Be My Valentine – God
This week, I saw a message on a church sign that read, “Be my Valentine! – God”. I assume the message refers to God’s love for us and His endless appeal to accept salvation through His Son Jesus.
But the church history side of me can’t overlook the literal meaning of the message. Allow me to explain.
There are varying theories on the origins of Valentine’s Day. Most of the narratives focus on a Christian leader from the third century who was martyred for his faith. Some believe St. Valentine married Roman soldiers against the wishes of the Empire, which may have led to his association with romantic love. It is also thought he harbored enemies of Rome.
Many twists and turns can be found in the stories of St. Valentine, but most seem to agree on these points:
- St. Valentine was a Christian who shared the love of Christ with his world.
- Rome executed St. Valentine for spreading the message of Christ and other infractions on February 14th.
- While St. Valentine had opportunities to save his own life by submitting to Roman demands, he refused.
Now back to that phrase on the church sign.
Incidentally, I had a third-grade teacher who insisted we call “Valentine’s Day” “Valentine Day”, since it honored a person and did not begin as a time to share gifts of love with others. She scarred me for life as I still feel guilty when I write, “Valentine’s Day”.
Where was I?
Oh yes. The phrase.
If we really want to be God’s “Valentine”, historically speaking, we must share the good news of Christ Jesus with our world, defy all forms of paganism, and lose our head in the process.
Actually, lose our head.
You know… “chop…chop”.
As in “lopping off.”
And even if we don’t literally lose our heads for the sake of the gospel, we should give up our lives daily for those around us. This is what it means to “take up our cross and follow” Jesus (Matthew 16:24).
My point is, while we must never forget how much God loves us, when we say we want to be His Valentine, we should not presume His love is a one-way street. When it comes to God’s love and grace, accepting involves surrender.
God is, indeed, looking for people who can be His Valentines.
And I must tell you, the offer requires more than a 30 second stop at the Valentine’s Day card section at our local drug store.
Not that I would know anything about that.