Tonight I’ll pop a freezer meal in the oven and if I had candles, I would light them for supper, but I don’t. When my husband asked me this morning what I wanted to do on the evening when most of the whole world is out dating, I shrugged and said, “I don’t know.” And instantly felt terrible.
Why does it feel like a huge monstrosity that I feel disenchanted with Valentine’s Day?
I loved Valentine’s Day as a kid. It meant that when we tumbled down the stairs for breakfast there was a small bag of candy at our spot at the table with a valentine from Mom and Dad. Juju hearts were my favorite.
The total spending that will be reached by Valentine’s Day is $18.6 billion dollars.
I feel sick.
Sick of love.
Is this love?
I’m wondering why it feels like a huge monstrosity that I don’t put much stock in the holiday of love as a married lover, but what if we all stopped in our checkout lane with our candy and cards and flowers and candles and asked if the real monstrosity was not that we were going to eat a candle-less freezer meal for dinner, but that the whole word was buying into one of the biggest scams on love ever.
Filter through Facebook and it’s picture after picture of chocolates and flower bouquets and I-feel-so-loved statuses. And don’t get me wrong, please.
There’s nothing wrong with chocolates and flower bouquets and feeling loved by romantic gifts.
And there’s nothing wrong with celebrating Valentine’s Day.
Except that by Valentine’s Day, $18.6 billion dollars will be spent on well-meant but fleeting gestures of love by a world of people in desperate need of knowing True Love.
Love with shoes on.
What if we took this holiday of love and turned it completely on its head? What would happen to this sad, corrupted earth if love became more than a commercial industry for February 14th?
What if we made Valentine’s Day 2014 a commencement not a culmination of loving? A day to commit to the law of God –
to love Him wholly and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
What if we all – the God-lovers – covenanted with Him on the holiday of love, made 1 Corinthians 13 our mantra for the year and wrote our radical declaration in the sky:
We will live to love, at the expense of every other pursuit.
What if we wrote it down with permanent ink –
That unless we’ve clothed the naked, fed the hungry, befriended the lonely, visited the prisoner, risen to meet the needs of the sick and homeless, given ourselves to a life of living love –
We better not keep adding to our bursting-at-the-seams wardrobes,
Spending money on cheap expressions of love,
Going on dates with friends to fill up our relational tanks, and
Debating theological points rendered pointless without a theological life.
Correct theology is imperative, cheap expressions of love are romantic, dates with friends are good and clothing is sanctioned by God.
Except the pursuit of it all – religion, relationships, romance and raiment – is pointless if it replaces, ignores, or comes before living out that greatest, only commandment.
1 Corinthians 13
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.