Grace Christian Huynh
The month of February is known best for Valentine’s Day. On February 14, couples and seeking singles express their love to another. People celebrate Valentine’s Day by giving candy, jewelry, flowers, and their love to another. Let us quickly go over the origin of this “Christian” holiday.
At around the 4th century, a Roman fertility ritual or holiday called Lupercalia, named after the god of shepherds, Lupercus, was a holiday in which men would take strips of goat hides, dip them in blood, and then hit women with the hides. After that, a matchmaking “game” then took place in which young men would draw names of young women of the town from an urn. The couple would then be together for the year until the next Lupercalia celebration. Another reason why the Romans celebrated this annual activity was to remember and honor the legend of Lupa. Lupa was a female wolf who nursed Romulus and Remus when they were babies. Later, Romulus and Remus found Rome in 753 B.C. Lupercalia was celebrated on Feb. 13th -15th.
In the 3rd century, before Lupercalia was ever introduced, Emperor Claudius II was building up his army and he needed men to sign up. Unfortunately, many men did not sign up because they did not want to leave their families, and Emperor Claudius saw that as a problem. He reasoned that if the men were not married, they would be available to sign up in his army, so he outlawed marriage. A priest named Valentine called out to waiting couples to come to him and get secretly married. Many were married, but then eventually, Valentine got caught. Valentine was sent to jail, awaiting his death sentence. He fell in love with the prison guard’s daughter who was blind. She was healed by Valentine and visited him in his jail cell. When it was time for his death, he signed his last letter to her, “From your Valentine.” St. Valentine’s Day was celebrated on Feb. the 14th. Soon, Lupercalia was replaced with St. Valentine’s Day.
Should We Celebrate Valentine’s Day?
“When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land;
Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.
Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.” (Deuteronomy 12:29-31)
As you have read above of the origin of Valentine’s Day, the Romans celebrated their pagan gods with Lupercalia. Although we call it a different name now or just because we do not worship Lupercus, if we celebrate Valentine’s Day, we are celebrating the pagan holiday. The verses above clearly state that we should worship God not in the same methods as others worship their gods. It is not just with Valentine’s Day; it is also for other holidays with pagan roots such as Halloween, Easter and Christmas.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (II Corinthians 5:17)
God’s Gift of Love
I do not mean to say that loving a person or giving the person you love a present is wrong, but you should not only express your love to another person. You should also show your love to God. The love of God is the best gift you could have ever received. If God did not “love” you, you would not be here.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
(This is a video filmed a long while ago (2006), when I was 9 and my brother, Jay, was 7. We recently converted it from VHS to digital. My brother and I would sing and dance for the church on special occasions, in this case, we sang with one of our friends.)
If it were not for love, Jesus Christ would not have died for your sins. You can show that you love Him by living a righteous life. If you truly try to please Him, because everybody sins, then He will know that you truly love Him. Another way you can show your love to God is by showing love to others. Think about it. If you treat others with hate, how is it that others can see how much you love God? Treat others as you would want to be treated, which is, hopefully, is to be treated with respect and dignity.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (I Corinthians 13:4-7)
Valentine’s Day should not be a day to celebrate in honor of God’s gift of love, but you can still rejoice in God’s name for His gift of love. Love is something special to think about. It is very powerful. Love is not just a feeling when you meet your significant other; it is the act of respect and treating others in a manner that you would like to be treated by another person.
You can feel when you have found true love when God tells you. If you truly serve God with all your heart, then you can trust in God to find you someone to share your life and ministries with. You really do not need an internet dating sites.
“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (I John 4:8)
Grace Christian Huynh