Surviving Valentine’s Day

Ugh. Not another Valentine’s Day. The Day when all romance is celebrating in a seemingly never-ending stream of chocolates, red roses and plush teddies holding cute little love hearts.

Makes me wanna barf. (And I am its target demographic. Go figure.)

And it is not just the rampant commercialism. Sure, I hate the overflow of red-coloured gifts that consume the stores a mere few hours after Christmas. I hate the fact that couples and secret admirers celebrate their coupled or would-be-coupled status like they own the world.

But it is not about that.

It is the idolatry of romance.

It is the idolatry of romance.

Everything in this world glorifies the romantic relationship over all others. Sure, there are feel-good TV shows that celebrate other kinds of relationships, like special friendships or melodramatic family reunions. I watched one the other night. Sickening.

But our movies, our music, our entire culture seems to shout that the romantic relationship is the highest form of connection, the ultimate goal in life. One only has to observe the fuss made over weddings to confirm that fact.

And Valentine’s Day.

It bothers me. And it bothers me that the church seems to get swept along in the worship of coupledom. Singles are often (in my experience) pestered about their love-life. They get interrogated about their plans for “settling down”. Like being single is somehow inferior.

It bothers me that the church gets swept along in the worship of coupledom.

Don’t get me wrong. I see the value in being coupled. I am, in fact, a coupled person. Some of my best friends are coupled. But I am not convinced marriage is the main goal in life. I know this goes against the Christian grain, but I mean it.

Marriage is not our highest calling.

Romance, while enjoyable, does not begin to compare with the honour and privilege of serving Christ. The love of another person, while ego-boosting and heart-warming, does not compare to the wild and tender love of Christ.

To know him, to love him, is our highest goal.

To love him is our highest goal.

Jesus loved us so much he gave his life for us. This earth-staggering truth stops me in my tracks, again and again, melting my heart and wooing my soul. His love, unlike human love, is steadfast and constant and sure. His love for us will never run out.

Now that is a love worth celebrating.

How do you respond to the idolisation of romance? What are your top tips for surviving Valentine’s Day? Share your story. Let’s have a countercultural conversation.

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