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This week, many around the world will celebrate Valentine’s Day by giving a gift to show their appreciation to someone special. The origin of Valentine’s Day is not exactly known, though many believe Valentine was one of three saints who were martyred for their beliefs. Others say that the church used the day of Saint Valentine’s martyrdom to Christianize an old Roman festival.
But it was not until the Middle Ages that February 14 became associated with love. In fact, the oldest known valentine still in existence today is a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. (The greeting is now part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England.)
While the history of the day proves interesting, the real focus should be on what the day is about: letting those closest to you know how much they mean to you. It’s good to have one day that brings this to our attention. But Valentine’s Day should be a special reminder of what should be done daily, not just once a year.
Sincere affirmation and appreciation are becoming a lost art among many today (including Christians). We are quick to sing songs of praise during our worship services, but neglect to give honor and praise to those we love – our spouses, children and extended family.
Our Father in heaven sets a good example of affirming his love for us through the words of his apostle Paul.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
Can you imagine the response if you shared a similar Valentine’s Day message with those you love on a much more frequent basis? Enjoy the holiday with those closest to you by doing something special, but more importantly, reassure them of your love daily. And also remind them of God’s great love for them. They may be your “Valentine,” but first and foremost, they are God’s.