Yesterday was Valentine’s Day, and I can almost guarantee that most of us fall into three groups: 1) you don’t really care (just another holiday made up by candy and greeting card companies). 2) you really care (love to celebrate or despise celebrating both fit in this group). Or 3) you actually, completely forgot. Whatever this day holds for you, know you’re not alone. It’s a spectrum of emotion out there, and we’re all on it.
As a teenager, I was all about poking fun of Valentine’s Day, bringing cupcakes to school and handing them out to my fellow single friends. “Happy S.A.D. Day! Single’s Awareness Day!” And I approached high school dating in much the same way. Yet, despite my sarcasm, I still felt the odd twinge when friends went home with flowers or treats from their admirer. Try as I might, I couldn’t shake the reality that relationships, dating, titles like “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” were still supremely important to those all around me.
I remember when my first friend got engaged at the ripe old age of 20. She said how much extra mental space she had because she wasn’t thinking about guys, dating, or love interests anymore. At the time, I thought that was so strange (I thought she was a little boy-crazy), but I’ve come to see that her recognition holds some truth.
People spend years, decades even, of their lives with their minds consumed with finding love, maintaining love, losing love or finding it again. I wonder how much of our mental, emotional, even spiritual energy is spent on this area.
While I believe marriage is a supremely important relationship in this life and different than just hunting for love, it can do the same thing to our mentalscape. A hostage takeover. But isn’t marriage beautiful, God-created, and all the things? Yep, and if we’re married, we should be honoring the choice we made, investing in our marriage, working for it, believing in it, enjoying it.
Yet our current relationship status says very little if anything about our devotion to Christ. Don’t believe me? Ask our favorite guy, Paul. He talks a lot about marriage and singleness in 1 Corinthians chapter 7.
1 Corinthians 7:29-31 “What I mean, brothers and sisters, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they do not; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.”
I hope you’re not reading this and thinking “SEE! I can ignore my spouse! I can pretend this marriage never happened! It’s BIBLICAL.” The point is simple: marriage isn’t the point! Being happy or sad about our love life isn’t the point. Getting stuff and loving the stuff isn’t the point.
This world in its present form is passing away. That’s the point. Our main drive in life shouldn’t be finding love, getting married, or anything other than following Christ and advancing His kingdom. So, whatever our relationship status right now, I hope this passage frees you to refocus your gaze, restore your mind and find purpose that goes far beyond any relationship this world can offer.