So, Valentines Day is approaching… Some of us are off the wall excited and can hardly wait to spend time with the man/woman we love or the new love interest in the picture.
And still for others this is one of the most self-conscious days of the year-the dreaded “single awareness” day: The day when all insecurities about not having a love interest are exposed.
Stop just for a minute.
Try not to think about which one of those crowds you fall under and lets take a trip back in time to Rome in the year 300 AD during a time of great persecution.
The Emperor, Claudius at the time, passed a law prohibiting marriage to further his agenda to force men to join the Roman army so that their focus would be on fighting recklessly for the state and not back at home with their wives. (Messed up, right?) Now of course, you can imagine the disapproval of not only the Christians, but also of anyone who believed in love. Engagements and marriage ceremonies were forbidden- and so the sacrament of marriage was also prohibited.
Now, one man in particular, a priest in Rome, was especially horrified by this decree: his name was Valentine. In opposition, he performed the sacrament of marriage to couples in secret. He was eventually caught, imprisoned, and the Emperor sentenced him to death. While in the jail, he befriended the jailer’s daughter, who was blind. He proceeded to heal her of her blindness, and as a result, the daughter, the jailer, and his whole family converted to faith in Christ. The night before the execution, he sent a letter of encouragement and farewell to the girl signing it “From your Valentine”. The next day he was brutally beaten with clubs, stoned, and finally beheaded for his support of true love and marriage.
Can you imagine the kind of love that burned within this man’s heart? Although he knew the consequences of marrying couples against the law, he knew it was the right thing to do. Despite the fact that he was about to die, he showed the love of God by healing and bringing the faith to a girl he barely knew. He put aside all his fears and doubts and took a stand for love!
This is truly what Valentine’s Day is all about! Maybe we don't have someone special in our life in a romantic way right now or maybe we do, but the Lord and author of all love is always near to us- showering us with HIS gift of love and waiting patiently to be loved by us! Praise God! What a true lover! THIS is the love we celebrate today! Whatever your situation may be romantically, the Lord and lover of your soul LONGS to hear you say that you love Him! Forget about what the world says this day should be about in all of its nonsense, and remember the love that led Jesus Christ to the cross to die for love of you!
St. Valentine shows us through his own martyrdom that real love is about sacrifice, and that although believing in true love is hard- especially when the world tells us to settle for things less than love- true love is worth FIGHTING for! May we fight, as St. Valentine did so many years ago, for a life of true, authentic love. Let us not settle- but dive head first into the love that the Lord is constantly and freely giving to us- and may we in return, for all he’s done for us, love Him back.