Valentine’s Day – The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Posted on February 14, 2013 · Posted in Culture, Holidays, Marriage

There is a side to Valentine’s Day which is good. The good of Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to express love for each other.  I Corinthians 13 is a good guide here. It is good to let someone know they are loved and appreciated. A smile, a card, warm appreciation accompanied by flowers, chocolate, or other seasonal gift says you are special in a good way. Married couples can find other good ways to appropriately celebrate the day. So, in this sense – Happy Valentine’s Day!

But, there is another aspect of Valentine’s Day that is bad.This is the “give to get side.” Commercials proclaim – give the right gift and be rewarded. The reward of course is sex. Culturally, this reward is not limited to married people. The Valentine’s Day celebration is ultimately a sexual one. Adultery, fornication, and lust are all pursued with one goal – sensual gratification. This is the bad side.

Next is the ugly side. This is the fall out from the bad side. The pursuit of sensual pleasure is always ultimately unfulfilling. The pursuit of sensual satisfaction only results in cravings that can never be tamed. (Ephesians 4:17-19) The pursuit sensual pleasure always leads to bitterness and self-gratification.

There is an even uglier dimension: the belief that sex is what makes meaningful relationships. The Christian version of this ugly tenet is that sex is what makes a marriage thrive. Christians think this way because they have bought into the world’s way of thinking about sex. 

The biblical truth is that marriage is what makes good sexual relationships. 

There is no way our culture can accept this truth.  Our culture has championed the belief that sex and marriage have nothing to do with each other. You can have good sex whether you are married or not. Our culture now believes that if you are a human, sex is an entitlement. Culturally, it is repugnant to think that sex should be only for those who are married. Sexual expression is viewed to be a person’s right to pleasure themselves with whomever they desire in whatever way they desire.

The truth is that sacrifice, commitment and a passion for serving are essential ingredients of a biblical marriage. Without these qualities, sexual expression outside of marriage becomes an ugly hedonistic pursuit of pleasure. With these qualities, sexual relationships can wonderfully symbolize the union of Christ and his Church as well as bring true pleasure to those who love Christ first in their marriage. 

Doing sex the world’s way will eat away at the foundations of your marriage. It will cripple your ability to be godly parents.  Trust God and keep the marriage bed holy and undefiled. Don’t be taken captive by beliefs that are based on the traditions of this world.


Jay Younts
Jay Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger. He is the author of Everyday Talk and other materials on parenting. He has been teaching and speaking on parenting issues for 30 years. Jay and his wife, Ruth, live in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. He serves as a ruling elder at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He and Ruth have five adult children.