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I know I only linked to it a couple of days ago, but seeing as it’s the Day of Cynicism (as well as Jen‘s birthday and, don’t forget, Decimal Currency Day (not that either of them have anything to do with cynicism)), I thought I’d re-post my article below.

It’s the first week of February. Worse than Christmas decorations in September and Easter eggs in January, the Valentine-ing of the world has taken over like a pink and red virus. I get daily emails entreating me to ‘get something special’ for my ‘special someone’. Web browser ads turn to the ‘V’ subject more and more – even Greenpeace is in on the act! A display stand in Coles, that bastion of romance, sells giant stuffed bears and an assortment of DVD double-packs, presumably chosen for their romantic themes. Mainly chick flicks, although I do spot a double bill of Mr & Mrs Smith and Entrapment. Perhaps that’s a token one for the guys.

And does anyone else think ‘V-Day’ sounds like something to do with an STD?

Valentine’s Day is almost inescapable. You’re gripped either with cynicism or sentimentality, and even if you want to ignore it, it’s in your face. Those in relationships are under pressure to show their love; those not in relationships but pining for someone are expected to risk all and declare their passion. And if you’re one of those sad individuals who doesn’t even have anyone to pine for…well…it’s only one day a year, right?

I read an article in The Sun Herald yesterday which trumpeted Valentine’s Day as being a great day for singles, with online dating agency RSVP trying to break the world record for speed dating. Demographer Bernard Salt said, “we could find ourselves in a situation in 30 years’ time that Valentine’s Day has bigger billing than Mother’s Day. Valentine’s Day could be right up there with Christmas Day”.

Heaven help us.

What does this say about relationships in our world? In that rose-coloured light, love becomes a commodity, marketable and saleable, something as easily obtained, consumed and discarded as a fast-food meal. Love becomes something that can be used to show off; to un/intentionally rub in other people’s faces; to prove your membership in an exclusive, couples-only club.

Is that love?

Think about the love God speaks about in the Bible. God’s love is sacrificial. God’s love is boundless. God’s love is sustaining. God’s love is nourishing. God is love! God’s love doesn’t come in a box with a ribbon on it. And, most importantly, God’s love will be there in the hard times and the happy times, whether you’re in a relationship or not. The only relationship you really need to worry about is your relationship with him.

God didn’t choose to show his love for us on one, limited, narrow day per year with a box of chocolates or a stuffed toy. God chose to show his love by sending his beloved Son to die for us, so that we might have eternal life (John 3:16). That’s a gift that will never fade, that will never rust or decay.

Everything else pales in comparison, doesn’t it?

Think about how God wants us to love. He wants us to love our neighbours as ourselves. He wants us to care for those who are weak, lonely, and suffering. He wants us to share each others’ joys and sorrows (Romans 12:15). He wants us to love as he does.

originally posted in webSalt