Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. I want to encourage you with a bit of history.
Valentine’s Day is not a celebration that started with a little naked boy with wings flying around with arrows shooting passion into the hearts of young people. No, the cupid you see on Valentine’s cards in stores everywhere has nothing to do with the real deal.
Although no one is absolutely certain how the celebration actually started many point to a certain priest living under the rule of Claudius in ancient Rome.
The ruler was having trouble with his army. Men were leaving their families behind to fight but would become homesick and lonely while away from their wives. In order to strengthen his armies, Claudius outlawed all engagements and marriages. This did not go over well with his people, especially the Christians who wanted to reserve their expressions of love for each other to the bonds of marriage.
St. Valentine, a priest, continued to secretly break the law and marry young couples in love. He made a stand for biblical marriage. Eventually he was caught and arrested. He was sentenced to beatings and death.
While he was in prison the jailer’s daughter befriended him. She was healed of her blindness when he prayed for her. They fell in love but knew that with the ban on marriages and Valentine’s impending death there would be no future for their relationship.
On the day of his execution, Valentine left her a note and signed it ‘From Your Valentine’.
From then until today Valentine’s Day has been a celebration of love. But it is more than that. It’s a celebration of marriage itself. St. Valentine risked his life so that men and women could be married and follow God’s prescribed plan for relationships.
Today many of us are turning our backs on marriage because it’s not making us happy, or because it’s too hard. Shame on us! When men and women have died to give us the freedom we have in our country to be married according to God’s beautiful plan, we should celebrate that in our homes. The rings we wear on our fingers are not just another piece of jewelry but a sign to the world that we are celebrating marriage.
This Valentine’s Day, plan to celebrate your marriage, not just the fleeting feeling of romance. Feelings of love and romance waver from day to day, month to month and year to year. But your commitment to marriage should be life-long. No matter what your feelings are this season, celebrate the truth in your marriage, God’s blessing of marriage as a whole and the privilege of being a part of such a magnificent institution.
God bless you as you prepare to celebrate your marriage this Valentine’s Day!
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