I’m planning a Bible lesson for 3-6 year-olds tomorrow and trying to incorporate Valentine’s Day. My research on the history was slightly disappointing. It seemed to begin as a Christian holiday, commemorating the martyr Valentine’s beheading on February 14th at the end of the 3rd century. It wasn’t until the 14th century when Chaucer connected the day with love by his poem “The Parliament of Fowls.” After describing my findings to Chris he just said, “Oh… I like getting you flowers anyway.” I love him.
We do not have a category in this family for celebrations apart from the Lord. So how do we celebrate Valentine’s Day? The same way we celebrate Christmas and Easter. Both of those high days in the Christian calendar were once pagan. Christmas was the winter solstice, dark days and dark deeds. But Jesus is the light of the world, what better time to celebrate his incarnation. We celebrate Easter in the spring, a time of fertility and new life. What a perfect time to celebrate the first true new life, the risen Christ. (A little rabbit trail: I find it ironic that our fertility-hating culture still celebrates with eggs and bunnies, but I guess some still prefer that then the resurrection. sad.).
On to Valentine’s Day. We have a culture obsessed with love. We LOVE our fun, our money, and our pizza. We try to love others, but really we are self-seeking, giving to get. Why not use Valentine’s Day to talk about true love and to thank and celebrate the Author and Definer of the term we so carelessly throw about.
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:9-11