No Greater Love
It’s February 14, Valentine’s Day. You may love it or hate it, look forward to it or dread it. But there’s no ignoring it with all the floral shop and jewelry store commercials, and the not-so-subtle “blackmail” by greeting card makers.
It’s a bit like Christmas when you think about it.
No Valentine’s Day Commercial Here
If you’re expecting me to “wax poetic” and write in sugary prose about the importance of Valentine’s Day, forget it. Don’t get me wrong; I adore romance. But if Valentine’s Day vanished from the calendar next year I wouldn’t blink. (Well, I might blink, because that would be pretty strange.)
I’m not saying I don’t like this day. It’s nice. There’s nothing like sharing a special occasion with someone you love. But it’s not a make-or-break day for me. That’s because I’m blessed and live the essence of the holiday all year.
I feel loved, cherished, and cared for every day, and that means the world to me.
Where Did it Come From?
I looked up the history of Valentine’s Day, and if you do the same you’ll see a number of stories about its origin. The Catholic Church began St. Valentine’s Day, which was rooted in Roman culture. But in 1969, the Church dropped it from the calendar of Catholic feasts because of uncertainties about its beginnings. (Here’s that story.)
The most popular version of the origin is probably that of a priest named St. Valentine (one of at least 3 by that name). He defied the law in Rome by secretly marrying soldiers—who were forbidden to wed—to their sweethearts. Supposedly, the priest was arrested, healed the daughter of one of his jailers, and later left her a farewell note before his execution signed, “Your Valentine.”
Over the centuries the holiday morphed into a celebration of romantic love, and that’s the way we see it today.
The Ultimate Example
So let’s get to it. Why is it that Valentine’s Day doesn’t leave me giddy? Two reasons:
- Commercialism has nearly taken over. Advertisers invite us to measure our love by the trinkets we buy, and
- Our culture hypes a form of romance that’s not necessarily about love.
Jesus said there’s no love greater than one that causes a man to lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13). Real love gives, and so we enjoy the gift-giving on Valentine’s Day. But real love also sacrifices, supports, honors, forgives and protects. It’s gentle and kind.
The way I see it, Valentine’s Day, if we celebrate it, should be a reflection of that kind of love. If our best gifts are karats, carats, and chocolate, something is terribly wrong. If we feel or express love only because it’s February 14, what’s the point?
So maybe this should be Gut-Check Day. Do you share a great love, or just love a great show? When “the show” is over and it’s February 15, will you feel as special as you do today? Do you still feel that kindness and care, or is it back to business as usual?
I don’t know about you, but I’ll take the real deal every day of the week—with or without Valentine’s Day.
So from the bottom of my heart, I wish you the real deal. Genuine love. The kind that will light your days and warm your nights no matter what the calendar says.
Cheers and Happy Valentine’s Day!