Pastor's Corner

15 Feb
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Mid-Week Challenge

Great news for all the men out there; you have 363 days until Valentine’s Day! You can’t say you have not been warned.  Just like Christmas and birthdays, Valentine’s Day comes around at the same time every year.  For some reason this is the one holiday that catches most men by surprise.  Maybe because it is so close to Christmas or maybe it is because it comes so closely to the Super Bowl.  A new survey found that 39% of men think that the Super Bowl is more important than Valentine’s Day, while only 21% of women said that it was more important.

Americans spend more on celebrating Valentine’s Day than they do on the Super Bowl. U.S. adults were predicted to spend around $85 on the Super Bowl and closer to $200 on Valentine’s Day.

While U.S. adults are planning to spend big on the holiday (close to 30 billion dollars), it’s still being celebrated less than it has been in the past.  The amount of people who celebrate it has steadily decreased over the last few years. According to Statista, around 52% of U.S. adults plan on celebrating the holiday this year. In 2007, that number was 63%. These downward trends have caused some to announce the death of Valentine’s Day.  Based on trends related to the holiday, we wouldn’t know that Valentine’s Day is dying. 

Nearly 250 million roses are still grown in preparation for Valentine's Day each year.  Ecuador, Kenya, and Columbia have to handle the demand since roses do not grow in the colder temperatures we experience in February.  The New England Confectionery Company (Necco) will continue to produce the Sweetheart, the heart-shaped conversation candy (the ones with the tiny red message) in much the same way that it did when it first started at the beginning of the 20th century.  They will pump out 10 million to 14 million pounds each year. [That's about 4.8 billion to 6.7 billion hearts] Necco marketing director Aimee Scott says, “We make hearts 11 months out of the year, but we sell almost all of them in a small six-week window. They basically get put on the shelf in January, and after February 14, they're irrelevant.”  

When I read Aimee Scott’s last sentence, about the most recognized candy since my childhood, the fact that Valentine’s Day is dying began to make sense, “after February 14, they’re irrelevant.”  We have become a culture that simply checks events off of an annual expectation list.  These “holidays” have become so common place that we give little thought and preparation to them and actually celebrate their passing more than their arrival.  We see this playing out in the decline of relationships and marriage.  The marital rate is at historic lows. While cohabitation is increasing, younger generations of adults are more single than previous generations were, per Pew Research. 

The one holiday about being thankful for our closest relationships is dying as our culture has conditioned us to transition our relational efforts from others to self.  We have been told that it’s easier to trade deep friendships for superficial relationships due to the time and effort they require.  God created us for relationships, so it makes sense that our Adversary, Satan, would make a point of convincing us that we are better off alone.  We desire the companionship of others, but most people claim that it’s someone else’s fault when their personal relationships breakdown. And since we are no longer valuing marriage, it’s easier to part ways.  No wonder we are more depressed than ever before and more parents are welcoming their grown children back into their homes after failing in the real world.  There are now 32 million adults living with a parent or grandparent, the highest number on record.

Everyone has their own reasons for loving or hating Valentine’s Day, but one thing we must agree on is that relationships matter! Real relationships take time and effort to develop and grow.  Humility is key, but seems to be lacking as people have become less important than the objects we purchase at the last minute to “pacify” them due to our failure to plan and think about them ahead.  Don’t let Satan steal your joy by confusing you in what it means to have a lasting relationship.  Candy might be irrelevant on February 15th but the one you bought it for will never be! 

Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8

Serving the Savior,

Bro. Jonathan

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