How did Valentine’s Day originate? The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine – all of whom were martyred. Some stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons. Whatever the history, Valentine’s Day is a day set apart to celebrate couples and their love for each other.
Over the years – and centuries – Valentine’s Day has been a religious celebration, an ancient ritual day, and a commercial holiday. With so many definitions, you can basically make Valentine’s Day anything you want.
I choose Valentine’s Day to represent the celebration of the intimacy of people in love. But not only couples in love, but parents celebrating their love for their children and children for their parents. It is also for dear friends celebrating old or new friendships. It is a day to remember our love and affection for those dear to us.
But is this a logical concept? To recognize and celebrate our relationships only once a year? What about the other 364 days? Would considering the depth of relationships make better sense if we celebrated it throughout the year?
I love the word “remember” in the Bible. Remember is used 352 times in the scriptures. The root of remember is to “keep in mind” or “to be mindful.” It has the sense of being concerned about and is related to the word tradition. And so, as we look at Valentine’s Day, we are remembering a person or persons for the relationship we share with them, the love we have for them, and our remembrances of time spent with them. Can this be summed up in one day with a card and flowers? For me, the answer is no.
The intimacy of these types of relationships goes far deeper than one day a year. It needs to be remembered hourly, daily, weekly, monthly. We need to be aware that our days are numbered, and if we do not celebrate these relationships daily, we will miss (and those we love will miss) the celebration of our love – the celebration of special moments, events, conversations, appreciation of each other and so much more. We will even miss the celebration of difficult days and seasons and the celebration of restoration and forgiveness.
How then can we keep our celebration alive? We need to remember to be intentional in our relationships. We need to speak our love and appreciation to each other. We need to stop periodically and write a note or letter – a love letter to those we love, so they would be reminded for days and years to come. Thus, future generations would have the testimony and the memories to remember to love and love deeply and with a purpose.
I have texted my grandchildren every night since March 2020. They often respond, and sometimes they don’t. That is not the reason I do this. I purpose to include a Scripture and a reminder for them to pray and read their Bibles daily. And, of course, I end each text letting them know how very much I love them. My prayer is not only that they will remember me desiring to connect with them daily, but that they, too, will purpose to reach out to those they love and care about as often as possible – knowing and remembering how they felt when remembered each night.
I have a phone with 11,000 pictures. I love all the pictures of my family and friends. When I look at them, it often saddens me because those pictures will not be printed, shared, spoken of, and remembered unless I intentionally print them and write on the back of them what they mean and what they represent.
The same is true regarding our memories and our feelings towards one another. Just acknowledging love relationships during an annual event will never have the impact of daily communication; the celebration of love is a living testimony to future generations.
So, Happy Valentine’s Day, however you may choose to celebrate it. I pray that we become a people of intentional love, intentional memories, and intentional daily communication to those we love, regardless of the seasons of life: good and bad, sweet and special.