This past weekend my company had its Christmas party, on Valentine’s Day weekend. Which is appropriate since Valentine’s Day is the second largest card-sending holiday of the year, following Christmas. I don’t know if this proves how busy we are or says something about our efficiency. We took in a basketball game and watched the Iowa State women crush the eleventh ranked Baylor “Lady” Bears. After the game we enjoyed a meal together and caught up outside of a work setting. Hollie and I took advantage of the grandparents watching the kids and took in a matinee. We saw Valentine’s Day which, surprisingly (sarcasm font), was the top box office earner for the weekend.
It is standard 21st century chick-flick fare as it follows a group of intertwined individuals on Valentine’s Day, akin to the movie Love Actually. There was much glorification of sex (almost exclusively outside of marriage) which was expected, and of course much made about the pursuit of “love.” All arts express what the Germans call a weltanschauung, or world view. Valentine’s Day is no exception and demonstrates our culture’s infatuation with “love.”
This love so sought after reveals the desire implanted in us by our Maker, but demonstrates how we try to fill it with the most shallow of love, eros. Eros was the Greek god of love and was identified as Cupid by the Romans. Its meaning is that of physical love and sexual desire and in psychiatry is the term used for the sexual drive, or libido. This love of lust and infatuation will always prove shallow and decay (see: the inundation of Cialis and Viagra ads).
On the way to pick up the kids, the wife and I discussed the movie. I exclaimed how blessed I was after our first date on Valentine’s Day 13 years ago that our love has moved from eros to philia, which is a combined form meaning friendship and fondness from the Greek for affection and loving. However, we admitted that without agape, the greatest love, all love is unachievable, and our relationship could easily be identified with any of the relationships found in Valentine’s Day. If not for agape, the love of Christ for all humankind, our relationship would simply not be.
In closing, Mark Driscoll wrote on his blog about the history of Valentine’s Day. He concluded with the following statement.
“Sadly, the holiday in his name completely ignores our Christian brother Valentine. As a pastor, he likely would have been mortified at much of what is done in the name of love to commemorate the day his head was chopped off because of his love for Jesus.”