Did you ever wonder where the name “Valentine” came from for Valentine’s Day?
I have, it has always seemed like a funny name for a day of cards and flowers.
That’s because the holiday didn’t actually celebrate cards and flowers but a Christian pastor and martyr, Saint Valentine.
Pastor Valentine lived in the Roman Empire during Claudius’ Reign. The emperor had forbidden young men from getting married because he thought they would fight better if they were single. But this didn’t keep Christians from falling in love and wanting to be married. Valentine, against the law, gave these young couples a Christian wedding in secret.
You have to understand that the culture they lived in was very permissive, where anything went, literally, and it was actually easier just to do whatever they wanted, than get married.
But these Christians wanted to bring their relationship before God to live according to His desires for a family.
When Valentine was confronted and commanded to give up His Christian faith, the priest refused and was brutally martyred.
So today, is not so much about the gushy romantic love, even though that is there. But also the more mature, enduring love that seeks God in all times, whether good or bad. This love isn’t always romantic, but is the love that brothers and sisters in Christ hold for each other as Pastor Valentine shows us in the care of those young people. Then, most importantly, the love of God that never fails.
Happy St. Valentine’s Day. Know the love of God in Jesus this day.