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Feb 05 2011

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Valentines Day – Then and Now

Express love at Valentines Day

by David Roberts

From the distant and mysterious past comes the tradition of St. Valentine and the date February 14. Some believe that he was a Roman martyr who died on February 14, 269 AD for refusing to give up Christianity; Other stories indicate that he defied the Roman dictator, was imprisoned, and was sentenced to be beaten to death.  But after hours of suffering that did not kill him, the soldiers cut off his head. This one of several St. Valentines is supposed two have sent a note from prison to one of his followers (the jailer’s daughter) that read “From your Valentine.” Sounds almost like some modern lover’s sentiment and may be the origin of these type of cards.

In 496 AD, Pope Gelasius set aside February 14 in honor of Saint Valentine, who later became the patron saint of lovers. The first mention of St. Valentine in English literature is in Parliament of Foules (fowls, or birds) by Geoffrey Chaucer in the Fourteenth Century. Chaucer is credited with inventing many of the modern practices connected with Valentine’s Day.

In the 1800’s, commercial valentines were first introduced in America, and now the whole celebration is very commercialized. No one has a good excuse for not buying a card for a sweetheart, for countless stores dedicate aisle after aisle to attract buyers.


Some reactions to this day that I have heard are “I’m more excited about Valentine’s Day than about my birthday.” This woman confided to me that over the years her husband had made this day her favorite. Another friend said that her boyfriend had broken up with her just before Valentine’s Day (like he did every year) so he wouldn’t have to get her anything. She was mostly upset because she had already bought him a nice gift. I wondered why she kept going back with him.

Despite the hazy beginnings that go with this day, and the perhaps gross commercialization, most people will probably participate in some sort of celebration again this year. It might help make it more enjoyable to use your memory to re-live good times in the past. (I know I am addressing men now more than women, so if you are a woman, share this with your man.)  How did you first meet? What attracted you to her in the first place? The color of her eyes? The sound of her voice? Or her good looks, like Romeo expressed, “Did my heart love till now? Foreswear it sight, for I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.”

No matter what it was, it was probably a positive experience; but if your relationship has lasted for years, you know that the first attraction did not alone carry you through to your latest anniversary. How did you express your love yesterday? This morning? A suggestion (for me as well as you): use the days from now to February 14 to court her all over again. Go slowly – she may be suspicious.  But try to honestly re-kindle the fire.

Then, think about what she might really like as a small gift along with a Valentine card. Write sincerely felt feelings for her on the card even though you have carefully chosen just the right one. Lately I have been buying two cards, one funny one and one serious one, mostly because I fell for both sentiments and couldn’t decide between the two. This year’s Valentine’s Day falls on a Monday. If that’s a problem take her out on Sunday or Saturday. Consider dinner and a movie (one she would enjoy).

Lastly, do not let anyone or anything ever get between you two except the Lord Jesus Christ. He’s the only One you can trust to use that position to draw you further together; every one else will push you apart.

Have a blessed experience of love this Valentine’s Day.

 

The Valentine Friendship Gift Book: Send It to a Friend (Better Than a Card Book 1)

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