Guest Post: Valentine’s Day

Drew Dilday wrote an article in preparation of the late-winter event sponsored by Cupid: Valentine’s Day.

I was challenged by Drew’s redemptive and thoughtful approach to Valentine’s Day. I typically procure a box of chocolate-covered cherries and make a half-hearted offer to go to dinner. You don’t really want to fight the crowd and traffic do you? [By the way, the chocolate-covered cherries can be found deeply discounted when purchased on or after Feb 15.]

Drew’s article is below. You’ll enjoy his writing style. And you’ll be convinced to get those chocolates on time.

            On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rank your excitement and anticipation of Valentine’s Day? Are you eager for it, or do you simply endure it? Is it a holiday, or is it a humbug? Do you take advantage of it, or does it take advantage of you? Hallmark has long been the scapegoat for husbands who don’t necessarily identify themselves as the “hopeless romantic” type. And to an extent, this Hallmark goat has been justly scaped. Poor goat. Smart businesses know how to prey on their predators, and Valentine’s Day has been a rather appealing bait for the naïve and lovesick prey.

            But I say we give this goat a break. The truth is, Valentine’s Day is a remarkable opportunity to demonstrate love and affection for your spouse. The holiday serves as an annual reminder, much like Thanksgiving and Christmas, to celebrate what we should be celebrating all along. And what exactly are we celebrating on Valentine’s Day? We are celebrating covenant love—that is, the affection and compassion we express to our spouses within the context of commitment. Isn’t it astounding that on Valentine’s Day people all over the world will be celebrating covenant love, most of whom have never tasted the fount of covenant love, which is the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ? And yet these lovers are willing to spend exorbitant amounts on dinner reservations, flower bouquets, hotel getaways and … yes, Hallmark cards.

If this is how the world celebrates Valentine’s Day, how much more should Christians, who have been granted the distinct privilege of knowing God’s covenant love first-hand, celebrate Valentine’s Day with gusto? Christians are those who have drunk deeply from the fount of covenant love, which flows from God in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. The gospel tells us, “God demonstrates his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” God’s love was of the kind that necessitated expression and demonstration. He didn’t just tell us he loved us. He demonstrated it. In the same way, our love for our spouses must not only be verbalized, but demonstrated. This is especially the case for husbands, whose love for their wives is divinely intended to model gospel realities. The gospel turns us sinners into lovers—and not only lovers, but lovers who love to demonstrate the covenant love that has already been demonstrated to us. The Christian understands, as Tim Keller has said, that “[God] loved us, not because we were lovely to him, but to make us lovely.” It is on this basis that the Christian is called and even compelled to celebrate Valentine’s Day with gusto.

So, make a reservation. Grab a bouquet. Buy a card. Feed the Hallmark goat. But do so with the love of God pulsating through your veins and enlivening you to deeper and deeper loveliness. We know that man was not made for Valentine’s Day, but Valentine’s Day was made for man. So celebrate covenant love on this holiday—for the glory of Christ.