Home > Culture, Theology > Vertical Valentine’s Day: Looking Up Instead of Looking Out

Vertical Valentine’s Day: Looking Up Instead of Looking Out

For some people, Valentine’s Day is a wonderful celebration of the love they share with their significant other.  For others, Valentine’s Day just makes them want to barf.  Flower’s, cards, elaborate dinners, surprises, gifts and chocolates are small but deliberate ways to say “I love you,” but to some the entire day just feels way too Hallmark.

Image via 123rf.com

Image via 123rf.com

Looking for Love

Regardless of whether or not you like the holiday (if you can call it that), you have to admit that many people have feelings toward it. For some of us, it’s a day to remember how much our boyfriend, girlfriend, fiance our spouse really mean to us.  It’s a day to commemorate our love with small gifts and special recognition.

Even still, I have many friends and family members who resent the day altogether.  For them, the day is another aching reminder of love lost, the loneliness of the single life or a constant failure to find that person who will love us unconditionally, accept us with all our flaws and make us feel like we really matter.

The Love Temptation

I know there are a lot of people who don’t like Valentine’s Day, but I’m not convinced there are as many who are honestly neutral towards it.  The day just hits too close to home for must of us to ignore how we really feel about our relationship status.

The temptation on Valentine’s Day is to turn our attention outward toward others, to look for love, acceptance and significance horizontally from another human being.  While this is good to do, it’s ultimately not complete.  No human being can ever give us the love we crave, only God can.  And he does so unconditionally in Christ.

Looking Up Instead of Out

This Valentine’s Day, instead of searching for significance from a horizontal relationship with another person enjoy the love, acceptance and significance that comes only from a vertical relationship with God.  God demonstrated his own love for us by sending Jesus to the cross at the very time we deserved it least.  (Romans 5:8)

Jesus has secured for those who believe unconditional love, total acceptance and eternal significance before God the Father. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a reminder of what we don’t have from others.  Instead, it can be a joyful reminder of what we do have from God in Christ.  Go ahead. Enjoy the day by looking up to God instead of out to others. (1 John 4:10; Romans 8:31-39)

For more content related to relationships and dating check out the sermon series I preached at the Living Hope Church-Maryville Campus called “Sex, Singleness & Marriage.” You can view the series by clicking here.

  1. February 18, 2014 at 2:11 AM

    Thank you for liking “The Things We Do for Love: Odd Love Rituals.” I like the idea of celebrating God’s unconditional love for us on Valentine’s Day whether or not you have a significant other in your life. This is something we should try to do every day of our lives, not just on holidays.

  2. February 21, 2014 at 7:50 AM

    Loved this post! May we always remember to have a vertical focus so we can be reminded of His amazing love for us. Be blessed today and find a way to bless someone else!

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