Is Valentine’s Day for Christians?

With Valentine’s Day around the corner there are mixed emotions on the timeline. Some people could do without a reminder of their singleness, whilst others are securing bookings for fancy restaurants and ordering flowers for delivery. There are also people that simply don’t care.

What is Valentine’s Day and how did it start?

Valentine’s Day is thought to have originated from a Roman festival known as Lupercalia. The history behind Valentine’s Day does not have much to do with flowers and chocolates, it’s rather grim. During the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia goats were sacrificed and women were whipped with the goat remains in order to improve fertility. Men chose women at random to be paired with during the festival and this sometimes resulted in marriage.

So much for cupid…

Later on as Rome became increasingly Christian, the Catholic Church turned this festival into a Christian celebration in honour of St Valentine. There are several stories surrounding St Valentine’s life, the more popular opinion is that he was a Roman priest martyred for secretly marrying Christian couples against command of Emperor Claudius the second.

Today Valentine’s Day is a day for love, it’s all about flowers, fancy dinners and romance.

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Is Valentine’s Day for Christians?

Personally I think that it is perfectly fine to celebrate Valentine’s Day as a Christian. There is no harm in making your partner feel special. However, we have to be cautious not to get lost in the sauce by keeping our minds fixed on what true love is.

Jesus taught us what true love is

Galatians 2:20

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.

John 3:16

For God so lovedthe world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Love is an action not an emotion.

Jesus died so that we would be delivered from the domain of darkness and be raised to new life in him. (Colossians 1:13; Romans 6:4). Jesus did not just profess his love to us, he did something about it. He didn’t even have to say the words “I love you”, his willingness to die for us says it all.

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Same way that we don’t have to constantly tell people that we love them for them to know we love them. Our actions should tell them that we love them. Yes, it is nice to let people know how you feel, but it becomes a problem when those three simple words slip out of our mouths but our actions say otherwise.

Love requires some demonstration in all our relationships not just romantic ones. It’s not just about buying gifts and going to fancy places. Again, these are ways in which we may demonstrate our love towards each other but some core principles need to be in place first. Too often people substitute real love for luxury gifts and fancy dinners. It’s no good constantly disrespecting someone then dragging them out on Valentine’s Day all for the IG. That is not love. The real question here is, how do they treat you on a daily basis? What are things really like behind that romantic snapshot?

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This common scripture is at the heart of it all:

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT)

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

These core principles should be evident in our relationships with others. When we combine these principles with all the other fancy stuff then we are winning. But the material things cannot take the place of the patience, faith, hope, endurance, etc.

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With all that being said, it is essential that you and your partner are on the same page with regards to Valentine’s Day. Don’t assume your partner should just know, so you are not left burning inside when you see couples all booed up the shard. Just be real, if it’s important to you, be honest and let your partner know. And if you are going ahead, put some thought into it to make your partner feel extra special.

Let’s not get wrapped up by one day, but make a conscious every day to love others through our actions as much as our words.

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