February 14th is a date dedicated to lovers worldwide. The opportunity to express romance with flowers, candlelit dinners, champagne, gifts and fireworks. It celebrates coupledom and a worldly perspective that love is only romance.
Unintentionally, it creates a sense of alienation amongst singles - evoking a feeling that without a romantic side kick, we are not whole, or worthy or special or fulfilled. This is the irony of a day dedicated to love becoming a dreaded day of loneliness and emptiness for significant members of our community.
The origin of Valentine’s Day is as confusing as the idea of the love it purports to celebrate. Depending on who you ask, legend has it that Valentine was a historical figure who secretly sent romantic letters to a love interest while in prison or even that the day of valentine was chosen because it was a mating season for birds!
Irrespective of its origin, romance and sexual attraction is the thread that weaves through the celebration rather than love. Therein lies the problem. Ask a million people what love is and you will likely receive a million different answers relating to romance - a description of passion and sexual longing.
Scripture describes love differently. 1st Corinthians 13 declares 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
God’s description of love is far from the dewy eyed, butterflies in the stomach feeling the world has sold us. Rather, it is a description of respect, empathy, compassion, sacrifice and unconditional giving. It is not necessarily emotive in its expression but deliberate in its target and purpose and definitely inclusive. One can safely say that it is the first equal opportunity law given to man.
Whereas a romantic sidekick can leave you when they “fall out of love”, the virtues of scriptural love are everlasting. As a matter of fact, 1st John 4:7-11 explains that this kind of inclusive love is an attribute of God himself so 7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
With this assurance, on 14th of February and every day of your life, why not make God your Valentine?