It’s February 11th, which means that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner!
Depending on your current situation, you may be filled with dread or bubbling over with joy. Maybe you’re stressed out about the amount of chocolate you’re going to get from your partner (because you know you’ll eat all of it). Or maybe you find yourself praying that this day is over and done with as soon as possible. No matter how you feel about this celebrated holiday, let me just ask you to stop what you’re doing and BREATHE!
Valentine’s Day is known for love, hearts and flowers, and way too much candy. It’s an amazing opportunity to shower your significant other with affection or even hang with your girlfriends for a “gal-entines” celebration. But, before we get to that, I think it’s important to take a look at the man who started it all.
The love fest we celebrate every year on February 14th is because of Saint Valentine’s immense love for Christ and his people.
There have been many Saint Valentines throughout church history, which means that sometimes their stories get combined and confused, but we’re going to unpack this the best we can! The first St. Valentine was a priest and physician in Rome who was beaten and beheaded for helping and comforting Christians who were being persecuted in AD 270 under Emperor Claudius II. Unfortunately, this is the same thing that happened to the other two Saint Valentines that came after him; all of them were martyred for their faith in Christ.
Hundreds of years later, in the Middle Ages, it was believed that birds would pair together about halfway through the second month of the year. Naturally, this sparked the people of England and France to take advantage of the symbolism. They began dedicating the day to their lovers by sending them letters and gifts.
Throughout the 19th & 20th centuries the traditions of hand-made notes and gifts made way for sentiments mass produced by companies. People began exchanging jewelry and Cadbury made heart-shaped boxes filled with candy popular. Now we have e-valentines, movies about couples finding each other against all odds, and holiday-appropriate filters on all of our social media platforms.
But what does it all mean?
I find it interesting that this day of love is rooted in the actions of a man (or men, for that matter) who sacrificed their lives, making a way for Christians to proclaim their faith. Because of their immense sacrifices, the church continued to grow and the gospel was preached far and wide. They loved God so much that they were willing to their lives down -- what a beautiful picture of the Christian life!
What if we dared to follow in their footsteps this year? What if, instead of Valentine’s Day being about chocolate or flowers or finding a date, we made this day about sacrificial love, loving our enemies, and spreading the gospel? What if we made this day no longer about us but about Christ?
If you hate Valentine’s day, know that you’re not alone. If it makes you sad, overlooked, or left out, you’re not the only one. I remember the days of walking into the grocery store, only to be overwhelmed with sadness at the sight of the giant teddy bears on display I knew I wouldn’t receive that year. This holiday of love reminded me of how ‘unloved’ I was (or so I thought). So, if you’re feeling unloved right now, let me tell you two things I know for certain:
God loves you more than you can possibly understand or imagine.
All of us at We are Unveiled love you too! And we’re so thrilled you’re part of our community!
Let’s choose to make this day all about sacrificial love. Amidst the hearts and the chocolates, whether you have a date or not, whether you love the holiday or hate it, we can show people that they are seen, heard, and loved by us and their Father.
What will you do for others this Valentine’s day? How will you put the love of God on display? Let us know in the comments below or on social media by using #weareunveiled so we can celebrate with you!
We love you!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alyssa serves as We are Unveiled's Director of Development, providing insightful content and a unique perspective to our team. She is passionate about teaching and helping young women understand Biblical truths and how to apply them to their lives. She seeks to live her life the best she can, in obedience to Christ’s calling and to exemplify what it means to be a Christian woman.