Let me begin with the obvious. Valentine’s Day is not a Christian holiday. True, there was a Christian way back in history named Valentine who reportedly defied the Roman Emperor’s edicts and married young soldiers and their sweethearts. He was eventually executed. Most people don’t know about this. Few realize that a pagan holiday was observed in the Roman Empire during this time as well.
So – what about Valentine’s Day today? It is, probably, more than anything else, a huge commercial venture specializing in chocolate and red roses. It’s also a favorite time for elementary school kids. I remember well the classroom ritual of decorating a box into which we deposited missives of love (?) and attraction. Mine, in the third grade, was a handsome little boy named Donald.
Here’s my challenge for you: why not get through this week without spending a lot of money but still expressing love to the ones closest to you.
If there are still young children in your home, you could scavenge for materials on which to make love messages to send to one another and to those whom God has lovingly placed in your extended family. I imagine you have paper (even some red items) and glue…maybe some lace trim, scissors, markers and even the ingredients for homemade cookies or candy. Just accept the challenge to boycott the huge commercial giant by not contributing to his success this year, and still spread love among your family members and friends.
We realize, of course, true love cannot be bought – even though it is costly. God paid the greatest price to freely give away His love. He gave up His beloved Son in order to send us a Valentine message: To you whom I love I say, let us go on loving one another, for love comes from God. To us, the greatest demonstration of God’s love for us has been His sending His only son into the world to give us life through Him. We see real love, not in the fact that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to make personal atonement for our sins. If God loved us as much as that, surely we, in our turn, should love each other! I John 4:7-11 (Phillips Paraphrase)
of all mankind, pierce
me with every lace trimmed
heart and cupid’s shaft I see –
each time to hear a heart’s beat
stop – someone dies without one
chance to know of Your great
If you really want to spend money for Valentine’s Day, take up a collection from your family members and send a gift to bless those in the persecuted church around the world.
Next entry, I’ll suggest some more practical strategies for celebrating a ‘spend-free’ Valentine’s Day. Please share something you do along this line by leaving us a comment. Thanks.