Today we join the world in celebrating the holiday of love. Cards with messages like, “You melt my heart like a box of chocolates left in a trunk on a hot summer’s day,” will be exchanged. Young couples will sit across from each other in fancy restaurants and call each other sweet nicknames like “shnooky wookums”, and “oogly bear”. Young men will take out small loans to purchase a dozen roses for their sweethearts, and old men will put their teeth back in to kiss their wives. Today is Valentine’s Day.
At this point you’re probably wondering if there is any point to this post. I assure you, I have not overdosed on Russell Stover chocolates – there is a point. So without any sort of smooth transition, I will bring you immediately to the point: Our relationship with God is the foundation for a happy Valentine’s Day.
As I consider Valentine’s Day, I’m grateful for three things:
God Is My Joy, Not People
In the world’s eyes, Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating a special relationship with a special someone. Those that don’t have a special someone are left out in the cold to feel sorry for themselves. According to the world, you can’t be happy if you’re single.
But the glorious news of the Bible is that people don’t bring us true joy. Our satisfaction is found in knowing and delighting in God Himself. If you are looking for true joy outside of your relationship with Christ, you’re chasing the wind.
As one who was recently married, let me speak to those who are single. Being married will never satisfy you. I love my wife Jen with all my heart. I love being married to her and can’t imagine life without her. But she doesn’t ultimately satisfy me, and I don’t satisfy her. Why? Because we were made to be satisfied in God. Psalm 16:11 says, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Fullness of joy is found in loving God and delighting in his presence. Today, will you find your joy in God?
I’m Grateful For the Gospel
The gospel is what makes joyful, God-glorifying relationships possible. Apart from the transforming power of the gospel, my marriage wouldn’t make it. I’m too selfish and too proud to love Jen as Christ loved the church. I love my own comfort too much to lay my life down for her. Titus 3:3 says, “For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.” Apart from the gospel I would be a mess.
But the power of God is now at work in me, slowly shaping me into a godly husband and Jen into a godly wife. Yes, I still have miles to go when it comes to being a godly husband. I’m still very selfish. I still love my own comfort. I haven’t quite mastered that mysterious thing called “communication”. But I have great hope for my marriage, not because of my power, but because of God’s power. The gospel is what makes a happy relationship possible. Today, thank God for the gospel!
I’m Grateful For My Wife
Without a doubt, I have the best wife in the universe. Proverbs 31:10 says, “An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.” Jen is the crown jewels of the Altrogge household. She serves me tirelessly, cares for our daughter joyfully, and brings me great joy. She truly is a gift from God to me. To say that I am blessed is a colossal understatement. I’m a rich man.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some chocolate to eat.