Happy Valentine’s Day! (posted 2-14-03)

Where did we get Valentine’s Day? I believe the human celebration started the day God put Adam to sleep, took one of his ribs, created Eve and presented her to Adam. She was a perfect “10”. It was marriage at first sight! (Genesis 2:21-22).

Consider Adam’s response,  “…This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man” (vs 23).

Surely Adam could have done better than that… like, “Wow!” or “One fantastic step for man…” (Even Neil Armstrong would agree that was a far more significant step for man and mankind than his first step on the moon). I mean, Adam could have whistled or danced a jig or shown a little more enthusiasm than that (Admittedly we don’t know his tone of voice or body language).
However, when you look more closely, what he said wasn’t too bad. Let me paraphrase what Adam may have meant by what he said, “Honey, you are beautiful! I wasn’t all here until you arrived. You are the rest of me. I can’t live without you. Will you be my Valentine?”

Well, that may be a stretch but undoubtedly, human romance began that day. Here was Valentine’s Day, even without red hearts and candy. God had already provided the Garden Eden with beautiful trees, delicious fruit, flowers and even good gold (Genesis 2:8-12). Could Adam have brought some of these to her that day? We don’t know, however, there was no question he was going to win her. Adam was the only guy in the world and Eve was the only girl.   

But why February 14th? In pre-Christian Rome, February 15th was the Festival of Lupercalia. During this holiday, single girls pinned bay leaves under their pillows expecting dreams of their future husbands. Other girls wrote the names of potential suitors on bits of paper, placing them in balls of clay and dropping them in a pond or brook. The first name to rise to the top would be their true love. There were also parties where the boys drew the name of a girl out of a vase, choosing that girl for the evening festivities.

So how did it became known as Valentine’s Day? In 496 A. D., Pope Gelasius changed Lupercalia to St. Valentine's Day, changing the day to February 14 instead of 15. There was a gradual development over the centuries of red hearts and lace, etc. Another Valentine idea was the cupids with bows and arrows. Anyone smitten by cupid’s arrow fell in love. Men began giving flowers and other gifts to their sweetheart on Valentine’s Day. Love notes and letters long predated Valentine Cards.

However, the whole concept of love originated with God.  Very early, God longed for beings like Himself, that He could love, and who could love Him back. He said, “Let us make man in our image, …” (Genesis 1:26). Of course this involved a risk because these beings must have a choice. Adam and Eve proved they had a choice when they chose to follow Satan by eating the forbidden fruit. We have all ratified their decision by our own sinful choices. In spite of our sins, God had the original valentine plan.

God Loves You! That’s the greatest love story ever told. “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). The Bible is God’s Valentine Card to the whole world. Until you receive God’s love in Jesus Christ, you can’t really love. Visualize Jesus, God’s divine Son dying on the cross for your sins. Do you see it? Do you believe it? I mean that He really loved you enough to die in your place that you might receive God’s love in Him. That is God’s specific Valentine Card to you!

God Wants You To Love Him Back!
  “Give me thine heart …” (Proverbs 23:26). A man can love a woman who does not return that love (or vice versa). The poets called that “unrequited love.” It is sad and frustrating. God’s love is real but sadly incomplete until it is returned. God loves you and has proven it on the cross and many other ways, however, that love will not flow in your life until you humbly receive it in Christ and return it. Have you done that? The apostle John said it this way, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear, … (1 John 4:18). “Perfect” here means, “completed.” It is like an electric circuit. The power does not flow until the circuit is completed. If you really believe God loves you and receive His Son, Jesus Christ, you are then enabled to return that love. Thus, the divine circuit of love is complete. Your sins are all forgiven and you no longer need to fear death or the judgment. Only then can you really love and worship God in spirit and in truth. That’s your Valentine Card to God, loving, worshipping and obeying Him. He is very pleased when we express our love to Him.

God Wants You to Love Others! When God’s love circuit is completed in you, you become part of a larger circuit called the fellowship of the church. John wanted everyone to be included in this “fellowship of love.” He said, “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3).  Sharing the Love of God with others is the best kind of Valentine Card to send.

Answer God’s Valentine Card to you by receiving His love in Jesus and loving Him back. Then forward that love to everyone else you can by loving them in Jesus and sharing His salvation with them. Happy Valentine’s Day!  Amen.

                           © 2003 D. B. Martin

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