The Gospel for Valentine’s Day

You’ve probably felt it — that feeling. It doesn’t matter if you’re married, dating, single: Valentine’s Day can be strange.

Your relationship status shouldn’t determine your joy today, because relationships aren’t ultimate.

No, not just because of all the commercialized fluff. (that just means Reeses go on sale everywhere tomorrow, mark your calendars). Valentine’s Day is strange because of the questions we ask ourselves. You feel that, don’t you? Questions like — “Do I measure up?” — “Am I behind in life?” — “Why doesn’t my relationship look like theirs?” On days like today, we obsess with comparison.

Your relationship status shouldn’t determine your joy today because relationships aren’t ultimate. Jesus reminds us that when His kingdom comes in full, the reality of marriage will no longer exist. (Matthew 22:30) We’ll relate to each other in a new way — apart from a romantic covenant. Which brings me to the reason I’m writing:

Not every idol looks like this one. But spiritual idols are more dangerous, deceitful, and damaging than what’s about to happen to Indy. (source: Lucasfilm)

On days like today we should reflect on the place of relationships in our heart. Married and single people can both idolize relationships. What is an idol? Anything that takes God’s place in our lives — God — who is the ultimate source of comfort, power, control, and security. Idols deceive, disappoint, and deny us the satisfaction of knowing God.

On days like today we should reflect on the place of relationships in our heart.

Scripture never defines human value on the basis of your relationship status. The lie you may be tempted to buy into today, and everyday, is that a relationship can come off the bench for you and make the plays that only Jesus can make. Single or married people face the same challenge. Suddenly the division that day’s like today seem to create comes crashing down. We share the same hearts.

Ironically, idolizing relationships this way can easily craft a preference for “utility relationships” — using someone to meet your needs. These needs can run the spectrum — emotional, sexual, identity — but the reality is that no human being can bear the weight of these expectations, nor can they satisfy them. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus can.

The lie you may be tempted to buy into today, and everyday, is that a relationship can come off the bench for you and make the plays that only Jesus can make.

Scripture defines marriage as a covenant between a man and a woman before God that communicates His love — a love that buys people out from slavery to sin & adopts them into His family. (Ephesians 5) Marriage’s chief value is not for what it gets you, but for what it shows the world around you about God — that He satisfies like no one else.

Married people, you can enjoy God today, and you will find contement in your relationship status.

Single people, you can enjoy God today, and you will find contentment in your relationship status.

We share the same heart, God shares the same grace.

Published by Jared Stacy

Jared is an American Pastor, writer, and PhD Candidate in Practical Theology at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

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