I remember as a little kid how much I loved St. Valentine’s Day! It was a day of getting and giving chocolates, cards, and sharing our love with everyone. I loved the “romance” about it and the awesome gifts my mom and dad gave me each year. I loved the little Valentine’s Day cards that we would get in little boxes and pass them around to our friends in school.
If there was a boy that I liked, I would always try to pick out the card that was the total opposite of how I felt because I was scared to let him know. Sometimes those boys didn’t even receive a Valentine from me.
I remember it being a fun filled holiday and everyone made such a big deal about it.
As I got older, in my teenage years, I started to not like St. Valentine’s Day. I became disgusted and annoyed at how fake and phony everyone was being on that day. I didn’t see why people were so gung-ho about showing that they cared so much on that one day, yet the rest of the year they’d act like they didn’t.
I had friends that would get mad if they didn’t receive gifts from their significant other or if they didn’t get one of those “Valentine’s Day grams”. It always put so much stress on everyone! If they didn’t get their significant other something for Valentine’s Day, then they didn’t love them enough apparently.
Guys would trick girls into thinking that they were in love with them by getting them something for Valentine’s Day, yet they got Suzie something too. Morbid way to view a national holiday of love, huh?
No, I didn’t have any bad experiences with Valentine’s Day. No, I never had issues with not getting anything myself. I guess I just never understood why people would get so caught up in the hoopla of it all. As a kid, yeah, I could see it. But growing into my senses, no.
When my husband and I were dating, I remember telling him that I hated Valentine’s Day and that I didn’t want to celebrate it at all. To this day, he brings it up. Yet, I still get chocolates and a teddy bear every year that we’ve been together. (Except this year he mentioned getting me some loaded curly fries from Arby’s. THAT’S MORE LIKE IT!)
I enjoy the gifts that I receive, but my husband shows me that kind of love all year long. He buys me chocolate weekly (enough to last longer than a week) and if I want something, he’ll get it for me. I don’t need a holiday to know that he loves me. And I sure don’t need gifts to know that either. He’s a gift that I wake up to every day (awwww ;)).
I don’t actually hate Valentine’s Day. I never did. I just didn’t want him to make a big deal about it like all of my past boyfriends. I didn’t want him to think that I was into the materialistic stuff that comes along with celebrating Valentine’s Day. I wanted him to show me affection every day that we were together, not just on Valentine’s Day.
Turns out, he said, “I feel like it’s important that we show how we feel every day and not just on Valentine’s Day.” He was actually glad that I didn’t like it. I think it’s because he didn’t have to stress over buying me a gift. SEE! I relieved him of STRESS that comes with that holiday?
I don’t mind celebrating it, especially now that I have kids of my own. Because we all know that once you have kids, every holiday that you celebrated as a kid becomes 100 times more significant!!
And I don’t want anyone to think that I think it’s wrong to celebrate Valentine’s Day! Everyone has their own opinions and feelings about it.
But where does that stress root from? Why does everyone make a big deal about it all?
The history of St. Valentine’s Day begins with the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, which was celebrated on Feb. 15. For 800 years, the Romans had dedicated this day to the god Lupercus (the god of shepherds). On Lupercalia, a young man would draw the name of a young woman from a bowl or something (reminds me of The Hunger Games, may the odds be ever in your favor… or not) and would then keep the woman as a sexual companion for the year.
Pope Gelasius I didn’t like the idea of that. So he changed the raffle to have both young men and women draw the names of SAINTS whom they were supposed to follow or learn from for the next year (I’m sure someone was disappointed).
Instead of the god Lupercus, the center of the feast became St. Valentine. My guess is that’s which saint the pope picked to follow. I’m not sure. But what made St. Valentine so special?
St. Valentine was a man that believed fully in Christian matrimony. In his time, the church was being persecuted and they wouldn’t perform marriage ceremonies within the Christian church. So what did St. Valentine do? He performed marriage ceremonies in secret for those that had their hearts with the Lord and wanted to get married in the church.
But eventually, St. Valentine got caught. He was imprisoned and tortured for performing marriage ceremonies against Emperor Claudius II’s rules. There are legends surrounding Valentine’s actions while in prison.
From CBN’s website:
“One of the men who was to judge him in line with the Roman law at the time was a man called Asterius, whose daughter was blind. He was supposed to have prayed with and healed the young girl with such astonishing effect that Asterius himself became Christian as a result.
In the year 269 AD, Valentine was sentenced to a three part execution of a beating, stoning, and finally decapitation all because of his stand for Christian marriage. The story goes that the last words he wrote were in a note to Asterius’ daughter. He inspired today’s romantic missives by signing it, “from your Valentine.”
Now that is more romantic than a little cupid running around with a bow and arrow, shooting it in people’s butts.
I love how St. Valentine stood up for what he believed in until death! His martyrdom is why I now feel like it’s VERY important to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day with your loved ones. Not just with traditional cards, candies, and teddy bears… but with true love under God! True love that you will not find anywhere else.
Standing up for what we believe in, especially while being persecuted, is BRAVE. But with God on our side, who can be against us? If we set our minds to the things of God’s kingdom, the things of this world will look more dim compared to His glorious light!
That’s exactly what St. Valentine did! He focused on the things above and did what God called him to do. To the point of worldly death. Which is nothing compared to eternal life.
So let me ask you: