How did Valentine's Day come to be? Truthfully, what event or peoples took time to pause on a day designated during the year to say, "I love you," or "Be mine," or, "Will you be mine," or other such rot? As comedian Jim Gaffigan noted during CBS Sunday Morning (2.14.15) in a commentary, who decided to remind us that if we hadn't done so during the course of an entire year, stop and tell the one you love, "I love you?"
I found the Valentine's parties in elementary school, as a child, to be painful. Being an elementary assistant principal and principal, those feelings were reawakened. A Christmas party was great. Gifts exchanged. The last day of school before the two week holiday. The décor had been up for a couple of weeks, the Christmas tree, Christmas carols during music. Everyone was festive. Valentines? It was a "drop everything you are doing and let's do this party for Valentine's Day...and don't forget your math problems are due tomorrow." And it was clear that parents may have been the true vicarious recipient of the party over the kids...some taking it a bit too far. "Did you see what Jimmy got his little girlfriend Dolly for Valentine's Day?" Jimmy didn't get that, his mom got it for him to give to her.
Yet, here it is this Saturday, and here we are. Some of you are probably ahead of the curve. Reservations at one of Lubbock's finer restaurants or perhaps even a weekend getaway. Sitter hired or house-watcher contacted. The rest of us stand flat-footed for another day or two. What are our options at that point? As Gaffigan noted, "a card that someone else wrote that expresses how I feel about you and a box of surprise chocolates...yet another opportunity for me to fail."
What is love and love specifically in a Christian household? In the Bible index, the word love and its derivatives (loved, loving, lovely...) take up almost three pages of references. The word is used a great deal in scripture. David writes of God's "unfailing love" (multiple Psalms). Christ speaks of love for the Father, our neighbors, and our enemy. Specifically, Christ tells us: "My command is this, love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends." (John 15:13) Paul provides us an almost poetic description of true love in 1 Corinthians 13 and tells husbands to "love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her..." (Ephesians 5:25)
There is plenty of narrative in scripture that gives each of us, fathers, husbands, sons, brothers, friends, the direction for love each day of the year, each year of our lives.
Forgive us when we fail. Strengthen us when needed. Be with us as we are with those we love and away from them. Give us opportunities to serve and honor those we love each day of our lives in true love.
Hope Men's Ministry