No one knows the complete history on Valentines Day because the details are somewhat murky as to how Valentine’s Day has come to be and what we now know and celebrate. The story says that Saint Valentine served in third-century Rome. Emperor Claudius decided that single men made better soldiers. Therefore, Claudius banned soldiers from being married. One version of the story is that Valentine continued to perform the weddings of young soldiers who were in love, and Claudius had Valentine imprisoned. While imprisoned, Valentine reportedly fell in love with the jailer’s daughter. Valentine sent her a card and signed it, “Love, your Valentine” just before his execution. Because of this romantic gesture, now we are expected to show love and appreciation for the one(s) we love every February 14th.
Here are my problems with Valentine’s Day:
1. We should be showing those we love how special they are to us EVERY day. Don’t wait for Valentine’s Day to do something meaningful. Bring your girl some flowers “just because.” Cook your man a meal because you love him on a random Tuesday; not only on Valentine’s Day.
2. We should be showing love to EVERYONE.
John 13:34-35 says “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
3. You don’t have to spend money to show someone you care about them.
According to the National Retail Survey, men routinely spend double the amount on Valentine’s Day than women do. “The average man plans to shell out $135.35 to impress the people in his life while women only expect to spend $72.28.”
To me, as long as something is heart-felt and sincere, the cost doesn’t matter. If a man cooked me dinner, rented a movie, and spent the night snuggling on the couch, it would be just as nice, if not better, than going out to a fancy dinner and spending a bunch of money. We have made the “holiday” about what jewelry we’ll be receiving, what restaurant we’ll be dining at, and/or the dreaded “if he buys me a cheap box of chocolates from the drug store, he doesn’t care.” As long as he’s thinking about you, he cares. Let’s just hope for the kind of person in our lives who shows us how much we mean to them more than one day per year.
4. Valentine’s Day is not about REAL LOVE. People feel mandated to have a “special someone” in their lives and will get into relationships they know will not last or stay in relationships that make them miserable just so they won’t be “that loser” on Valentine’s Day.
This gives many in our society a warped sense of what LOVE really is. It is not sticking it out so you get some jewelry or hooking up with a random guy so you have a story to tell your girlfriends. LOVE is such a special, unique, unexplainable emotion that we all can only hope to experience at some time in our lives.
The Bible Describes Love as the following:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
We are only able to fully love through God’s example because “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16