True Lessons from Saint Valentine and Share the Chocolate!

My husband left for work this morning and I won’t see him today at all. He’ll be home long after I am asleep tonight. He works in the restaurant industry.

“The National Restaurant Association (NRA) expects about one-quarter of Americans to dine out this Valentine’s Day, making it the second most popular holiday for dining out after Mother’s Day.”-www.restaurant.org

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It has been this way our whole married life. The Mother’s Day and St. Valentine’s day holiday keep him at work, away from me. This is not a ‘woe is me’ post, it’s my life and I accept these facets of it.” My self-esteem doesn’t depend on a Valentine card or chocolate”. –tweet this

It just got me to thinking, why do we put so much expectation into Valentine’s day? And what was the message of St. Valentine’s life? Was it a box of chocolates? Was it brightly colored Valentine’s boxes from the school party? Or romantic dinners and jewelry?

When I was growing up, we had books that chronicled the lives of the saints. They horrified and fascinated me. I couldn’t NOT read them. Saints gave their lives away, sacrificed for others and for their faith in Jesus Christ. Romans hung Christians from crosses and sent them to the coliseum. Nero burned them. Others were locked away. Tortured. Burned at the stake.St. Valentine was one of those Christians. Not a great picture for a Valentine card, huh?

“Valentine was a holy priest in Rome, who, with St. Marius and his family, assisted the martyrs in the persecution under Claudius II. He was apprehended, and sent by the emperor to the prefect of Rome, who, on finding all his promises to make him renounce his faith ineffectual, commanded him to be beaten with clubs, and afterwards, to be beheaded, which was executed on February 14, about the year 270.” http://www.Catholic.org

St. Valentine is the patron saint of: love, young people and happy marriages (and more). Why? His crimes in a nutshell-performing marriages for Christian couples and aiding those persecuted for their Christian faith. Legend has it that while in jail, he healed the jailers blind daughter and on the eve of his death penned a note to her signed-From your Valentine.

So, here we are centuries later buying chocolates, jewelry, eating out and my favorite tradition-buying books to celebrate the Saint’s day. That’s fine as long as our expectations of the holiday are not amiss. It is not just a holiday for couples. It’s a holiday of self-sacrifice. For that is what St. Valentine did. He sacrificed his safety to perform marriages for Christian young couples in love who believed in a covenant marriage. He set aside comfort to aid those being persecuted by Claudius II. He gave his life instead of renounce his faith.

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To follow in St. Valentine’s footsteps and honor his legacy, we should being living a sacrified life.

“Therefore I urge you brethren,by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”- Romans 12:1

You don’t have to have a boyfriend or girlfriend to celebrate Valentine’s day. You don’t have to be married. You don’t have to go out to dinner or buy chocolate. To celebrate the spirit of his life, you need to sacrifice. Worship. Love unconditionally. Stick up for the persecuted. Pray for those in need.

“And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, and in [dependence upon} His person, giving praise to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 1:3

Celebrate with the ones you love, thinking of them first. Don’t have expectations of others. Have them of yourself this holiday. Make cookies with your kiddos.  Don’t have trumped up ideas of what you need to make yourself feel appreciated.

You are already loved. You have been sacrificed for. You are valuable. Accept any gifts given in love not as a predictor of your value, but as just that a gift and share the chocolate!

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