Happy Valentine’s Day! February 14th is the popular day for professing your love for someone. But what exactly does Valentines Day mean? Where does it come from? Who started it?
And what does it mean from a Christian perspective?
Who is Valentine? St Valentine is a legend made of stories of at least two Roman Catholic Saints who were both martyred for sticking to their Christian beliefs.
One St Valentine would secretly marry couples in defiance of a Roman anti-marriage law that was based on the belief that husbands made bad soldiers. Thus, within the Roman Catholic church, he became known as the patron saint of lovers. While imprisoned St Valentine befriended the blind daughter of his jailer and his prayers for her resulted in her blindness being healed. St Valentine is believed to have sent this woman a letter signed “From Your Valentine”.
Why February 14th? Lupercalia was a Roman festival of romance and fertility held on February 15th. Debauchery was commonplace in this pagan celebration. In the year 494, Pope Gelasius 1 replaced Lupercalia with Valentine’s Day on February 14th. By the eighth century, Valentine’s Day was celebrated by western cultures on February 14th, and by the Eastern orthodox Christians on July 6th. The emphasis on celebrating love continued throughout the centuries.
The giving of romantic gifts, such as chocolates, flowers, and jewelry, has been incorporated into the romantic symbolism, or rather the consumerism, of love and Valentine’s Day. It is unsurprising that a day to celebrate love and romance would be so popular among humans as most humans enjoy loving and being loved by another.
God’s love for us is greater than any romantic love. God made humans to share in the divine love that unites God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit as one God (John 16:23). God also gave us a perfect creation that provides everything we need (Genesis 1).
But that was only the tip of His love for us. The depths of God’s love was seen after man fell for the devil’s trickery and lost close fellowship with God. It is all detailed in the greatest love letter ever written.
John 3:16 states:
Wow! God loves us so much, He set a plan in place to free us from the fall and sin, so we can live forever in His love once again. That is powerful!
Saving us was no simple feat either, but God’s love for us is unconditional. God knew that for us to be able to relate to him, he had to become one of us (Hebrews 4:15). God left Heaven and came to Earth as baby. He became flesh and blood, like us so that He could die for us (Hebrews 2:14). He loved us before we even knew Him and He
limited himself to human flesh just for us.
God’s love for us puts us ahead of anything that we face. And even though things might not always go our way, we can trust that God will carry us through all things.
We should never forget that God’s love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 describes love.
Love is the most powerful gift God has given us besides our own salvation.
We can use love to repair relationships, heal hearts, dissolve differences, and ease pain. God did not love us by accident.
When we know this powerful love given to us by God, we can utilize it to conquer everything, even hatred.
How do you apply God’s word to hatred, for example. When someone throws darts of angry words at you, the best solution is to throw positive words filled with love at them. Try it. It is very disarming to follow up an argument with love.
God knows us and loves us. John wrote about how God loves us best in 1 John 4:7-13.
Let us focus on verse 7:
It is true that we may not see God, but we must trust and believe that He is always with us, guiding us with His love.
Even the need we feel to express love comes from God Himself. And we make our world more beautiful when we fill it with love.The truth is all we need is Love… pun intended.
By Charmaine Levan