Valentine’s Day is a one of the most horrific rights of passage that our culture annually visits upon itself. While I know there will be some sappy lovers who disgree, there are very few people—young or old, married or single—who look forward to this day. This day is less about opportunity and more about obligation, and reasonably so.
53% of women say that they will end their relationship if they receive nothing on February 14.
That fact alone should be motivation enough to do something… anything. Despite that fact, only about 50-60% of people participate in Valentine’s Day. This perhaps confirms the data, indicating that half of our relationships will turn over in mid-February because of… drumroll… Valentine’s Day itself.1
I suppose that wouldn’t make a very positive Conversation Heart: “Give me to someone… or else.”
Admittedly, I have a difficult relationship with the day myself. In elementary school, I was always horrified to receive sappy “Be Mine” cards from those about whom the feeling was decidedly not mutual. Even more awkward were the kids who received few if any cards at all on the day. In the tweenager years, computer-matching became a thing. Kids could purchase the right to own a top-10 list of compatible matches from within their class, creating even more awkwardness among peer groups and cliques. By high school the lines were clearly delineated between those who used Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to show off their relational status and those who instead chose to hide from it.
Eventually, I took to referring to the 14th of February as Single’s Awareness Day, or just plain S.A.D. (for short).
And though few admit it, I think that this annual celebration is just a reminder of how few of us—married or otherwise—are in vibrant and fulfilling relationships. What other reason could there be for this day than to single single people out?! (See what I did there). And those that are in strong relationships don’t particularly need a day to prove it; their relationship is strong precisely because they do not relegate their love to one day a year.
If there is a silver lining, perhaps it is that 11,000 children are conceived annually on this day. There is no word, however, as to whether they are borne out of love or loneliness.
Don’t be.Valentine's Day is an open door for the Christ-follower to model and teach true love. Click To Tweet
Valentine’s Day is such a mess because somewhere along the way we forget what real love looks like. We forgot about words like sacrifice, commitment, selflessness, steadiness, stability, withness, etc. and replaced it with candy, flowers, cards, clothes, jewelry, and other meaningless things.
Our kids hate Valentine’s Day because we have not taught them about love, instead allowing the culture to teach them that true love is who hangs on your arm. And each 14th of February is a painful remainder that there is something missing if they don’t have that person. Hogwash! (as my Grandma used to say). This is why we have so many broken relationships as adults!! Valentine’s Day lied to us.
A strong relationship isn’t two halves finding each other, it is two wholes in Christ choosing to do life together with Christ.
I realized this last week when my elementary schooler expressed a lack of desire to by Valentine’s Day cards for her class or really celebrate the day at all. At first, I just thought she was being moody, but now I get it. She has a culturally view of love rather than a biblical one. I’ve failed!
It’s time to reclaim Valentine’s Day… a day which was once the Church’s to begin with.
PRACTICE: Spend a few minutes refreshing your knowledge by Googling about SAINT Valentine. (I’ve given you a clue word in there.)