Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine?

Who was this Valentine? And why has he affected us so much? According to tradition, Valentine was a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity. He was beaten with clubs and then beheaded on February 14th, 269 A.D. legend adds that he left behind a love note for the jailer’s daughter.

I can remember making hearts out of red and pink construction paper and eating those chalky little hearts with faded messages on them as far back as I can recall. Yesterday, I went to Wal-Mart to purchase some of the necessary Valentines Day supplies. This year I was so happy that I remembered to get something for my wife “from my kids”. While there, I ran into two other men I know from church that were on the same covert mission. I did the candy thing, skipped the flowers and went straight for jewelry. Flowers die very quickly and jewelry lasts forever; Oh, and candy can hang on in the form of fat for about eternity.

Somewhere since the beginning of the modern Valentines day, begun in the 1800’s by Miss Esther Howland, Hallmark and Whitman’s have taken over, and Saint Valentine, and the real love he knew has been set aside. The Bible tells us that “Greater love has no one than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend.” John 15:13 That is the true story of Valentine. Because of his faith that Jesus had given his life for him Valentine returned the love by giving his life for Christ. That is a love that should be celebrated. Instead, the average adult spends $50 on fancy underwear and school kids think Valentine is a half naked baby with a bow and arrow. Maybe next year we ought to campaign to have history classes in every school teach the kids about the real Valentine, or better yet the amazing love that he knew and the faith that enabled him to give his life for the one he loved.