INTRO: A general definition of Valentine’s Day is “a holiday when lovers express their affection with greetings and gifts,” and many would say the holiday is not much more than a whimsical attempt to make winter less miserable. They might ask the question, “Why do we really need a valentine anyway?” It might surprise them to know that both Scripture and science give definite answers to that question, and those answers not whimsical at all. They point to a necessity for us to have “valentines who express their affection in a multitude of ways.” On this Valentine’s morning I’d like to lay out that points from both areas, offering reasons why we all need a “valentine” in our lives.” First, let me PRAY with you and then we’ll move forward.
I.GOD WANTED THE HUMAN RACE TO SURVIVE PHYSICALLY. AND EMOTIONALLY.
A. Basically, we have a desire for a “valentine” or special person in our lives because we are “hardwired” to do so. In the story of creation account found in Gen. 1-2, when the Lord created people He did so because He had a specific purpose in mind. The Scripture explains simply in Gen. 1:28, “God blessed [the people He created], and God said to them, ‘Br fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it.” NOT ONE OF THOSE COMMNDS CAN OCCUR UNLESS THE HUMAN RACE SURVIVES. And, according to what we read here in Scripture and what science can prove, it takes a minimum of ONE (1) couple to assure such a result. Survival requires that 1 man and 1 woman work together in a complimentary form. And, to insure they would work together, the Lord placed in us what science calls a “survival instinct.” Unless something goes awry in us, that instinct drives us to seek out a “valentine” or love interest for reproduction. God intended people to depend on and need each other.
ILLUS: This drive for reproduction is very similar for the need to eat. Our bodies must take in nutrients which we can only get through food if it is to survive. Though we know many of us eat as a leisurely act, we all eat in order to survive. God made food because He knew people would need it to survive and He made complimentary sexual couples for the same purpose.
B. Why do we need valentines? Because God intended it to be that way, and provided for that need. He didn’t make the need in order to insure a Valentine’s Day, but Valentine’s Day exists in recognition that the need exists!
II. GOD WANTED THE HUMAN RACE TO ACCOMPLISH HIS PURPOSE.
A. Now let’s look a little deeper and we’ll see God’s purpose for survival of the race is only the first step in accomplishing His purpose in creating us. God never intended people to simply ‘populate’ the earth, like cattle grazing in the fields. Let’s look back to Gen. 1:26-27, where it says, “[God] created him in the image of God. He created them male and female.” If it was only about procreation, a sovereign God surely could have populated the world with one (1) gender – all males or all females. But He chose to create two (2) genders, male and female, why? I would offer two (2) reasons: God’s command we just noted in vs. 28,
1.) God intended purposeful parenting. In Gen. 1:28, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it.” The last part of that command, “subdue the earth,” indicates humans have a responsibility to use their influence, wisdom, and physical strength to make the earth able to be hospitable and productive for life. All these call for authority and order. All these together mean people must be disciplined and properly educated to work together. In country language it means, “the kids have to be raised right.” They have to be taught skills and values so they can work together and get along socially. Remember, sin had not entered the world yet, so people were meant to walk in obedience to the commands of God. And who was responsible to teach these values and skills? Responsible parents. This means they must learn to work together and taught about themselves, their strengths and weaknesses. And how do we learn those things? From other people. From watching and asking and experiencing. God wanted people to develop personal and emotional relationships so the human race would continue and be brought up to insure God’s plan. That involves the concept of not just biological parenting, but disciplinary parenting. being taught and disciplined – parents who guide your children toward their true purpose. Science has also discovered that childrearing is its best when there are 2 parents, male and female, working together. And that we tend to learn the most about ourselves from those to whom we are closest.
2.) God intended the human sexual and parenting relationship to be a part of a unique sexual and emotional bonding we call marriage. We must move now into Gen 2:22 -23a, 24, which says, “Then the Lord God made the rib He had taken from the man into a woman and brought her to the man. And the man said, ‘This one, at last, is bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh.’ . . . This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh.” Apparently God knew, that for protection and to insure
proper and godly bonding, it all had to be done in a divinely designed environment. That environment involved two – and only two- people, who were physically and sexually complimentary, able to meet the needs of one another while at the same time insuring the survival of the race. This is the Biblical purpose – and scientific one, as well – for what we call marriage.
To reiterate the point, we want and need a “valentine” because we were created for it!
III. GOD CREATED PEOPLE TO NEED SOCIAL INTERACTION.
A. Do you know what the first negative comment about God’s creation was from God Himself? In Gen 1:31, it says, “God saw all that He had made, and it was very good.” All is good and pleasing to God. But then, in chapter 2:18, we’re told, “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper to compliment him.” Being alone was not the best thing for people. Man needed a helper! We are not told much more here – only that it was not good for the man to be alone. But many of the stories recorded in the rest of Scripture point out the need people have for other people and this is confirmed by personal experience and by science. Let me quickly mention some of the problems of living lonely existences. I am drawing from various periodicals like Psychology Today.
- Loneliness reduces life expectancy. It is a greater health threat than obesity or smoking 15 cigarettes a day. It also makes a person more susceptible to die by stroke, heart attacks, or suffer complications.
- Loneliness can rob one of a sense of happiness and contentment and it creates a sense of being threatened – even if there is no other proof! It also causes sleep disturbances, which impacts daily work and experiences.
- Loneliness makes a person 64% more likely to get dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
- People who struggle with loneliness tend to have feelings of low esteem, inadequacy, imperfection, and shame. That, in turn, makes it difficult to develop friendships, a vicious cycle!
- Good social interaction is part of God’s plan for people. And, perhaps the greatest social interaction is between two people who have committed themselves to care for one another.
Romance is often seen as less important by those who consider themselves to be “serious thinkers.” But that appears to be a mistake. The Bible teaches that God intended that romance and the love that grows from it be a major part of our lives. He uses it to mold us into the disciples we should be. It also from romance that good marriages and good parenting grows. So Valentine’s Day takes on a greater sense of importance when we realize that all of us need a valentine!