“[Jesus:] A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
John 13:34 (NIV)
This week, many around the world will celebrate Valentine’s Day by giving a gift to show their appreciation to someone special. The origin of Valentine’s Day is not exactly known, though many believe Valentine was one of three saints who were martyred for their beliefs. Others say that the church used the day of Saint Valentine’s martyrdom to Christianise an old Roman festival.
But it was not until the Middle Ages that February 14 became associated with love. In fact, the oldest known valentine still in existence today is a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. (The greeting is now part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England.)
While the history of the day proves interesting, the real focus should be on what the day is about: letting those closest to us know how much they mean to us. It’s good to have one day which brings this to our attention. But actually Valentine’s Day should be a special reminder of what should be done daily, not just once a year.
Sincere affirmation and appreciation are becoming a lost art among many today (including Christians). We are quick to sing songs of praise during our worship services, but neglect to give honour and praise to those we love—our spouses, children and extended family.
Our Father in heaven sets a good example of affirming his love for us through the words of his apostle Paul. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
Can you imagine the response if you shared a similar Valentine’s Day message with those you love on a much more frequent basis? Enjoy the holiday with those closest to you by doing something special but, more importantly, reassure them of your love daily. And also remind them of God’s great love for them. They may be your “Valentine,” but first and foremost, they are God’s.
Holy Father, you constantly continue to demonstrate your love for us. As a response to that, help us please to love one another with your divine love. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Study by Joseph Tkach
About the Author:
Joseph Tkach is the President of Grace Communion International (the Denominational name of The Worldwide Church of God UK), and resides in California, USA. You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.