Valentine’s Day is here. A day of the year I’ve always had mixed feelings about.
For the most part I hated this day; primarily because I never felt loved and never thought I would be loved, so it felt cruel that there was a day set aside for everyone to celebrate something I was never going to have. It didn’t help that I was usually with guys who ignored Valentine’s day’s existence. (In all honesty, I can remember a few nice Valentine’s days but they are few.)
I was thinking about writing about the origin of Valentine’s day but, oh, what a boring, conflicting mess of information is out there! But for the sake of those who care, here’s a quote from my Encyclopedia Britannica 2005 program:
died 3rd century, Rome; feast day February 14
name of two legendary martyrs whose lives seem to be historically based. One was a Roman priest and physician who suffered martyrdom during the persecution of Christians by the emperor Claudius II Gothicus and was buried on the Via Flaminia. Pope St. Julius I reportedly built a basilica over his grave. The other, bishop of Terni, Italy, was martyred, apparently also in Rome, and his relics were later taken to Terni. It is possible these are different versions of the same original account and refer to only one person.
St. Valentine’s Day as a lovers’ festival dates at least from the 14th century. The modern tradition of sending valentine cards has no relation to the saints.
Now, I checked a Christian website and it said that the modern-day stuff that goes with Valentine’s day came from the paganization of the remembrance day of Saint Valentine. What else is new? All Christian holiday traditions are from the paganization of a Christian festival or the Christianization of a pagan festival. This website is also of the stance that Christians should not celebrate Valentine’s day because “Valentine’s day and its symbols are rooted in the worship of false gods and has no Biblical basis” Well, sure that is true, but like I said, all Christian holiday traditions are from the paganization of a Christian festival or the Christianization of a pagan festival – if you’re going to use that as your argument then don’t be putting up Christmas trees either.
It then uses an Old Testament quote:
“When the Lord your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘HOW DID THESE NATIONS SERVE THEIR GODS? I ALSO WILL DO LIKEWISE.’ You shall NOT worship the Lord your God in that way; for every abomination to the Lord which He hates they have done to their gods . . . ” (Deuteronomy 12:29-31, NKJV)”
I’m of the opinion that the Old Testament of the Bible serves a different purpose than the New Testament. It is for learning the history of the Jewish people, so that you can understand some of the culture that Jesus came from; it is for prophesy, some that’s been fulfilled (like the Messiah coming – that being Jesus) and some that’s not (there’s plenty of end times prophesy in the Old Testament); it addresses how we should live. However, the coming of the Messiah changed some of the rules that God originally had for the Jewish people. That’s why we don’t sacrifice animals (Jesus was the final sacrifice), that’s why we can do some work on the Sabbath (Jesus healed on the Sabbath), that’s why the dietary restrictions, like pork and shrimp, are gone (with the exception of things like drinking blood). The rules of the Old Testament are not necessarily the rules we must follow today. The new covenant made through the blood of Jesus Christ changed things. The rules in the New Testament are the ones we are to follow…some of them were in the Old Testament as well, some not.
Where I’m actually going with this, though, is that no Christian celebrates Valentine’s day the way the originators (the pagans) did. To celebrate it with sex with your spouse is not like a pagan. Sex with your spouse is holy. To celebrate with giving gifts to your loved one is not pagan. God gave the greatest gift that could ever be given to those He loved.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son…that the world might be saved through Him. John 3:16-17
He gave His Son that we might be saved. Why did He give us this gift? Because He loved us that much.
I think John 3:16 makes the celebration of love a very Christian thing. The origins of Valentine’s day traditions are irrelevant. No one is celebrating Valentine’s day to worship Roman gods. Heart shaped cards and pictures of cupid have nothing to do with Roman gods anymore. These gods aren’t even worshiped anymore. They no longer exist. The only god that exists to this day is the one true God. And He is love (1 John 4:8).
So, I do not believe that anyone should criticize a Christian who chooses to celebrate Valentine’s day in a traditional way.
As for me, anyone who’s read my Halloween blog or my Christmas blog you’ll know I’m not the traditional type. The gift I have for my husband is not of the traditional type – I just wonder if it’ll get here on time.
I’m sure there are some who disagree with stuff I’ve said here. I would like your point of view. Leave a comment below.
Be immersed in Grace,