Hope you had a Happy Valentine’s Day!!! I took a break from blogging yesterday, because I was in meetings all day and with my kids and sweetheart at night. It was a special day.
I understand that with Valentine’s Day comes a wide spectrum emotions for people. Tomorrow I will be sharing some thoughts for those without a Valentine. Some may not have been bothered by the day. Others may have been very saddened. I hope that what will be posted will encourage you either way.
For today, though, I came across a post from Mark Merrill of All Pro Dad that I thought was more than worth sharing. You can read it on his blog by clicking here. Or, you can keep scrolling down and read it on this post. Most people don’t even know the real story of the real Valentine. Hopefully this will encourage you as you keep cultivating daily the near love of Jesus into your pathway relationships.
THE REAL STORY OF VALENTINE’S
This Valentine’s Day you will probably either send or receive a Valentine from someone. More than a billion are expected to be given away in the United States alone. But just like many of our holidays, there’s a lot more behind it than just cards and gifts. There’s a true life story. It’s a story that teaches us a lot about the true meaning of love, sacrifice and commitment.
In the third century, the Roman Empire was ruled by Emperor Claudius II Gothicus. He was nicknamed Claudius the Cruel because of his harsh leadership and his tendency for getting into wars and abusing his people. In fact, he was getting into so many wars during the third century that he was having a difficult time recruiting enough soldiers.
Claudius believed that recruitment for the army was down because Roman men did not want to leave their loves or families behind, so he canceled all marriages and engagements in Rome. Thousands of couples saw their hopes of matrimony dashed by the single act of a tyrant. And no one seemed interested in standing up to the emperor.
But a simple Christian priest named Valentine did come forward and stood up for love. He began to secretly marry soldiers before they went off to war, despite the emperor’s orders. In 269 AD Emperor Claudius found out about the secret ceremonies. He had Valentine thrown into prison and deemed that he would be put to death.
As Valentine was awaiting execution, he fell in love with a blind girl, who happened to be the jailer’s daughter. On the eve of his execution, with no writing instruments available, Valentine is said to have written her a sonnet in ink that he squeezed from violets. Legend has it that his words made the blind woman see again. It was a brief romance because the next day Valentine was clubbed to death by Roman executioners.
St. Valentine gave his life so that young couples could be bonded together in holy matrimony. They may have killed the man, but not his spirit. Even centuries after his death, the story of Valentine’s self-sacrificing commitment to love was legendary in Rome. Eventually he was granted Sainthood and the Catholic Church decided to create a feast in his honor. They picked February 14 as the day of celebration because of the ancient belief that birds (particularly lovebirds, but also owls and doves) began to mate on that very day.
It’s surprising to know that Valentine’s Day is really founded on the concept of love in marriage. On This Valentine’s Day, what are you doing to keep the love in your marriage burning? While giving a gift and card, having a candlelight dinner, and sharing special words of love are all important, the true spirit of Valentine’s Day needs to last throughout the year.
Here are some ways to bring more love into your marriage:
- Schedule priority time together. Pull out your calendars and set a date night every week or two—just to spend time together and talk. (Note: movies don’t count.)
- Laugh together. When was the last time you shared a funny story and chuckled with each other? Loosen up and laugh freely. Live lightheartedly!
- Play together. Find a hobby or activity you both enjoy—fishing, bowling, tennis, hiking, or biking.
- Be romantic together. Send your spouse a note of encouragement in the mail every once in a while just to say “I love you.” Spend one or two weekends away each year, just with your wife. (No buddies allowed.)
While Valentine’s Day is a good time to put a spark back into your relationship, the only way to fan the flame of a good relationship is for every day to be a Hallmark moment.
What are you doing to fan the flame of love in your marriage?