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The Perfect Valentine

According to the History Channel, the history of "Valentine's Day" is summed up:

Valentine’s Day, also called St. Valentine’s Day, holiday (February 14) is when

lovers express their affection with greetings and gifts. Given their similarities, it has

been suggested that the holiday has origins in the Roman festival of Lupercalia,

held in mid-February. The festival, which celebrated the coming of spring, included

fertility rites and the pairing off of women with men by lottery. At the end of the 5th

century, Pope Gelasius I forbid the celebration of Lupercalia and is sometimes

attributed with replacing it with St. Valentine’s Day, but the true origin of the holiday

is vague at best. Valentine’s Day did not come to be celebrated as a day of

romance until about the 14th century. Although there were several Christian martyrs

named Valentine, the day may have taken its name from a priest who was

martyred about 270 CE by the emperor Claudius II Gothicus. According to legend,

the priest signed a letter “from your Valentine” to his jailer’s daughter, whom he had

befriended and, by some accounts, healed from blindness. Other accounts hold that

it was St. Valentine of Terni, a bishop, for whom the holiday was named, though it is

possible the two saints were actually one person. Another common legend states

that St. Valentine defied the emperor’s orders and secretly married couples to spare

the husbands from war. It is for this reason that his feast day is associated with love.

Formal messages, or valentines, appeared in the 1500s, and by the late 1700s

commercially printed cards were being used. The first commercial valentines in the

United States were printed in the mid-1800s. Valentines commonly depict Cupid, the

Roman god of love, along with hearts, traditionally the seat of emotion.

Maybe you are glad to know all of that. Maybe you are not. To me, it is interesting to realize, if you whittle it down to its core and are completely honest about it, no one really knows why we celebrate Valentine's Day thus making it a truly made-up holiday. We just do it. It has become ingrained, accepted, passed down and thus, we do it. Furthermore, for many, especially those who are in a "relationship" of any type, it has become expected to acknowledge it. The funny thing is, this made-up holiday emboldens some (if you have a "crush" or "infatuation" or "strongly like" someone, this day gives you a reason or excuse to just for a moment to step out and take a chance;) it puts pressure on some (what if there isn't a "special" someone or "interest" in your life? Is your biological clock ticking? What are you doing with your life?) It is a "have to" for others (after being together "forever" what can you possibly do that hasn't be done before? Another dinner? Are you really feeling "romantic" with "everything" going on?) What child doesn't look forward to taking a bite out of every single chocolate in the box or sharing cheezy valentine's cards? Florists sell out, card companies bank on us buying a card for everyone in our contact list, no one is too old to receive a stuffed animal on February 14th even though every other day they are nothing more than dust collectors, we say we don't want anything but secretly we are "bummed" when we get nothing and it goes on. Why? Why all the pressure? Why all interest? Why all the effort? Why all the attention? It's a made-up celebration associated with a day.

Here's why - are you ready? It's really simple.

1 John 4:8b: "...for God is love" (KJV)

Genesis 1:27a: "So God created man in his own image..." (KJV)

We can go through the Bible and recount several instances and scriptures to expand, define and explain love but it all comes down to a simple truth: God created us in His image; He is love. He is the only one who can truly satisfy the human heart. It is in Him and through Him that we learn, know and express true love for it is He and He alone who has defined, demonstrated and freely gives love. No-where else will we ever find it in its purest form. Without Him, we cannot create it, share it or define it. With that being true, seeking Him, fellowshipping with Him, knowing Him and walking with Him is the only way to experience love in the manner a heart truly desires.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8: Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. (ESV)

1 Peter 4:8: Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. (ESV)

1 Corinthians 13:13: So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (ESV)

John 13:34-35: A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (ESV)

1 John 4:19: We love because he first loved us. (ESV)

1 John 4:7: Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. (ESV)

Proverbs 3:3-4: Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. (ESV)

1 Corinthians 13:2: And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. (ESV)

James 2:8: If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. (ESV)

Ephesians 3:17-19: So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (ESV)


There is different kinds of love; we all know this. The love we have for our parents differs from that for our children and our significant other. The love for our friends differs based on our relationship with them. Nothing compares or should compare to the love we have for our Lord and Savior. Without that love, we cannot have true love for anything or anyone else.

What is true love? True love is when a man wipes your tears even after you left him hanging on the cross for your sins:

Romans 5:8: but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (ESV)

The wages of sin was death - man knew this yet we sinned anyway. Over and over, we knew what the consequences of our actions were going to be and over and over again we chose to do things our way regardless. God loved us so much He did the only thing He could, He died for us. Think of this way: you are driving down the road in your car. You see the speed limit sign. It reads 55mph. You just need to get home. You choose to drive 75mph. You get caught and get issued a ticket and somehow avoid losing your license. Weeks later, you are late for work. Again, you pass the speed limit sign that reads 55mph. You have to get to work on time. You blow past it driving 80mph. Ariel surveillance clocks you and you receive another ticket. This pattern continues and you rack up ten tickets. None of them you have paid. On a cold rainy morning, you are in a hurry to get to a meeting and once again you are rushing. You fly past the speed limit sign doing 75mph. A deer darts out in front of you. You swerve to avoid it, loose control and end up hitting a parked car in a driveway. Two people were in the car getting ready to drive off. You don't know their status. You are charged with several infractions and with all your other outstanding tickets, reckless endangerment, injuring actual people, you have to appear in court. You are facing not only losing your license, serious fines but now, jail time. As the judge gets ready to render judgement, a man enters the courtroom. He walks up to the bench, stands in-front of everyone, he announces, "I take his punishment. I pay all his fines. He is a free man." They then cuff him and carry him away. He took your place and you no longer face any charges to include what turned out to be involuntary manslaughter as the people you hit died because of their injuries. He literally traded his life for yours.

That is what Christ did for me. He wiped my slate clean. He traded His life for mine. He loved me so much, so purely, He was willing, without hesitation, to die for me. I did not deserve it. I did not earn it. Know what? He did it for you, too. Know what I did do? I asked. I asked Him to live in my heart. I acknowledged Him as God's son and Lord of my life. That is all. I accepted the love and grace He offers and He welcomed me home. He knew everything I did. He knows what I do. He loves me. I work on my relationship with Him and let Him guide me and mold me into being a better person; the person He created me to be.

This Valentine's Day, I do not seek balloons, cards or chocolate. I don't look for cupid or flowers that will eventually fade. What I do; however, is take a moment when I see "hearts" everywhere to make sure I stand at the foot of the cross and thank God for the greatest give of love I ever received. My question to you is why don't you? We should be spreading love every day as Christians; if we are not, we need to get down on our knees and ask God for forgiveness and to fill our hearts with His love so we can share it. If you have never felt the love of God in your life, this Valentine's Day is the perfect day to give yourself the quintessential, fundamental, life changing and the only valentine you will ever need - the gift of God's love - the gift of salvation - the gift of Jesus Christ. It truly is the perfect valentine.

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