Our Readers' Opinions
February 6, 2009
Valentine’s Day: what really is it all about?


EDITOR: At this time of the year, and more specifically February 14, which is referred to as Valentine’s Day, many claim to be celebrating love. ‘Love is in the air’, they say. Roses, sweets, cards, chocolates and other gifts are exchanged in the name of love. It’s another of the many traditions – like Christmas and Easter – that Babylon has given to the world to make merchants and businessmen rich (Rev.18:3).{{more}}

And now it’s you, reader. Have you ever stopped to consider the origin of Valentine’s Day? Do you care to read or do you prefer to blindly follow traditions that suit your desires in light of readily available knowledge to enlighten your mind? Moreover, have you ever contemplated on the question of ‘What really is love and how it should be expressed? All this and more will be discussed in this concise article.

So what about Valentine’s Day? How did it originate? There are different theories concerning the origin of Valentine celebration. Upon research of the topic, one thing is certain; the celebration has been derived from the ancient feast festival called Lupercalia. Lupercalia was in honour of the Roman god of fertility. The festivity involved a ritual inclusive of name ‘drawing’ in which a young man drew the name of a girl from the lot, who was to be his sweetheart for the whole year (usually for sexual pleasure). Since then, this day (Feb.14) has been considered the day of Cupid, the son of the Roman goddess of love, Venus. Through the efforts of the Roman Catholic Church to mix paganism with Christianity, the day gradually became associated with a feast day of two Roman martyrs, both named St. Valentine, who lived in the 3rd Century. So, it is just a recycling of a pagan custom by the RC Church with many of the ancient practices garbed in the name of love. Despite the Church’s effort to ‘Christianize’ the Lupercalia festivity, pleasure seeking and immorality still remain tenets of this celebration. Truth and falsehood cannot mix!

Though the present day celebration has some modifications, the idea of pleasure (usually sexual) is still prevalent. It is normally a day when passionate sentiments are aroused and a night filled with physical and emotional expressions of these feelings. Emotions ‘run wild’ with provocative attire and atmosphere, conducive to the suppression of reason. For many, it is a night that precedes days, months, years and even a lifetime of sadness and disappointment. Many young ladies, especially, become diseased infected or pregnant. In fact, some years ago, a local medical expert showed that since a lot of babies are born between November and December, this is an indication that most of the conceptions take place around Valentine’s Day.

Having said all of the above, what really is love? Is it a substitute for obedience to the law of God (as many in the religious world teach)? Is it a fiery feeling or an unrestrained or unintelligent passion? Is it blind? Christ, our Saviour, wants us to have a true understanding and daily lasting experience of love and how this love is to be expressed: toward Him and toward our fellowmen, whether family to family, husband to wife, friend to friend etc. What this world needs is true and sweet love. The love that teaches us to be obedient to God’s commands; the love that is a high and holy principle that surpasses and outshines every other. You would agree that if only we could all learn and practise the principle of eternal love EVERYDAY, the homes, the country, the world… would be a better place. I do not mean the so-called love that is expressed only on a particular day, or is equaled to sexual satisfaction. I do not mean the so-called temporary manifestation that causes a man to send a rose to a woman on one day and then a few weeks later he is unfaithful and physically and emotionally abuses her. Young men and women, I’m not talking about a fiery passion that causes you to make serious mistakes and end up hurting yourself and darkening your future by getting sexually involved in irresponsible sexual behaviour.

The Bible tells us that God is Love (1Jn4:7,8). The only way that love can be genuinely expressed is when a person has God in the heart by Faith. According to scripture, you cannot truly love another if you do not know God, who is Love. No matter how many roses, gifts…you may exchange!

How exactly is love expressed towards God, our Creator and towards our fellowmen? How do you show love? In John 14:15, Jesus said if we love Him we must keep His commandments. It is only when this is done, you show that you know and love God.

Are you obedient to God by grace through Faith? If you cannot answer this question in the affirmative, it means that you cannot truly love another, because you have not the experience of love in your own heart. (1 Jn.5:3,4). Our duty is to express love towards each other at ALL TIMES in obedience to the commandments of God. (Rom.13:8-10)

It is time to recognize God’s great love towards you. Upon reception of this love (through repentance and acceptance of the Gospel) you can in turn love another. Society is in dire need of this love; Love that eliminates selfishness out of the heart; love which is the cure to all society’s ills and problems of crime and violence. May you all experience this love so that you can celebrate it throughout the year…January, March, April, May…December and February.

Ann-Marie John
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