternoon works for your family. Pick a date and make a commitment to be there.
This part of the planning stage may include: making a shopping list, making a reservation, making plans to get a small gift, creating a poem or short story that affirms a family member. Use your imagination – always keeping in mind the language that is significant to the person you are seeking to show love to.
Day Of . . .
Celebrate! Enjoy your special time together. If you did it right, everyone should end the evening feeling loved. Sometimes anticipation is 90% of the fun, so don’t be too disappointed if the evening doesn’t go exactly as planned. This party is really about the process of getting to know each family member a little more so that we can “consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25
Happy Valentine’s Day!