Gosh, what do you know it’s Valentine’s Day, or rather, singles awareness day, or rather, spend a whole lot of money on the person you love because you never spend money on them the rest of the year. Whatever you call it this day has become a beast for profits for several industries. It is estimated that over $13 Billion is spent on flowers, cards, dinners and whatever else. Wow!
Something strikes me about this day. It has to do with our culture’s fascination with love and the love partner, or our constant search for one. It almost seems like love has become a religion of sorts. And I am not the only one to think this.
Ernest Becker, in his book The Denial of Death, actually spoke the same thing. He essentially wrote that there has never been such a society that has an insignificant view of its future. As a result there has never been a society that puts as much emphasis on finding true love and romance as our society here and now. The self-glorification that human beings need in our inner-most being is now found not in God, but in the love partner. So what is it that we want when we elevate the love partner to this level? We want to rid ourselves of our faults, rid ourselves of feelings of nothingness, we want to be justified, we want to know our existence matters, we want redemption! Nothing less.
Specifically he writes, “Modern man’s dependency on the love partner is a result of the loss of spiritual ideologies.” Later on he writes, “If you don’t have a God in heaven, an invisible dimension that justifies the visible one, then you take what is nearest at hand and work out your problems on that.”
No greater example of this is shown then in the shows The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. It is a show that is all about love and romance and its long life on TV is proof of just how much of a religion it has become. However, it is no surprise that it never really produces any lasting relationships. Again I refer to what Becker says, “But sex is a ‘disappointing answer to life’s riddle,’ and if we pretend that it is an adequate one, we are lying both to ourselves and to our children.” In other words, if we really try to put all our eggs into this relationship basket it will ultimately fail us. That is why I appreciated a recent interview from Sean Lowe, the previous bachelor. You can view it below. His words and description of the show are right on. His success on the show in being the first bachelor to marry the first person he chose was due to who he put his hope in. It was never in the person he would ultimately marry. It was in something higher, the true love partner, Jesus Christ.
As we celebrate this holiday with our loved ones let us not forget the ultimate love partner.