This Valentine’s Day, Jonty Langley takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the best and worst Christian dating memes. Little did he realise there would be so many to choose from!
Valentine’s Day is upon us, the day when Christians who denounce the commercialism and worldliness of Halloween go surprisingly quiet so that they can stay married. Or get married. Or just go on a date with someone who isn’t weird (it’s rough out there for Christian singles).
In honour of the day, we thought we’d treat it with the seriousness it deserves and find you some memes. But not just any memes. Christian (and Christian-adjacent) memes, dealing with Valentine’s Day, dating, relationships and romantic love, is what we were looking for.
What we found was… well… special. There are some great Christian memes out there and some great Christian meme pages. But there is also a reason why ’Babylon Bee’ is considered the pinnacle of humour by a comedy-starved Church.
The most disturbing/disappointing thing we discovered while trawling the depths of the internet (so you don’t have to)? Not trite ‘God has the right person for you even though your gender outnumbers the gender you’re attracted to by seven to one in most churches’ memes. Not complementarian-but-really-just-misogynistic memes. Not the deeply problematic (and wildly unfunny) ‘friendzone’ memes that seem to see any relationship but marriage as worthless.
The most appalling thing we discovered in this deep dive of Christian memes was how spectacularly out of date meme formats were.
We are talking ‘some ecards’, Ryan Gosling ‘Hey Girl’ and Bad Luck Brian memes being published IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD 2022. I mean, come on. Ours is an ancient faith, but must our memes be pre-modern? To all the things that threaten the effective witness of the Church, must we add memes from 2008?
Anyway, for good or for ill, here are some of the most remarkable, funny or distressing Christianish memes we found for this February 14. Enjoy.
Shout out to all the Christian memers who make the Church look fun, especially those who can find comedy and joy in the thorny area of dating.
Speaking of thorns, here’s a series of old (but in a timeless way) ‘puritan valentines cards’ that have been meme-ing their way around the internet for years and not getting nearly enough attention from Christians:
What girl or guy doesn’t want to get this from their crush?
There’s a rumour that sex before marriage is frowned upon in some Reformed churches because it is dangerously similar to dancing. This card (and the originals came from the good people at CollegeHumor) honours that.
Anyone familiar with dating in the Church feels this right in the feeling feels.
Let’s just get past this day. Who sends cards anymore, anyway? Stalkers, that’s who. Why? Because Valentine’s Day is inherently a little dark, as this classic reminds us:
St Valentine is as perplexed as anyone. Still, we think of St Nicholas as jolly, and he punched heretics in the face, so 🤷♀️
For the sake of our witness, we must retire all Gosling ‘Hey Girl’ memes. But at the same time, this is solid.
Is 2017 a little late to be sharing Napoleon Dynamite based content? Maybe. Is this meme timeless (or perhaps eternal) in its relevance? Yea and amen.
Have we, or have we not, all been there?
The struggle is real.
But, then, this is also a thing. Probably that 1 Corinthians 7:9 energy.
This meme makes it into the ‘good’ section partly because that’s a strongly original line, but also because of the spectacularly niche meme page that shared it. Here they are again, bringing the Tolkien memes and spittin’ dat knowledge. Because it do be like dat.
Well these aren’t going to win anybody’s heart but they are worth a laugh. Sometimes a rueful or uncomfortable laugh, but still…
This would be funnier if some churches weren’t teaching it and thinking it’s comforting.
Negging, neo-calvinist style!
Is it a compliment? Sure. Maybe. No? We don’t know. Probably safest to leave it out.
This could be misuse of Scripture. This could put YOU in Mathyou 25.
This. This is… not… good. We laughed. A lot. But this is not, objectively, morally, ethically good.
Not ontologically good.
Surely every Christian has thought this on hearing this line? I am not your Morning Star.
Some Valentines should not be sent, just like some memes should not be made. For instance:
Nooooo. No. Nope. No, sir. Please. No.
To be fair, this isn’t the memer’s fault. But for sharing this abomination, even with the reaction, it goes firmly in the cringe pile.
Perhaps the worst offense to both memes and online witness is posting pseudo-inspirational quotes as memes. Especially if they ignore the fact that women are taught in many churches that their only real value is as wives and mothers and then the demographic facts of the Church are ignored and platitudes like this are shared in place of any useful advice or teaching.
Parents who don’t want their daughters to have boyfriends, romance or the full human experience despite Christ’s promise of life in abundance, and the memers who amplify them, are cringe.
We cringe for the seducer. We applaud the game of the unseduced.
As a final thought on this Valentine’s Day, let’s get some Methodism in our madness with some apocryphal Wesley.
Bit harsh, John.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Go out and shoot your shot. Or don’t. We’re not the boss of you.