4 Reasons to Celebrate Valentines Day

valentines day celebration
I recently heard a Russian man say he was not going to celebrate Valentine’s day with his wife. This reminded me of some of my more interesting memories as a youth leader in a Slavic Pentecostal church. During some “misunderstood” holidays, such as Valentine’s Day, there would often be a disjoined chorus of voices; those younger clamoring for a celebration, those older trying to ban the holiday outright. In our “smartness” we (the young people) would trick the system, and celebrate a “generic holiday” just a few days after or before Valentines. Our “alternative” holiday was surprisingly similar to Valentines, but “not really” it. Fortunately these “evening of love” celebrations, with all the romantic decorations of pink and red hues passed under the radar if we didn’t call it a “Valentine’s Day Party.” In retrospect, Valentine’s Day is not so special that I would fight for it, yet it’s not harmful enough to ban, by any means.Here are reasons I am inclined to celebrate on Valentines Day.

1. Valentine’s Day is derived from a Christian Saint

There are numerous tales and fables from which the festivities of Valentine’s Day are said to originate. Yet the biggest similarity in these oral traditions is a man, “St. Valentine.” Even the smallest of children can understand that the “Saint” prefix of the name clearly rules out a pagan, and shows this man was a Christian. One of the legends states that the Roman Emperor Claudius II was fighting many wars and needed a bigger army. He outlawed marriage because he considered unmarried men to be better warriors as they would be less concerned about leaving a family behind. So St. Valentine secretly performed marriage ceremonies for the soldiers who wanted to be married. He was caught and imprisoned, writing letters from his jail cell using a signature of “Your Valentine.” Later he was later executed. Another popular legend says he was a saint who prayed for the healing of a girl that led to the conversion of her family. historians can’t prove either one, so the only thing really known is that St. Valentine was a Christian who was martyred (killed for his faith) on February the 14th.

2. Many Churches formally celebrate St. Valentines Day

The Roman Catholic church does not list Saint Valentine in the official Catholic calendar of saints, primarily because the accounts of St. Valentines life and death are very sparse. However, the Anglican Communion, which has many evangelical brethren (notably men like John Stott), maintains this as an official church feast day. In addition the Lutheran church also joins in formally celebrating Valentine’s Day. Conversely there are no pagan religion that formally recognize this day. This is a very strong indicator of the “roots” of the holiday.

3. The object of celebration is love

I have heard, even as recently as a few days ago, that Valentine’s day celebrates aberrant and excessive sexuality. Or that this is a day to celebrate a sexually sinful lifestyle. They are correct in that some people do engage in sexual affairs with someone other than their spouse. Yet, those same people will be found on Christmas, doing the same thing, surely we would not cancel Christmas? It is very true that Valentine’s day is in the same month as Lupercalia, a roman fertility holiday to celebrate sex, and many have attempted to mix the two. However, only those who seek to celebrate nasty naked nonsense do so, not everyone who celebrates the beauty of love. As with everything good, there are many who pervert it, but that ought not ruin it for everyone.

4. It’s rude to neglect your spouse out of principle

If celebrating Valentine’s day means treating you spouse (or spouse to be) like they are special, being very sweet, kind, charming, going on a date, and holding hands, then what does it look like when you don’t celebrate? Do you act grumpy, rude, avoid eating together, make them feel they are not worthy of love? Do you neglect them to prove you don’t celebrate? That is ridiculous. Think about this, if you are a married man, your wife is sees and hears of her friends and coworkers being treated in a romantic way, and here you come out with your prudish principle to neglect her that you may not accidentally celebrate this “bad” day. Its trifle and silly. It is your ignorant principles and pride at the cost of another person’s feelings. You should be kind, sweet, and tender daily, not avoid doing anything nice because “this is a day when bad people celebrate sex.” Instead, celebrate something better than those “bad people,” show a truer love, sweeter than that of those “bad people.” If anything, as a Christian husband or wife, you should try to celebrate Valentine’s Day every single day.

3 responses

  1. The first reason why you said that we should celebrate Valentines you said…

    “Some of the stories say St. Valentine was a 3rd century Christian martyr who married young men in a time where marriage is forbidden by the Roman emperor”.
    So your saying St. Valentine married a guy?

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