Hey all, Valentine’s day is upon us.
We say that this is a day about love, which is something our culture is pretty obsessed with.
We find it in literature that shows relationships that are destructive, controlling, and demeaning. And we call it love.
We compete for it on TV, tearing each other down to “win” a relationship. And we call it love.
We hear songs about it, songs that focus obsessively on obsession, pain, absence, or unhealthy relationships built on pining and gratification. And we call it love.
We think love is about romance, completion, comfort, and personal satisfaction. We recreate love in our own image then turn around and call it love.
We crave love everywhere, which paradoxically means that we find it no where.
I can’t help but think that maybe all this is because we got so focused on love as a noun that we forgot about it as a verb. We want love, when what we need is to love.
Which brings us to Valentine’s Day, a fantastic day that should be a tribute to loving, but instead has become a day about romance, loneliness, cliché cards and chocolate. All of those are so far from what love really is at its core. (Except for chocolate, because it is perfect at its core, like love.)
So this Valentine’s Day, here’s to love.
Here’s to a day where we remember that loving should always be our highest calling, one that is carried out in the mundane workings of ordinary life, not just at a romantic candlelight dinner at a table for two. Real love, really loving, pulls out of ourselves in to a fantastic, vulnerable, exhilarating, sacrificial, joyful relationship with the world.
Let’s do this.
*The middle love quote is from 1 Corinthians 13 and the last quote is from C.S. Lewis’ The Four Loves. The graphic designs are my own.