View from Reverend Pep Hill, Associate Priest of the Harborough Resource Anglican Church team
Are you looking forward to Tuesday, with dreams of red roses, romantic meals and wild passion? Or are you dreading Valentine’s Day?
I remember as a girl the shame of having to admit that I hadn’t received Valentine’s Day cards, seeing it as proof that I was not loved.
Of course, that sucks – I was loved by my parents, my friends, my extended family and, even though I didn’t know it at the time, by God.
Our society views romantic love as the thing to be desired above all else, and our emotions and urges fit perfectly into this narrative – how could anyone be happy if they don’t have a ‘soul mate’. ? But this idolatry of the romantic couple is relatively new and many cultures have different ideas. Divorce rates also challenge the notion of “happily ever after.”
What if our life partner is deceased? How the hell can we celebrate Valentine’s Day again?
So, having agreed that Valentine’s Day is a really bad idea, what do we think about our very human need to be loved? I think it’s a fundamental part of our constitution – both necessary from an evolutionary perspective, but also as part of God’s larger plan for humanity. After all, didn’t God say in the Garden of Eden that it is not good for a human being to be alone? But having a sexual partner is not the only way to not be alone – and sometimes we can feel completely alone, even if we have a loving partner.
God created us to be in community, to love and be loved, but not necessarily in a sexual relationship. We’re not second-class citizens if we don’t have a partner—and we’re not redeemed if we do. Our worth does not come from having a rich, beautiful, and powerful spouse. This comes from our position as daughters or sons of God, created in the image of God.
We are created to be in relationship with God our creator, who promises that we will never be alone, that he is always with us. God loves us so much that he came into his creation to die for us, to undo the damage we had done to our unity, and to restore the relationship with him. And Jesus would have died for you if you had been the only person in the world. So if the Creator of the world thinks you are worth dying for, I think you can safely say that, card or no card, you are loved.
Reverend Pep Hill is an associate priest in the Harborough Resource Anglican Church team