Saint Valentine married people off and got killed for that. In a poll among young urban Americans one the questions was, ‘Do you think marriage is obsolete?’. Majority said ‘Yes’. Another question of the same poll said, ‘Do you want to get married?’ Majority said ‘Yes’. Most want to marry, but aren’t getting married. We live in a world of delayed marriages, if at all people marry. Modern times is missing its St. Valentine.
The idea of obseletness of marriage is not a problem among just among urban elites. I was reading an article where a school teacher writes about the struggles he has in understanding the mindset and the maturity of the a few of his students who are pregnant in their teens. He discusses a bunch of questions two of which caught my attention. He asks the pregnant teen, “Do you think the father of your kid would marry you?”. The pregnant girl answers, “I don’t think so”. “Do you think your having this child will affect your future marriage?”. The girl answers, “I don’t know”. The girl sitting near by asnwers, “Nobody marries anymore, Mister”. The whole class bursts out laughing.
Where is the St. Valentine of this age who helps those who want to get married, but don’t know why it isn’t that simple as it once used to be? Is he in hiding? Have we lost him? Has he matyred again?
I was reading another article about some controversial debates about the implementation of the new Healthcare ACT in the US. The question on the table was about whether birth-control pill had to be made freely available in College campuses as part of the Healthcare mandate. The article also had some snippets about what students in college thought about the plan. One of the girls supporting the free distribution of pills said, “I am an adult. None can stop me from having sex. The only question is whether or not I am going about it in a healthy way.”
Today, I read an article about how women in military are sexually abused by men. Last year alone there were 3200 reported cases of sexual abuse in the US Army. Most go unreported. One of the ladies said that when she complained about abuse to superiors, she was told to “things like this happen, suck it up”.
The fundemental premise in the above statements is the idea that ‘sex is a fundemental right’. The belief is that, “None can deny me my right to sex”. It is almost has the primacy of the First Amendment right. What is missing there is the idea that ‘sex is right, only when the season is right’.
God created life to have different seasons. In one season, we are kids and then we become adults, then we become parents, then we become grandparents. Then we die. All of these seasons are held together by the ‘bonds of love’. Love has different manifestations in different seasons. If we try to mess with the appropriate manifestation of love for a season, we end up marring that season itself.
Marriage is an important season in a person’s life. When God instituted marriage he clearly defined the need for a new manifestation of love. He said, “for this reason man shall seperate from his father and mother and ‘cleave’ with his wife, and they shall be one body”. Marriage ushers in a new season which is manifested by new expressions of love in the romantic and erotic forms. As long as the romantic and erotic forms of love are expressed towards the purpose of becoming one with the spouse, the God ordained manifestation of love brings joy to the season of marriage.
Our modern society is trying to reengineer the manifestations of love and decouple it from its appropriate season so that people will have the individualistic RIGHT to gratify themselves with any form of love they want anytime with anyone. The lines between the seasons of adulthoood and marriage gets blurred because people try to enjoy the marital manifestation of love before marriage. When the lines get blurred so much, eventually the season itslef finds no reason for existence. We are left with, “Nobody marries anymore, Mister”.
Premature experience of profound love forms can be very detrimental to love itself. In the movie ‘Blue Valentine’, the wife says that she has been sexually active since 13 had more than 25 partners. Still carrying the baggage from her old relationships, she is not able to enjoy sex with her husband. She is unable to make the transcition from ‘lusting sex’ to ‘loving sex’. In the movie, this inability of hers becomes the breaking point of an already strained marriage.
Marriage, kids and a stable family is the basis for any civilization to thrive. A civilization that does not have thriving marriages will die. The root cause of this predicament is the unwillingness to submit to Truth. The Truth as God instituted is for different life seasons to be coupled with appropriate manifestations of love. God joined sex with marriage. Let man not separate what God has joined, for if he does will end up destroying both of what he seperated. As the author of the book ‘Unhooked’ says, “we delay love to enjoy sex and end up losing both”.
St. Valentine stood by God’s Truth to multiply and be fruitful. He supposedly stood against the edict of a selfish tyrant to the point of death. Our civilization needs, many who imbibing the spirit of St. Valentine will stand up for Truth of God and take a stand against their own selfish desire for gratification. God’s Truth sets us free to experience life in ‘all of its fullness’ that spans across life’s seasons, bonded in love. Sacrificing God’s Truth in the altar of self-indulgence is the problem of the missing Valentine.