What is the meaning of love? Is it that insatiable feeling of passion that you cannot deny when you have strong feelings for someone? And how do you show your significant other that you love them? Is it through special dates, gift giving, expensive champagne, and romantic music on Valentine’s Day? While these things are admirable in and of themselves, none of the above has described the biblical definition and practice of love. Furthermore, are we to systematically dedicate one day out of the year to express love towards our significant others? Who told us to do that? Should we not be constant with how we show true love on a daily basis? It is clear that many of us do not know what true love is.
It is evident from the 40-50% divorce rate of married couples in the U.S., that there is a love problem. True love would not compromise a union of marriage based on vows of a life-long commitment. This problem is just as concerning to the Christian community, which is surely embarrassing to the God of Israel who created marriage and is the living embodiment of love. Professor Bradley Wright, a sociologist at the University of Connecticut, explains from his analysis of people who identify as Christians but rarely attend church, that 60% of these people have been divorced. Of those who attend church regularly, 38% have been divorced.
So although there is a difference between regular churchgoers (kudos to them), divorce is still prevalent among Christians. According to scriptures, this should not be (Matthew 19: 7-9). You may think, “well, no one is perfect” and you may be right, but Christians are called to be perfect (Matthew 5:48) and the God of the bible hates divorce (Malachi 2:14-17). So before we get caught up in the spirit of love, lust, and gift giving, wake up and smell the roses! Not the roses that you may be deciding for your Valentine’s, but the roses of truth!
Be honest with yourself: do you really know what love is? If you believe that you have an idea of love, and a successful relationship with a girl/boy friend, fiance, or spouse, then that is great. This information should reinforce your ideals and praxis. But if you are unsure about true love, if you want to experience true love, and want to work towards stable and healthy relationships, then you need to take heed to what the God of Love (1 John 4:8) has told us through his word.
What is Love?
1 John 5
King James Version (KJV)
5 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.
2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
Paul explains further:
King James Version (KJV)
8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Christian or not, when one examines God’s commandments and principles it is clear to see that society thrives when they are in effect. Think about it. If you love someone, you would not steal from them, lie to or on them, covet, and certainly you would not kill them. You would also be patient with them and self-sacrificing like Jesus was. To put God’s perfect commandments in perspective, think about the idea of PEACE. Most marriages/relationships end because there is simply no peace. So as a result, fighting and discord takes place until one person or both gets fed up and they decide that in order for there to be peace, there must be a separation.
On a larger level, concerning global relations, we can say that there has never been world love, because there has never been world peace (despite all the “peace talks” and “peace treaties”). Why not? Because man has not put God’s commandments into practice. Think about why there is no world peace. It is due to lying, killing, stealing, covetousness, pride, and all the other things God is against. Do not let your love be just a word or some written contract. Rather, embody love through your submission to God’s perfect commandments!
What are some of the attributes of love?
1 Corinthians 13
King James Version (KJV)
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Think about how perfect every marriage/relationship would be and how pleasant the world would be if we all practiced these virtues with sincerity and consistency. Compromising, Forgiveness, Mercy, Humility, Charity, Temperance – are the traits of God’s love. Thus, he expects his followers to exhibit these same righteous virtues in all our relationships. True Christians know that God calls us to practice his commandments on a DAILY BASIS! Because God’s law=love. That is why we are told:
King James Version (KJV)
8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein DAY and NIGHT, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
Do you want good success and prosperity in your relationships/marriage? Keep God’s commandments and principles (laws)! That is true love. Now I would like to ask a question. If you think it is important to show love to your neighbor and spouse, then how much more important is it to show true love to God??
Now that you know that true love should be practiced every day through God’s commandments, then you should ask yourself does God want me to acknowledge my spouse/significant other and him, through Valentine’s Day? Is that a part of His law of love for my good success as stated in Joshua 1:8? Well, to honestly answer these question, you must firstly know what Valentine’s Day is.
What is Valentine’s Day?
