Happy Valentine’s Day!
The True Meaning of Valentine’s Day
In the A.D. 200’s, Roman emperor Claudius II forbade young men to marry because he thought that being unmarried would make them better soldiers. Without a wife and family to care for, they could devote themselves wholly to their country. Because marriage was against the law, there was no one to perform the marriage ceremony for those who wished to marry. Recognizing that marriage is a sacred covenant established by God, St. Valentine chose to obey God by secretly marrying couples. Valentine’s day is an opportunity to celebrate the institution of marriage and the fidelity of those who glorify God by remaining pure and honoring their marriage vows.
“Marriage was ordained by the Lord at creation, as suited to the state of man as a social being, and necessary to the design for which he was created.”
…Harvey Newcomb, Young Ladies’ Guide to the Harmonious Development of Christian Character, 1843
“Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love before it so desires.” (Song of Songs 2:7 and 3:5 and 8:4
“Just as physical purity is important, being faithful to your future husband means remaining true to him emotionally—even before you are married. Emotional purity involves saving your romantic feelings for your husband. You will be able to offer him your whole heart on your wedding day—not just the bits and pieces that are left.
“…You will still discover…that you have married a real man, not a fictitious hero. Real men can never measure up to men in romance novels.” …Stacy McDonald, Raising Maidens of Virtue
Valentine’s day in our culture is sadly twisted. We, as Christian young ladies, wish to remain pure in our hearts, minds, souls, and bodies. Around Valentine’s day, many girls our age—or younger—who are involved in “romantic” relationships with boys are giving and receiving gifts. These gifts are not worth much in a monetary sense, but are worth much more in that you are not only giving and receiving flowers or valentines, but pieces of human hearts.
When we are grown and married, if we had any little paper valentines given to us when we were younger by our “boyfriends”, we would likely be ashamed/embarrassed to allow our future husband to read them. They are tokens of us “liking” a guy other than our husband in the past. And even though we may no longer “like” that guy, our having liked him when we were younger—which is now—meant that we gave him a piece of our heart which cannot be recalled. Our husband would only have a scarred, sliced up heart instead of the beautiful, whole one that is a pure heart.
I am not suggesting that the day before your wedding you burn all your valentines. I am encouraging you to not receive them at all. (If anyone offers any to you !) Also, I think it is not a good idea to give boys valentines—brothers and fathers are exceptions!
Most of us have already decided long ago we want to have a pure heart. Around Valentine’s day, however, I think it might be easy for us to grow discontent. After all, the other girls are getting stuff and we’re not. Of course, we wouldn’t put it that way—it sounds so very selfish! We need to remember that we want to be pure, and we need to be pure at all costs. Valentine’s day, when our resolutions in this area might perhaps be shaken, is when we need to remember this most so we can be a light to others. There are very few girls today who are pure—especially in their hearts and minds. However, we are not altogether alone. I know our decisions to be pure are making God happy, and He is with us through all our struggles.
Let us be strong in the Lord. We must not waver in this battle. Let us strive to keep our hearts safe in Jesus’ and our parents keeping until our wedding days, when we will, by God’s grace, give a pure and unblemished heart to our husband, and he will give us his. Let us be a light, and shine out to the misguided girls around us the true meaning of Valentine’s day—a celebration of marriage, fidelity, and purity.
I hope this is a help and encouragement to you as you seek to serve God and remain pure in your hearts, minds, souls, and bodies!
“If you love me, you will obey what I command.”
“And now I will show you the most excellent way.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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. Love never fails.”
1 Corinthians 13:1-8a
“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13:13
“Romantic dreams flit by, but with God’s help, I dismiss them. I at times desire to marry immediately, and I rashly wonder if my principles are worth upholding, though I know in my heart they are. I do not have any attachments to anyone, if that is what you mean. I do not believe young women should ‘fall in love’ before they have been proposed to.
“Having a respect for certain young men, who have acted in a way that they are deserving of that respect, cannot harm you if you guard you heart. It is good to respect your superiors…And as you know, when we are tempted with thoughts we should not think of young men, they will leave with much prayer.”
…Maria Dalton in The Teacher
A good book to read for encouragement, if you haven’t already, is
Before You Meet Prince Charming by Sarah Mally, the founder of Bright Lights. It is available from Vision Forum (www.VisionForum.com) It is fun to read and offers helpful tips on how to spend the single years. (For instance, serving God…not sitting around and singing, “Oh, someday my prince will come… like portrayed in Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty.” )