Valentine’s Day long ago lost any Christian connotation. But what is the history behind the man for whom this holiday is named? Reliable historical records on his life are hard to find, but it is generally believed this man named Valentine lived in the third century. Some legends say Valentine became a friend of Emperor Claudius, but was executed when he tried to convert the emperor to Christ. Another story says that he opposed the edict of the emperor to discourage young men from marrying. This was based on the popular belief that single soldiers fought better. This created an anti-marriage sentiment that resulted in promiscuity. Some believe that Valentine may have performed marriages in violation of the emperor’s edict.
So, if all of this is true, he did not fight just for romance but for a godly kind of love, devotion, and faithfulness. The Scriptures describes a mutual dedication to God that is to be the foundation of every marriage relationship.
“Wives submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:22)
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her. (Ephesians 5:25)
“Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” (Ephesians 5:33)
(adapted from Preaching, January/February, 2014, p.13)
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