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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Valentine's Day and Love: Not What You Might Expect

Illustration by: gubgib

I looked up Valentine’s Day history, hoping for a nice love story, but this is what I found: Apparently, the original Saint Valentine was one, two, or three different people. His flower-adorned skull can be found in Rome. (I wonder which Saint Valentine donated that!)

February 14 was the day that people believed the birds picked their mates. (What does that have to do with anything, even if it were true?)

Valentine’s Day was proclaimed for February 14 by a pope in 496 A.D. I guess it was to honor Saints One, Two, and maybe Three, who were named Valentine.

Where we got cupids and chocolate, hearts, and flowers from, I have no idea. And how we went from a saint’s day (or two or three saints’ day) to a day for love is beyond me.

In Mexico, February 14th is called the day of love and friendship. In Spain, it’s for people in love. But, for most of us, it’s the day when we show love.

Love really doesn’t have anything to do with roses, heart-shaped boxes, and expensive mushy cards--or even February 14. 
  • Love is action.
  • Love is commitment.
  • Love is caring much more about someone else than you do for yourself. It’s selfless.
  • Love is giving.
  • Love is kind.
  • Love is gentle.
  • Love will admit wrong and ask forgiveness.
  • Love will forgive, even when the other party doesn’t ask for forgiveness.
  • Love doesn’t hold a grudge or hold on to hurts.
  • Love is patient.

If you open your Bible and look at the characteristics of love, there are several that aren’t what you usually think. There’s not a bit of fluff and no fuzzy feeling stuff, either. It’s all about tough living and giving. Look at this list from 1 Corinthians 13, the characteristics not mentioned above:
  • Love suffers long.
  • Love doesn’t envy.
  • Love doesn’t put itself first and isn’t prideful.
  • Love doesn’t behave inappropriately.
  • Love isn’t easily provoked.
  • Love doesn’t think evil.
  • Love isn’t happy about sin.
  • Love rejoices in truth.
  • Love forbears.
  • Love trusts and believes.
  • Love endures.
  • Love never fails.
And now, for the best of all: God is love (1 John 4:8b).

All those wonderful characteristics describe God! His very essence is love. He is the One Who knows how to love. He is love!

And He can enable us to love.

As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends (John 15:9-13).

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) (Ephesians 3:4-5).

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another (1 John 4:7-11).

Herein is love. God is love.

Happy Valentine's Day!


  1. I had always heard it began when a priest named Valentine was in prison yet somehow still helped someone to get married, or performed a marriage, or something like that, despite his circumstances, evidencing the selflessness of love. But regardless of how it started, I think it's fun. :-) Of course, celebrating Valentine's Day with cards and flowers and neglecting the weightier truths of Scripture is a waste, but while we try to show each other godly, self-sacrificial love every day, it's fun to sprinkle in some of these other observances a bit.

    1. Oh yes! Nothing wrong with fun or chocolates! :o) God bless, Barbara.


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