Do you dread Valentine’s Day? Do you wonder if you’ll ever have a satisfaction for the deep longing for love that you feel? I have some bad news for you.
Then I have some good news, so don’t worry.
Here’s the bad news: that longing that you feel will never go away. There’s a sense in which every human has to be resigned to living this life with an entrenched, deep down, ravenous desire to be loved. The second that Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden the hunger pangs began, and they won’t go away no matter how hard we try to quell them with flowers, chocolate, romance, entertainment, jewelry, sex, or anything else. When Adam and Eve were cast out they were not only disconnected physically from the presence of God, but they were disconnected spiritually and emotionally from Him as well. They were, and we are, disconsolate apart from our Creator.
It won’t go away because what was really meant to satiate you can only be found in one place; God Himself. The only way to have your deepest longings met is in reconciliation to a Holy God.
And though we live in this in-between state of the already and the not yet, followers of Jesus are truly the only people that can have any semblance of rest from this. We’ve not yet fully received the hope of our hearts, being face to face with our Great Savior, but we have the promise of eternal satisfaction and the seal of the Holy Spirit to guarantee our inheritance. We can be so quick to underestimate the great depth to which Jesus can satisfy us in this life, and yet there is far more to come.
If you’re dreading Valentine’s Day as a single person this year, my hope for you is that you wouldn’t try to meet your longings with the unrequited love of man. I hope, instead, that you’d remember the great love that God has shown you through His Son, and you’d pour yourself out into His mission of disciple-making, and showing charity and mercy to those in need. You can rest in the sovereignty of God; He knows your ache, he’s felt your ache (Heb. 4:15), and He doesn’t want you to waste one second of your breath on lesser loves than His.
For those of us that are married, we’d do good to remember the warning of Paul against marriage in 1 Cor. 7; warning us not to fix our devotion on our spouse, but instead be wholly devoted to God. Love for others necessarily flows from our love for God, and married relationships are no different. Cherish your spouse as a great gift from the Giver of All and let that precious thought lead you to worship Him. But don’t just do this on Valentine’s Day because it’s the obligatory Hallmark recommendation, make a practice of it in your everyday to fuel your praise of the King.