Happy Valentine's Day!
I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Valentine's Day. I remember the days of grade school back at my small two roomed school in rural Nebraska. I remember planning for and making the elaborately themed box for the Valentine party at school. The day of the party would arrive and we would get to secretly drop in our valentines to our friends, and sometimes even a "crush" may have dropped a valentine in as well. In high school, I remember when we did "secret admirer" day. Student council would sell different color roses in the week leading up before the big day. On that day, the floral shop would deliver all the ordered roses. A yellow rose was for friendship. A white rose was for "secret admirer." Pink rose meant " I like you," and Red meant "I love you." (Because clearly in high school we knew what love meant in relationships LOL)! I actually remember the day being kind of stressful to be honest. "Will I get a rose?" I know we would all say, " This is so dumb, I totally could care less if I get a rose," but let's be real, High school is hard and self esteem is low. Peer pressure is high and self-comparison is sabotage. It was a perfect storm for feelings to be hurt or for feelings to be high. Oh, the joys of growing up.
As I have grown older, married, bore and raised children, Valentine's Day has taken on an entirely different meaning. I tell my kids and my husband every day ( or at least try to ) that I love them, but on Valentine's Day I try to make it just a smidge bit sweeter. I make make heart shaped cut out cookies or a heart shaped pizza. Maybe a card or a homemade valentine. This year I made Canva valentines and sent them digitally. My older boys are very much into health and nutrition so I skipped the sweets and bought them both some health foods. My darling husband Joel is so creative and made me a ring holder for my rings and a vase and two blue roses and one white rose from our 3D printer! The flowers look so pretty in my BlueRose Wellness office area. He has always had a knack for creativity and gifts from the heart. They are gifts that I never forget. (and I forget a lot. Hi. Have you met me? My name is Sara and I have inattentive ADHD.) ;)
I have always known that Valentine's Day was named after the martyr, St Valentine, but that was really the extent of my knowledge as to who this holiday was named after. I decided I wanted to dig a little bit further and find out the "why" behind Valentine's Day. History. com gives us the following information:
"The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Still others insist that it was Saint Valentine of Terni, a bishop, who was the true namesake of the holiday. He, too, was beheaded by Claudius II outside Rome.
Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl—possibly his jailor’s daughter—who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and—most importantly—romantic figure. By the Middle Ages, perhaps thanks to this reputation, Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France."
Regardless of the "which saint" and "what for" behind Valentine's Day, I think we can all gather that it is a holiday to celebrate affection, service, humbleness and sacrifice. In our home, we always remind each other of the greatest Valentine of all. The one who suffered, sacrificed and submitted all He had and all He was, to show us the greatest defintion of love ever. Jesus Christ laid down his life as a sacrifice for us so that we could inherit eternal life. Love truly is the greatest gift; not love as the world gives, but as Christ gives.
The world has lost touch with the meaning of love. Love doesn't come easy. Love isn't a "right" or a political platform. Love isn't a strong "connection" or a passionate lust. The world has lost touch with love because they have lost touch with Christ. We will never know what true love is until we know WHO true love is. Most of my readers know these verses below, but some may not. I hope that I continue to reach more and more in this world as well who have never met ,
1 Corinthians is a book in the the New Testament of the Bible. Page ahead to chapter 13 and move your finger down to find verses 4-7. These beautiful words state the following:
So! What are YOU doing, or did you do this 2021 Valentine's Day? Did you get away for the weekend with your spouse? Did you head out to your favorite restaurant surprised with a dozen roses and chocolates? Did you make valentines with your kiddos and give or receive a massage? I'd love to hear what you did or what some of your special Valentine traditions or memories are!
However, never ever forget the one and only thing that truly matters. Whether you were lavished with gifts and chocolates, or you were given nothing as you are single and this tends to be a day you would rather curl up under your comforter and pretend it's already President's Day, never forget that you have the greatest and most beneficial Valentine ever. You are loved beyond measure. You are loved beyond comprehension. The best day of your so called life here, doesn't even hold a flicker of a candle flame to the love the Father has for you. Human love will fail us. Even on human love's BEST day, it still lags lightyears behind God's love. God's love is never subjective. God's love doesn't require performance reviews. God's love doesn't require acts or conditions. God IS love, and that very love flows through His beloved Son, Jesus Christ.