It’s easy to get cynical about Valentine’s Day. You’ve probably heard the critiques. Valentine’s Day is a holiday created by greeting-card companies and candy manufacturers. It’s a commercial enterprise and nothing more. Certainly, there’s some truth in that. According to the National Retail Federation, Americans spent $23.9 billion on the holiday in 2022.
So why would you want Valentine’s Day sermon ideas?
Cupid’s day is a great opportunity for churches like yours to connect with a topic central to the Bible at a time of the year when everyone is talking about love. For about a two-week period, hearts will be everywhere. Movies about love will fill theaters and streaming services.
Remember, the day was named after a saint and early Christian martyr, so don’t ignore it. You can either stick your head in the sand and wait until Valentine’s Day passes or you can help your community understand what the Bible says about love.
But where do you start? Here are four Valentine’s Day sermon ideas to get you started. (By the way, just to get you in the Valentine’s Day mood, I’ve included sermon titles that mirror famous cheesy love songs of the past few decades. Maybe you could have fun with this by making it your intro music!)
I Want to Know What Love Is
1 Corinthians 13:4-7, 1 John 3:16
- Theme: God’s Definition of Love
- Main Point: God defines love by describing himself.
- Concept: Our culture gives us many different ideas about what love is. Most of those definitions can be quite selfish, focusing not on the self-sacrificing nature of God’s love but on what you can get from someone else.
Paul gives us a very clear definition of biblical love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. His definition is rooted in the character of God. He provides 10-14 characteristics of love (depending upon whether you group some of them together), from patient to perseverant (endures through every circumstance). All of those characteristics are present in God’s love.
You can end your message with 1 John 3:16, where the Bible defines biblical love through the model of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Give listeners an opportunity to respond to Jesus’ sacrificial love.
- Application: Learn to love as God does. Go through the characteristics of love described in this passage and create a checklist like the one below. Note the areas where you come up short.
- Am I consistently impatient?
- Am I unkind in my dealings with others?
- Am I regularly jealous of others in my life?
- Do I often boast of my accomplishments?
- Am I proud?
- Do I engage with others in a rude way?
- Would other people describe me as irritable?
- Do I keep a mental list of the wrongdoings of others?
- Do I respond to instances of injustice and unrighteousness with indifference?
- Do I give up on my relationships with others?
I Will Always Love You
1 Corinthians 13: 8-10, Psalm 136:1-3
- Theme: God’s Love Lasts Forever
- Main Point: God will always love you.
- Concept: We live in a world where relationships tend to be temporary. Most people instinctively know that if they stop earning the love of others, they will stop receiving it. But God’s love isn’t like that. 1 Corinthians 13:8 reminds us that real love “never ends.” One day gifts such as prophecy, tongues, and knowledge will no longer be needed, but God’s love will still be with us.
That truth–the ever presence of God’s love no matter how or when we fail–should be something we praise him for, as the psalmist does in Psalm 136. God’s love is ultimate because it is the essence of his character. Other people may let us down. Other people may turn their backs when we fail. God never gives up on us. Why? Because his faithful love endures forever.
- Application: Thank God for his faithful love. Make regular gratitude for God’s love a part of your life. Consider writing a note to God expressing your gratitude.
When I Said I Do
Genesis 2:20-25, Hosea, Revelation 19:7, 21:2
- Theme: God Created Romantic Love
- Main Point: The Bible tells the story of God’s love through marriage.
- Concept: The Bible describes God’s creation of marriage in Genesis 2 and describes the second coming of Jesus in marital terms at the end of Revelation, meaning that scripture begins and ends with marriage. Knowing that every one of us is better with the support of others, God created marriage so we wouldn’t need to be alone.
The Bible regularly employs marital metaphors to tell the story of God’s love for us. In Hosea, God creates an illustration out of his covenantal faithfulness to his people, Israel, through the love story of Hosea and Gomer. Jesus likens himself to a bridegroom and his followers as the bride three times in Matthew (in chapters 9, 22, and 25). The biblical story of God’s love for us culminates in the image of Jesus returning for his bride in Revelation 19:7 and 21:2.
The story of marriage in the Bible isn’t just one for the married people in our churches. The institution reminds us of God’s eternal love for us—a love he has for everyone, regardless of their marital status.
- Application: Remind yourself of God’s loving commitment to you and make the effort to tell others about that love.
God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You
Psalm 139:1-16, Psalm 103:17-18, John 3:16
- Theme: God’s Eternal Love
- Main Point: God Knows Everything About Us & Still Loves Us
- Concept: Psalm 139 reminds us that God-shaped every part of us. The Psalmist writes, “For it was you who created my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13). No part of our body is beyond his care and creative action.
Yet the Bible is also clear that God loves us. His love “is from everlasting to everlasting,” Psalm 103 says. You may look in the mirror or sit alone with your quiet thoughts and think of how you let others down. But we were “remarkably and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).
In fact, God loved us so much he sent his son as the perfect sacrifice for us (John 3:16).
- Application: Try memorizing Psalm 139 (particularly verses 13 and 14). Recall them next time you’re tempted to believe you lack value.
People need encouragement and love during the whole year, January through December, but February challenges us to put our love into action and be the hands and feet of Christ to those in our community that need it.
For other ideas on celebrating Valentines Day, visit the Church Growth blogs.
Donna is ACS Technologies’ Chief Customer Officer. Her focus is on strategic planning and operations of the customer experience organization. This includes Implementation, Ministry Success, Learning, Training, and Customer Service. Donna’s focus and passion have always been for our ministry partners as she has worked in the service part of the organization her entire career. Donna joined the company in 1985 as a Customer Support Representative.