One Over The Other!
With Valentine’s Day approaching, it is easy to get caught up in the same hustle that happened 2 months ago with Christmas. Buying the affections of the ones we love with candy, jewelry, & cards of a baby angel that shoots people with heart shaped arrows so they can fall madly in love.
Our cultural issue is that we have no clear understanding of what true love is. We have been inundated from an early age to love conditionally. “If you love me, then I will love you back.” “You do something good for me; I will do something good for you.” I am so glad that we don’t serve a God who loves conditionally, but we serve an incredible God who proclaims that yet while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
While reading some of the explanations for Valentine’s Day on Wikipedia, one really stuck out to me. It reads, “St. Valentine's Day began as a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. Several martyrdom stories were invented for the various Valentines that belonged to February 14, & added to later martyrologies. A popular hagiographical account of Saint Valentine of Rome states that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend, during his imprisonment, he healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius. An embellishment to this story states that before his execution, he wrote her a letter signed ‘Your Valentine’ as a farewell.”
Embellishment or not, I am overwhelmed by the statement “Your Valentine.” When we sign the bottom of a note, “Will you be my Valentine?”, it could be translated to, “Would you Die for Me?”
Talk about romantic! John 15:13 says, “Greater Love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” Jesus exemplified this by the laying down of His life for us on the cross, He also extended a challenge to us to lay our lives down for others—not in the physical since, but to crucify our flesh.
Sure, my wife & I are going to enjoy Valentine’s Day—but not in the way that most people do. We have decided to enjoy a daily laid down lifestyle of preferring one over the other. My prayer is that we would all be doers of the word and not just hearers of it—loving all those around us unconditionally as Christ loves us.