Like Christmas, Easter, Sun-day, Lent, and all other Romish Christian holidays, Valentine’s Day is a pagan festival. The encyclopedia excerpts below will confirm this. If you are committed to serving God through what’s written in His Holy Scriptures, then you are not to celebrate something that has the direct origins of polytheistic pagan fertility gods. In God’s laws of love, that is called idolatry and it will cause one to end up in the lake of fire forever. If we love God we will keep his commandments (John 14:15), and he will reward us with eternal life. But if we do not love God, we will disobey him and be punished for that disobedience. The unfortunate reality is that Rev. 12:9 has shown us that Satan has deceived the entire world. As a result most people are ignorant when it comes to serving the true and living God. In Hosea 4:6 God says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee.” Therefore, we must have knowledge on what we celebrate because we do not want to ignorantly blaspheme the one and true God and be rejected his word to our own demise. Please read the history and find out the dates and names of all the holidays that you acknowledge because if you love God, you will obey him and not the vain traditions of men. So let us do some research and find out the history behind Valentine’s day:
“Valentine’s Day, also called St. Valentine’s Day, day (February 14) when lovers express their affection with greetings and gifts. Although there were several Christian martyrs named Valentine, the day probably took its name from a priest who was martyred about ad 270 by the emperor Claudius II Gothicus. According to legend, the priest signed a letter to his jailer’s daughter, whom he had befriended and with whom he had fallen in love, “from your Valentine.” The holiday also had origins in the Roman festival of Lupercalia, held in mid-February. The festival, which celebrated the coming of spring, included fertility rites and the pairing off of women with men by lottery. At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I replaced Lupercalia with St. Valentine’s Day. It came to be celebrated as a day of romance from about the 14th century.
Formal messages, or valentines, appeared in the 1500s, and by the late 1700s commercially printed cards were being used. The first commercial valentines in the United States were printed in the mid-1800s. Valentines commonly depict Cupid, the Roman god of love, along with hearts, traditionally the seat of emotion. Because it was thought that their mating season began in mid-February, birds also became a symbol of the day. Traditional gifts include candy and flowers, particularly red roses, a symbol of beauty and love. The day is popular in the United States as well as in Britain, Canada, and Australia, and it also is celebrated in other countries, including France and Mexico. It has expanded to expressions of affection among relatives and friends. Many school children exchange valentines with one another on this day.”
…the customs of the day have nothing to do with the lives of the saints. They probably come from an ancient Roman festival called Lupercalia which took place every February 15. The festival honored Juno, the Roman goddess of women and marriage, and Pan, the god of nature…The Romans celebrated their feast of Lupercalia as a lovers’ festival for young people. Young men and women chose partners for the festival by drawing names from a box…After the spread of Christianity, churchmen tried to give Christian meaning to the pagan festival. In 496, Pope Gelasius changed the Lupercalia festival of February 15 to Saint Valentine’s Day February 14. But the sentimental meaning of the old festival has remained to the present time. Historians disagree about the identity of St. Valentine”.
Furthermore it also states,
“LUPERCALIA…was celebrated on February 15 in honor of Faunus, a rural Italian god. Faunus was later identified with Pan, the god of herds and fertility…Priests…ran around striking all the women the met (Lupercalia. Volume 12. 1966, p.456).
The World Book Encyclopedia informs us: “Valentine’s Day comes on the feast day of two different Christian martyrs named Valentine. But the customs connected with the day . . . probably come from an ancient Roman festival called Lupercalia which took place every February 15. The festival honored Juno, the Roman goddess of women and marriage, and Pan, the god of nature.”—(1973), Vol. 20, p. 204.
The Encyclopædia Britannica says: “A festival derived from the custom of mother worship in ancient Greece. Formal mother worship, with ceremonies to Cybele, or Rhea, the Great Mother of the Gods, were performed on the Ides of March throughout Asia Minor.”—(1959), Vol. 15, p. 849.
The Romans called the festival “Lupercalia.” The custom of exchanging valentines and all the other traditions in honor of Lupercus — the deified hero-hunter of Rome — was also linked anciently with the pagan practice of teen-agers “going steady.” It usually led to fornication. Today, the custom of “going steady” is thought very modern. It isn’t. It is merely a rebirth of an old custom “handed down from the Roman festival of the Lupercalia, celebrated in the month of February, when names of young women were put into a box and drawn out by men as chance directed.” That’s the admission of the “Encyclopedia Americana”, article, “St. Valentine’s Day.“
So should we celebrate Valentine’s Day? Does this day represent Godly love?
The answer is a flat out NO! True Christians show true love through submission to God’s word. That is the recipe for peace and success in all relationships. There is nothing wrong with gift giving and showing affection to your spouse or loved one’s, but why not do this on a regular basis as opposed to on a day that stems out of the vain imagination of men and is contrary to God’s laws pertaining to greed, lust, fornication, adultery and idolatry?
If you want to please God, then you should not celebrate pagan holidays. Rather, acknowledge Him and show your love towards him and all your neighbors by keeping His commandments! Our prayer is that you take the advice of the Apostle Paul:
1 Thessalonians 5:21
King James Version (KJV)
21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
More on Valentine’s Day…
This short 4 minute video from The History Channel confirms what the above encyclopedia’s have documented.
NPR also has a great and informative short article called The Dark Origins of Valentine’s Day. Click here to read it.
References and Sources:
 Bradley R.E. Wright, Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites …and Other Lies You’ve Been Told, (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 2010), p. 133.