Valentine's Day

By John A. White
Contributing Writer
September 14, 2022

Read more from John A. White
Earlier this week I found myself in the middle of what I’ll call “The Valentine Frenzy” and I didn’t do such a good job… my apologies to my family. This morning, as I reflected on what marketers call “the month of love” I realized I lacked a discipline I normally apply during Christmas; that is to press beyond the marketing, shallow and ephemeral traditions to the fundamental and essential celebration. To make the most of Christmas, we look beyond buying gifts to greatest gift – God’s son. Similarly, in February, we should be looking beyond the candy and flowers to the fundamental and essential demonstration of love. It seems obvious to those who know and regularly experience the love of Christ that February’s marketed love is a desperate and shallow substitute for real, substantive love. As Paul puts it

“…love hangs in there for a long time when it feels like giving up; it treats it’s object kindly whether love is returned it or not; love does not seek to possess or control the loved one; love is not self concerned with image - doesn’t talk about what it does or how great it is and doesn’t even think that about itself; love tempers itself so its recipients receive only good; love doesn’t demand its own way or seek its own advantage; love does not get angry easily and forgives quickly and completely; love is not happy when life is a fabric of lies, but lives for integrity; love keeps on keeping on, keeps on believing, keeps on hoping. Love never fails” (I edited a paraphrase by my friend Bill Dogterom).

1 Cor 13 challenges the casual notion of Valentine’s day. Love should be more than gifts I buy as prove it exists; it’s a commitment to move away from temporal versions of love shown in TV commercials to the eternal embrace of Christ’s love though my words, my actions and my thoughts. This not only applies to my family and friends but to how I worship God. This is my aspiration.

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