Valentine’s day is named after a Christian saint but the actual man for whom the day is named is a bit murky, in fact, several different priests could legitimately lay claim for whom the day honors. Probably the most famous is a priest in third century Rome during the rule of Emperor Claudius II. After a decree was issued outlawing marriage for men, stating that single men were better soldiers than those with wives and families, Valentine sympathized with the plight of the single men and secretly married them to their betrothed. When his actions were revealed, he was executed by the Romans on February 14th. Another origin recounts a darker tale of another priest who comforted other Christians imprisoned in Rome for their faith in Jesus Christ, and refusing to worship the pagan Roman gods. Valentine was eventually imprisoned and before his execution, wrote a letter to the jailer’s daughter and signed it, “Your Valentine.”
Regardless of the true origins, the invariable and beautiful theme is sacrificial love on behalf of others. If we celebrate Valentine’s day, we should celebrate with this in mind and endeavor to model this behavior to others.
…but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
John 19:25-27 (ESV)
As Jesus was dying on the Cross, suffering the unimaginable weight of every sin that was every committed or will be committed, He looked beyond His own suffering, toward His mother, and did one last act of kindness for her. He asked His beloved disciple John to look after His mother Mary as if she were his own mother.
What kind of love is this? What kind of love can overcome torture, humiliation, and betrayal? It is a sacrificial love of the highest and most noble kind. It is a love that only God can give us. He loved all us with such pure love, that He gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, to live and die for our sins. Through His death and Resurrection, if we confess and repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we will gain salvation and eternal life.
On this Valentine’s day, honor those whom you love and remember the love that Jesus Christ showed to His own mother as He sacrificially died to demonstrate His love to a lost world.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.