Actually, the original story is far from pleasurable and “romantic.” It all began when a wicked Roman emperor named Claudius, around mid- 200s A.D., declared an edict that marriage was no longer permitted among young people. He believed that families hindered the effectiveness of his army. He thought that commitment to a wife and children would cause his men to be more loyal to their families than the Roman Empire. This edict in particular stirred up a God-fearing priest named Valentine. Valentine still believed that marriage and family were sacred and should be protected. He did not protest or trash the emperor’s home, but instead held secret wedding ceremonies until he was caught and thrown into prison. Valentine suffered much torture and- long story short- eventually became a martyr to his cause. It was not until many years after his death that he was officially recognized as Saint Valentine and had an official holiday named after him. February 14 was set aside by Christians to commemorate his life and dedication to preserving the traditional family. (However, it was originally a pagan Roman holiday for their god of love,Cupido, or Cupid as we know it.) Just like most holidays though, it has been heavily commercialized. Love is not all candy hearts and roses. It is not just a warm fuzzy feeling inside. Sometimes you might have to suffer for love, true love, that is, just like Saint Valentine and even Jesus Christ.
I am inspired by the original Valentine story because marriage and family are under attack today. Not in the same way but the underlying enemy is the same- Satan. Satan hates God and everything about Him. Satan hates marriage and family because they are God’s ordinances that beautifully reflect the relationship between Christ and the Church. With gay relationships, couples living together outside of marriage, abortion, and such things running rampant in our society and trying to destroy those holy ordinances, I thought I would go by Valentine’s example. I will not protest or hurt anyone that disagrees with me, but I will stand up and unashamedly live what I believe. If I get persecuted, I will take it with patience by God’s grace and to His glory. I hope you will choose to do the same.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Enjoy your flowers and candy… or lack there of. :)
Written by: Kristyn Johnson